Creating a Morning Routine
Many successful people credit their morning routine’s for setting themselves up for success throughout their day. A morning routine is said to boost happiness, increase productivity, reduce stress levels and get you grounded and settled for the day.
A good routine should allow you to start your morning with an intention of your choosing. Intentions can be anything you want to bring into your life. I want to be more present, a better listener and more joyous. When you start your day with an intention, you tend to be more in control and your ego and environment become less important. It lets you live from your center and also let's the day flow with a certain rhythm. You feel more connected and alive.
One caveat, a big key to a great morning routine is the quality and quantity of the sleep you get the night before. Aim for at least 7 hours (8 is best). I try to go to bed shortly after 10 and get up at 5:15am. Weekends, I like to sleep in a little bit later but stick to a similar routine.
Here is what my morning looks like.
Wake Up Early
I get up at 5:15ish. Getting up early is the best time to get things done especially when it comes to habits you are working on. It’s usually a quiet time and usually there are minimal distractions. There is something very calming and spiritual about the early morning. Many eastern mystics thought that the best window to meditate was between 3 and 6am as it was a natural window to get into deeper states of consciousness (sunset is also a powerful time). I like to position my yoga mat or cushion facing east before starting. Incence and background music can help you settle into a mindset more quickly too.
Keep a Gratitude Journal
First thing I like to do when I wake up is to journal 3 things you are grateful for this morning. (I use the 5 min Journal app). Gratitude releases dopamine, serotonin and endorphins first thing in the morning. Keys are to remember to smile, breath gently and visualize feel your heart space opening in thanks to God/the universe.
Quick little 3min exercise. I try to visualize a person/people or a situation in my minds-eye (usually someone who needs help) and try to send love and energy to them. I think of the energy as waves of light that I can direct with my heart. I think that this builds the positive/loving collective conscience that is so important for us and our living planet. Even more important exercise with Corona Virus causing so much fear around us. This is a great heart opener and builds on gratitude journal.
Another 3 min visualization exercise that’s pretty simple. I visualize what my best self looks like in the future like it’s already happened. For me I want to conquer my fear of death, be a loving father and husband, and feel connected to everything and everyone. I want to feel a sense of joy overflowing.
Stretch, Stretch, Stretch.
I have a 12min routine. That is basically broken into 24 differnent stetches that are done in 30 second increments. I use the app Insight Timer and set up alarms every minute to keep me on track. There are a bunch of apps that list out all the different stretches you can choose (think downward dog, child's pose, forward bends, bridge etc) Maybe you start with 5 min here and build?
10 min of Breath of Fire / Pranayama
Try breath of fire to start. I use You Tube here. Look up “Quick 11min chakra tune-up with Himalayan singing bowls” by Temple Sounds. I pump my breath into each chakra (starting with the base of the spine) for the first two out of three bells and for the last one I bring my breath into the chakra and hold it for a little while and release the energy up my spine thru the top of my head.
16 Min Meditation
All the stuff I have done so far this morning is to set me for this 16 minutes. By practicing gratitude/compassion and stretching there should be some level of heart opening and surrender. The Breath of Fire done just before this has hopefully tired out my ego. As for the meditation itself, there are lots of ways to meditate but for me I try to sit with my consciousness at where the neck meets the back of the head and look up thru my third eye and try to find as much stillness as I can. I like to try to keep surrendering little bit more at the end of every breath. I am looking for light and little gaps of space where I feel connected to something much deeper.
Steps 1 through 7 take from 5:15am to 6:10am.
Next I do:
15-20 min of Cardio
I have a bike, treadmill and rower and vary them up. I try to do about 200 calories. It gets my metabolism started for the day. Usually from 6:10-6:30am.
30 min of Quality Time with the Kids
We usually do reading comprehension or math from 6:30-7am. While the kids are working I have a High-Performance Planner (you can buy on Amazon too) that I fill out during this time. I also make sure my day is planned out effectively on my Spark calendar.
Egg white omelet, avocado, blueberries and steamed spinach. 7-7:15am. Good breakfast means I am powering my brain to start my work day. I take some vitamins and put Keto dry creamer in my coffee. My nanny helps here so I don’t have any prep time. You may have to build in prep and clean time before and after.
Neti Pot, Tongue Scrapping, and Dry Brushing
Clean up the nasal cavity, month and skin. 7:15-7:30am. Lots of medical benefits that could be the topic for whole another blog article here.
Audible and Optimize Apps for Car
I am not perfect here as sometimes I will make calls or listen to music, but I have listened to dozens of self-help books to make this time productive. I have a long commute. 7:30-8:30am
I hope this gives you some good ideas for tweaks to your routine or some motivation to start your own routine. Please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have anything that you want explained or clarified and I promise to try to my best.
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