Over the last several decades, our morning routine has shifted from being a sacred ritual to a hyper-speed race out the front door. We roll out of bed, pound a coffee, play on our phones, pack our bags and head out. For those of us with children, a personal routine may seem impossible; we’re always focused on our little ones and what they need before the day’s activities begin. It’s difficult to stay calm and grounded with a high dose of caffeine coursing through our veins, blasting music and driving to work in rush hour.
Our morning sets the tone for the rest of our day so it’s important to take even a few minutes to clear our mind and ground ourselves before the busyness starts. By the end of the day, it’s harder to find the energy or motivation to go to the gym or a yoga class. We just want to eat, watch TV and go to bed. But what if there was a motivating factor behind this plan to slow down our morning routine? Here are five great and easy morning rituals that will add some mindfulness and intention to your morning, without taking up much time.
Drinking warm lemon water first thing in the morning can help to kickstart our digestive system, balance and maintain our pH levels, and offers nutritional value through doses of vitamin C and potassium. It’s also great for helping battle and prevent colds and the flu. Try adding some honey for a little sweetness and taste (also, great for sore throats).
Oral health is extremely important because the mouth is the gateway to the brain. Scraping your tongue seems a bit weird at first, but it can improve your breath, remove bacteria and toxins from the mouth, and increase your tastebud sensitivity – so that chocolate cake you’re planning on eating (half of) after class will taste even better. Practiced over time, a tongue brushing practice can aid in reducing plaque buildup, tooth decay, loss of teeth, gum infections, and gum recession. These scraping tools can be found at many health food stores and online.
Dry brushing your skin (a practice of literally brushing your dry skin with a bristled brush) has proven to be very beneficial for our bodies. The practice helps increase circulation, removes dead skin cells, and breaks up cellulite. But the most important benefit to mention is its ability to stimulate the lymphatic system , therefore eliminating cellular waste buildup. Toxic buildup can lead to lymphatic congestion, which is a major factor that leads to inflammation and disease in the body. (Our lymph nodes are a gateway for detoxification).To do this practice effectively, begin brushing from your extremities towards your heart so toxins can be filtered through the blood, to the heart and sent to the liver. This will speed up your body’s detoxification process and increases immunity.
Meditation can seem quite daunting, but all it takes is 5 minutes of sitting in stillness and focusing on the breath to decrease overall stress levels. Focused breathing helps turn off the sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight) and turns on the autonomic nervous system (rest and digest). When our mind sends out the ‘rest and digest’ signal to our body, it’s a notice for how to better handle stress.
The ‘grass is always greener’ syndrome leaves us constantly comparing our lives to others’ and wishing we had something other than what is right in front of us. If we start the day by writing out the things we’re grateful for, it helps us focus on the abundance of things we already have. Over time we will stop worrying and wishing, and start living and enjoying.
These are just a few suggestions for ways to kickstart your day with a little positivity. Find something that works for you, and let us know what it is! We always love to hear your amazing and creative ideas.