I’m a big believer in the power of a positive morning ritual. Though mine have evolved over the years, especially since my son was a baby, there are 5 elements that I swear by for not only keeping my self-care in check, but also for helping me create a calmer, more joyful life day to day.
I remember a time when I would wake everyday with a sense of dread. My eyes would open and I would feel the anxiety and fear flood my body and mind. I’d enter a state fight of flight and I wouldn’t want to get out of bed but stay hidden under the covers. It was a horrible feeling and a crappy way to start every single day. But then one day I made up my mind that I was done starting my day in this state, there had to be a better way. I began to understand the power that I had in creating my own reality through my actions, perceptions and thoughts; I could choose differently and so I did. Starting gradually I found my groove I began to feel an incredible shift not only in my mood but also in body and how my whole day unfolded.
The biggest shift? I began to start my day in a proactive state versus reactive. Before I had an intentional morning ritual, I would wake and feel like everything was coming at me like a tidal wave – my to-do list, email, caring for my family and patients etc. I’d get up, turn on my phone and begin to put out fires, get pulled in several different directions and be exhausted before my day had really begun. It put me in a bad mood and I felt resentful as I never go to the things on my to-do list that were most important to me because I was reacting to other people’s demands on my time and energy.
Whether you realize it or not you have a morning ritual. The question is, is yours serving you?
The most successful people in the world: Oprah, Tony Robbins, Bill Gates and many others, all talk about the importance of an empowering morning ritual. When you consciously take charge of your first moments of the day and you spend it in a way that takes care of your mind, body and spirit, your health and happiness improve and you’ll feel unstoppable. You’ll have more energy, more joy and show up differently – better – for yourself and others.
So to inspire you to make the shift and create your own empowering morning ritual I want to share with you mine to give you a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing:
1. Use a gentle alarm (or none at all!)
Waking to the jarring sound of a blaring alarm is sure to send your adrenals into high gear. Choosing a gentle and soothing alarm to wake you will make a big difference to how your body and mind feel in those first few moments of the day. The alarm I personally use is the sound of birds singing. It’s so lovely and as soon as I hear it each morning I picture sunshine and have happy thoughts. I encourage you to look on iTunes or online at different alarms you can download to your phone or find an alarm that makes you feel happy. On the weekend I don’t use an alarm but like to let the sun naturally wake up me up. My sister and her husband use a alarm clock that emits light gradually and mimics a sunrise. This is also a great option. Regardless, find an option that works for you and wakes you gently.
When I wake the first thing I do is go into my home office and sit on my meditation cushion in silence. I light some incense and recite the same prayer each day. Here’s what I recite: “Thank you Divine Beloved for another day on this planet. May I be healthy, joyful and loving this day. Guide me and show me the next right action in my life.” Then I will often continue in prayer about things that may be weighing on me surrendering them over to the Universe or offer over things that I wish to receive guidance about. Then I sit and meditate. Some days it’s 30 minutes, some days it’s 5 mins. Regardless I have found it incredibly powerful to start each day going inward and connecting with my soul. It grounds me, makes me feel calm and helps bring clarity to my day. Some days when I have a bit more time I will also journal.
You don’t have to be religious or believe in anything specific to create this practice in your life. The point is to cultivate stillness and go inward connecting to yourself becoming aware of how you’re feeling and create a sense of gratitude, calm and inner wellbeing. Maybe for you prayer makes you uncomfortable but sitting in silence watching the sunrise makes you feel alive and calm. I encourage you to find what feels good and meaningful for you and then put it into practice.
3. Visioning and planning time
After meditating or sometimes during, I will think about all the things I have to be grateful for and the vision I have for my life and then also what I want to call into my life or create. I’ll revisit my vision board or my goals and sit for a few minutes imagining myself living them out. Doing this immediately makes me feel inspired and keeps me focused on what I want to create or call into my life. Then while still feeling motivated and positive, I will go about planning my day.
In my awesome freebie, The Priority Playbook, I talk about the concept of MITs – Most Important Tasks. I have found that I am most efficient and get more done when I plan my day ahead of time and tackle my MITs first before I do anythings else – even before checking my email or text messages. These MITs are often 1-3 things that help me further my goals in either my personal life or business or both. I sit and ask myself, “What’s my vision for my life and what small step can I take today to bring me closer to my dreams and goals?” Sitting first thing everyday focusing on my vision and then making a quick plan as to what I want to accomplish that day and when it’s going to happen sets me up for success.
Remember we can do amazing things in the long run with very small steps.
4. Move your body
Exercise does so much more than help ward off disease and excess weight. It improves gut health, mood, hormone production – the list goes on. You don’t have to slug it out on the treadmill for hours or even join a gym to get your body moving first thing in the morning. Though I personally love alternating between HIIT workouts, weight training and yoga, there are also days when a brisk 30 minute walk or quick swim is all I feel up to. The most important thing is that you chose something you enjoy and that you move your body for at least 20 – 30 minutes. There’s major benefits to exercising in the morning versus other times of day: you’ll burn more fat, consume less unnecessary calories, sleep better at night and build muscle more efficiently – just to name a few.
5. Break the fast right
The first thing I consume every morning is room temperature water with a slice of lemon. Usually I drink this while working out but regardless I aim to drink a full litre of water before I consume any food or caffeine. I find this helps to wake up my body gently, promote healthy bowel function and also flush my system improving the elimination of toxins.
I’m a big fan of intermittent fasting and when I do break my fast I do it with high impact nutrition like a green juice, smoothie packed with greens or even steamed veggies paired with avocado and some form of protein. Then after I’ve gotten some great nutrition in me I’ll have some green tea or a matcha latte. Drinking caffeine first thing in the morning before consuming anything else spikes adrenaline and puts our bodies into a fight or flight state. Trust me you will feel so much better nourishing your body by putting something in your stomach before your morning coffee or tea. Your nervous system will thank you too!
So those are my top 5 empowering morning rituals. I encourage you to reflect on your current routine and ask yourself if it’s serving you and make changes if it’s not. Remember when you’re proactive and take care of yourself first by starting your day in a way that nourishes yourself mind, body and spirit, you deal with all the obstacles and challenges you face during the day differently. You will be more calm, centred and have a more positive outlook. Trust me! No more waking up with feelings of dread and anxiety. Instead you’ll feel rock solid no matter what the day may bring.
P.S. Do you have a morning ritual that you love and want to share? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!
P.P.S. Stay tuned for my course The Peaceful Woman Practice launching July 2019. I’ll teach you how to create your own empowering morning ritual plus other ways to cultivate more calm and joy in your life, plus so much more! Be the first to know when it launches by joining the waitlist here.