Your morning routine is more important than you think. The few minutes you have in the morning - if you have more than a few, that’s amazing, and take full advantage - can set you up for your day if you make the most of it, and are fully PRESENT. It also allows you to have a few minutes to yourself before the craziness of the day takes over.
Sourcing from multiple sources such as successful personalities that share their AM routine, what is anecdotally and popularly known to be a great part of a morning routine, and spiritual recommendations, we break down the things you should focus in the early hours of your day.
Waking Up Slowly
This means, not startling yourself with a stressful sounding alarm. Try to pick a tone for your alarm that is rather soothing. A well rested night allows you to wake up well too, so make sure you do get good sleep + good quality sleep! Don’t jump out of bed as if you’re two hours late to life - wake up slowly, happily, well.
You might already stretch when you wake up, your body asks for it naturally. Stretch your arms away from your head and your legs in the opposite direction, giving your whole body a stretch, and circulating internally. If you like you can do a simple spinal twist by twisting your torso in both directions for a few seconds. Remember to breathe.
As you get up, sit up straight so your hips and spine stay aligned and swing your legs together off the bed, to sit up and stand up.
If you haven’t heard of thumping your thymus - its a great holistic technique worth adapting for immunity and anxiety. It literally looks like the image above. Your Thymus gland produces disease fighting white blood cells and is responsible for hormone levels as well as neutralizing negative energy, allowing you to calm down by promoting positive energy. In the wellness space, this action is also known to promote activating your lymph system, and makes sense considering the above mentioned functionality.
Sit up straight take a deep breath and with your fist lightly, but firmly, thump your thymus glad - located slightly above your breastbone and below your neck a few times for 15-30 seconds (continue to breathe throughout).
Warm Water + Lemon
Always keep water on your bedside to hydrate as soon as you wake up. Your body has been dehydrated for hours. Get it going with some water. Then make some warm water and add a lemon slice or peel for the ultimate start to your day.
Warm water because
Your body works optimally at warm temperature and after ‘fasting’ it is not shocked with cold fluids, and also gets to rehydrate and basically steam and warm up for the day.
It alkalizes the body - the ideal way you want your body to be functioning, allows to breakdown any leftover gunk on the way out, and has healthy minerals and vitamins, as well as supports good gut function.
At this point you are probably bound to check your phone. If not, great. However, for many of us, we might have close family and friends all over the world that we might want to check in with. You might even use your phone for streaming a morning flow or a meditation app. Whatever you do, AVOID reading the news, looking at emails, or any works related stuff, and also avoid getting lost in an endless scroll on social media. Stay away from anything that can trigger a negative reaction. Set yourself up well for the day before having to navigate it.
Meditation + Prayer + Gratitude
Whether it’s 5 minutes or 20, you want to ground yourself and meditate for a few before you start your day. You can focus on your breathing, allowing your body to be energized and circulating well, take your mind off of a lot, and stabilize your thoughts before going off for the day.
A more scheduled prayer such as the one Muslims do in the AM, allows for focus on a higher power, gratefulness, grounding, find inner peace in asking for a higher power to help with problems, and movement of the body. [If you are bound by a time for praying, you can change up the chronology of your routine]. A little less of a structured prayer also works for many people. Affirmations of gratitude, hope, and finding inner peace. Melissa Wood speaks of her love of reading a course in miracles.
Science has voted gratitude as an ingredient making the happiest people in the world. Adopt this practice!
Journal + Set Intentions for The Day
Journaling is a practice that has been gaining more appreciation and attention as it allows individuals set intentions and guide the way for their day. Elizabeth + Dale, of Sweats and The City, constantly speak of how they benefit from 5 minute journaling in specific helping them manage anxiety, even thought they were hesitant about it at first. Journaling in the morning can help guide the day since it has not started yet. You can take this thought with you throughout the day.
Make Your Bed
Your clothes may all over the place, your dishes may be dirty, but if you make your bed, you will have a better day. That visual tidiness and sense of accomplishment [not to mention this routine will make you feel good AND accomplished] will set up for a positive start to the day.
Face, Teeth, Skin Routine
skincare + beauty routine
You have taken care of body and mind, and now you take care of your body again, namely the face area. Wash your face, go through your morning skin care routine.
Gisele Bundchen’s memoir is an amazing reflection of her change in lifestyle, specifically her morning routine. While extensive, worth listening to her highlights in MindBodyGreen’s podcast. BUT, Gisele mentions her love for oil pulling in the AM. This age old technique uses specific kind of coconut oil, and you just swish it around in your moth for 15-20 minutes, it improves gum health, is anti-bacterial and anti-viral [lauric acid], and gets ALL the bad stuff out. Many people prefer to also do this in the shower, or when face-masking!
shower, hygiene, brushing
Showering, Brushing your teeth, all of the good hygiene stuff. Pro-Tip: at the end of your steamy shower, end it with about 30 seconds of cold water. You will love it, it feels refreshing, ups your metabolic, hence your immune system, and promotes further circulation - as well as closes off your pores and cuticles.
Breakfast + More Technology
You are pretty much set for your day, you can now prepare yourself a healthy breakfast. Wether its pre-prepped or fresh, a healthy and nutritious breakfast, or green smoothie [it is a good idea to just consume fruits + veggie, preferably in liquid form, and wait to have solids till later in the day] . At this point catch up with world news, interesting reads, and you can take a peak at your work emails/messages. Many people suffering with skin problems, digestion, inflammation, have been benefiting from drinking 16oz-32oz of celery juice.
Take your coffee or matcha by your desk or as you go about your day.
Your Morning Is For You, But Don’t Forget Loved Ones
Kiss your kids, kiss your spouse, send a loving message to your sibling, parents, caretaker, say good morning to them. Once you are done doing you, you can now connect with your loved ones and help them with their AM ;)
Additional things to consider / fit into your morning
Wake up at the same time everyday, consistent sleep is healthy.
Leave enough time for your routine and manage sleeping schedule accordingly.
Add in a workout.
Look directly into the sun to stop melatonin production.
Add 5 minutes of Gua Sha to your beauty and skin routine.
Think about what you will add to the world and do your part, when you listen to the news and world events.
Dry brush before showering.
Set up your podcast list that you want to listen to on your commute.