How to start the day with motivation and clarity
The start of your day can have a huge impact on how the rest of the day will pan out, so making it meaningful and inspiring will encourage a more positive approach to the rest of the day. Cultivating a positive attitude is a winning way to experience less stress, more joy and more oodles more energy. Read on to find out how you can makes small changes for big results…
We have all been there; the alarm goes off and you feel tired, groggy and you’re still enjoying the dream you’re immersed in! So you press snooze, and lie just a little bit longer and enjoy your cosy bed. Before you know it, you’ve snoozed through two more alarms and now you’re rushing around trying to get ready at lightning speed, maybe forgoing breakfast as a result. You land at work in a whirlwind after a speedy journey to work fretting and blaming the slow drivers and late trains. It’s not a great start, and as a result your mind is still not functioning at full capacity and things just seem a little bit stressful. When we are tired, we generally tend to eat more and make poor food choices. It becomes harder to make decisions when are minds are less focused, we are more prone to becoming irritable and less likely to exercise.
For many of us, life is fast paced and there isn’t much time for our own wellbeing beyond our commitments of work, family, chores and study. But, it doesn’t have to be that way. Making just a few tweeks to your morning routine can make your day go much more smoothly with more ease and less effort.
According to Ayurveda (ancient healing medicine) we generally feel quite lethargic and sluggish in the mornings as we are in ‘kapha time’ from 6am – 10am. However, we can turn this around with a little discipline by getting up on time and introducing some practices to enliven body, mind and spirit.
Set your alarm to go off earlier (eeek!) and actually get up! Do not snooze; this actually makes you more tired. If you can, get straight in the shower to wake up your body. If you are feeling brave then turn the temperature to cold for 30 seconds, and then you’ll really feel alive!
Meditate. Yep, that’s right, that thing that you’ve heard of but ‘can’t do because your mind won’t stay quiet for long enough’. By practising just a few minutes of mindful breathing on a daily basis, it can help to clear your mind and be more productive during your day. Think of it as mind training, the more you do it, the easier it gets. You will never remove all the thoughts from your head – it’s impossible! But you can enjoy the stillness in the pauses between the breaths. Once you have got comfortable with a few minutes, you can add a minute on each week until you can do 10-20 minutes, or more!
Move. Try a little Tai Chi, Yoga or other mindful movement that helps you to open and wake up into your body. It doesn’t have to be an hour long, just 5-10 minutes will do. When we move our bodies slowly and gently, it provides a platform for connection. We can tune into how we are feeling on that particular day and respond accordingly. If we are not feeling 100%, then maybe today we need to be kind and sensitive to ourselves. If you are feeling full of beans, this is a day to tackle projects and maybe some more vigorous exercise.
Write a gratitude journal. Bring 5 things to mind that you feel really grateful for, then right them down and include a reason. This doesn’t have to be a lengthy entry; it could simply be two words i.e. My Partner – support. When we start the day with gratitude, it permeates our mind with positivity and encourages us to look for the joy in the small things in life.
Set yourself 3 mini goals. What do you want to get out of today? It may be as simple as calling a friend, do the weekly food shop or spending quality time with the family. Incorporate the use of themes such as: wellbeing, connection, home, work or fun. Sometimes the day ahead can look overwhelming, but setting 3 mini goals helps us to prioritise what is important and gives us something to aim for that’s achievable so that we can feel satisfied with at the end of the day.
Nourish your body. Start with a warm lemon and ginger tea. The lemon cleanses the digestive tract, while the ginger fires up the digestive juices for brekkie. Wait 10 minutes or so before having breakfast; I make this before meditation and drink after when it’s cool. Don’t have the same breakfast every day, switch it up! Try a smoothie with fruit, vegetables, oats or whatever you have in the cupboards. You can add protein powders, flax, oils or health supplements to give it an extra boost. When you start the day with a healthy energy boosting breakfast, you get the digestive fire going which motivates us into action – both physically and mentally!
If this all sounds way too overwhelming then just start with one thing; you can always introduce something else once you’re feeling comfortable with that new habit. Do whatever works with your schedule, but also be mindful that sometimes we need to prioritise what is important to make the schedule work for us. Your wellbeing is more important than anything as it has an impact on the whole of your life and everyone in it. Live well and be the change you want to see ☺