I am not a morning person. I wish I was. I think of that delicious hour before everyone rises where peace and quiet reign. A space to meditate, practice yoga, write or walk outside. A chance to accumulate 5 whole hours in the working week for meaningful stuff. To start the day right, to stamp myself on the morning. It all sounds great but in truth I never rise an hour early. No matter what time I reasonably retire.I'm a veritable sloth in the morning. I have come to accept it. Do I sleep more deeply? Or does my brain and body just take longer to fire on all cylinders. Annoyingly, my husband opens his eyes and springs out of the bed like a jack in the box that has soiled the bed, whilst I take 10 whole minutes to open my eyes. Talking? Forget it! I read articles from people I would have avoided in the work corridor. They exercise, reach celestial states of meditative connection, write a chapter of a book and whizz up a fresh nutritionally balanced juice while I'm still slurping on my cuppa.
I'm not a lazy person. I get lots done in the course of the day. I'm proactive, cheerful, eat healthily and workout just not first thing in the morning. I have, however implemented a series of simple rituals and rules in the morning that sets up the day in the right way. Without them chaos would reign from first brew. Let's call them better morning routines for sloths.
Take 2 minutes to be grateful.
You made it to another morning. That's something to be grateful for. Choosing to start the morning from a grateful mindset can positively colour your whole day. It can run like a thread, improving your mood and resilience. Choose 2-3 things to be grateful for BEFORE you even get out of bed. Write them down, say them to yourself or listen to a 5-minute gratitude meditation on YouTube.
Leave your gadgets alone.
Do not be tempted to check e-mails or peruse social media as soon as you open your eyes. Your mind is crystal clear from sleep. Benefit from the clarity before it becomes muddied by the onslaught of notifications, news reports, posts and people vying for your attention. This is meditation enjoy it. If you cannot be trusted, make sure you charge or store any gadget well away from your bed!
Set your intention for the day.
Benefit from this brief stillness and quietness by setting an intention for the day. For instance, if you know that you have to deal with a tricky person, assert how well that interaction will go. How you will behave and how that person will respond. Set an intention of love, compassion or kindness. Set the intention of being confident or kick ass. See how that plays out during your day and you will be surprised how much of that intention creeps into your thoughts, activities and interactions.
Move around mindfully.
Try spending the first moments of your day moving mindfully. Feel the floor beneath your feet, be aware of moving between rooms, the feeling of warm water in the shower and the taste or texture of food and drink. It puts you in touch with and heightens your experience of the day. It extends a tranquility into the morning that should leave a residue as you leave the house and combat the day. You will also be less likely to forget anything before you leave.
In lieu of a full workout try some stretches. Stretching in the morning improves posture, reduces aches and stiffness, increases energy, gets the blood flowing and improves flexibility and strength. Google morning stretches and you will be spoilt for choice. Simple yoga stretches are ideal. Try salutation to the sun. its a stretching sequence that will work wonders.
Drink some water.
When you wake up your body is pretty dehydrated. If you do not replenish your water stores in the morning you will feel sluggish. Drinking two glasses of water before you leave the house will fuel your brain, help flush toxins from your body and kick start your metabolism. It will help with energy levels and stops you confusing thirst for hunger.
Account for something good to eat.
By that I mean good and healthy. Something nutritious. Even if it's just a bowl of shredded wheat. This is a message that you matter. It fuels your body and fires up your brain. It stops you reaching for something rubbish when you have tipped into starving mode. Prepare food for the morning. It doesn't have to be elaborate. Nuts, seeds, yoghurt, fruit or a shake. Start the day knowing you are doing the best for yourself.