Rise & Shine - Morning Rituals for Grounding and Focus
When people ask me how in the world I start every day at 5am, I don’t have a very good answer for them.
The truth is, I’ve always been a morning person, so I don’t curse the alarm when it goes off and it’s still dark outside. Staying up past 10pm? Now that’s a challenge! My friends make fun at my grandparent like sleeping habits, but I’ve definitely found what works for me and that includes getting to bed every night around 9:30pm, getting 7.5 hours of sleep, and waking up before the sun.
Waking up early enables me to start the day off slow and mindful. I can devote time to creating intentions, meditating and moving my body. I view each morning as a way to hit the reset button. Whatever happened yesterday, “good” or “bad”, is in the past and I get to focus on the present.
Try incorporating a few of these morning rituals into your morning when you have quiet time, even if that means waking up 20 minutes earlier.
1.) Sun Salutations: Even performing just a few rounds of sun salutations will warm up the body and focus on expanding and smoothing out the breath. It's a great way to stretch out and find some fluidity in the body after lying still for (hopefully) 8ish hours. The sequence of poses is a complete practice in itself and can be a time to set a strong intention for your day. It also prepares the body for our second ritual..
2.) Meditation: I still struggle with a consistent practice, but have full faith and belief in it's benefits. With meditation I breathe more freely and my mind isn’t as easily attached to whatever comes up throughout the day. I never regret waking up early to sit and meditate, sometimes my mind just needs a little convincing to do it before I go straight for coffee.
3.) Make a cup of coffee or tea: I go to bed thinking about my morning cup of coffee. It’s become so engrained in my morning routine that I don’t remember the last day I went without it. Sure the caffeine makes a difference and helps wake me up, but it also psychologically preps me for my work day. Once I’ve had my cup, I kinda feel like I can take on anything. Anyone else feel the same?!
4.) Morning Pages: Morning pages is something I started doing after I bought the book, The Artist's Way. It’s three pages of longhand writing, strictly stream- of- consciousness. One of it’s main functions is to drain the brain and write down anything and everything that comes to mind. There is no wrong way to write morning pages, the point is to just continue writing. Writing regardless of if I want to or what mood I’m in helps me get beyond my Censor (the babbling perfectionist and internal critic that whispers subversive remarks.) Logic brain quiets, creative brain emerges.
Do you engage in morning rituals? Share with me how you kickstart your day!