The alarm goes off, beep, beep, beep. It hurts your ears. You press snooze. Just 5 more minutes so that you can wake up refreshed! But to no avail, the alarm goes off again in 5 minutes, beep, beep, beep. No still not refreshed. But this time you know that if you don’t rush to get in the shower then you will be late to work. You rush through the morning, showering, brush your teeth and get ready for work. No time for breakfast, you will grab a coffee on the way to work. Traffic is a nightmare!!! You walk into the office turn on your computer and at least 10 angry emails are waiting for your response.
This stress-filled morning fills your body with an early dose of stress hormones, pushing your system into a fight/flight – sympathetic state. You will likely stay in this state for the rest of the day.
It’s time to break the routine, time to get out the same old rut that is creating a stressed and toxic day.
Create a morning that gives you a good reason to get out of bed. Do something that brings you joy. Last week I talked about getting to sleep earlier. If you can get that habit nailed, then you can start getting up more refreshed and starting our day with something inspiring and fulfilling.
To allow for an enriching start to the day, work out how much time you logistically need to get ready and off to work. And give yourself the time and space to do it in a relaxed manner. Maybe the start to your day includes a relaxing hot shower or an invigorating cold one. Either way, make sure there is time to enjoy it. Maybe the start to your day includes a yoga routine to stretch and move your body and centre your mind. Then allow time for it. Maybe your morning includes a cooked nutritious breakfast. Then allow time for it. Maybe you want to dance, walk, cook, journal, or read. Work out how much time you need each day. Then set the alarm to make sure you have time to sleep 7-9 hours and time to have your morning rituals completed before the workday begins.
If you cannot fit both sleep and rituals in, then it is time to work out how you could get to bed earlier. Is there something you can toss out of your life that will make this possible? Could you watch less Netflix? Could you restrict work to work hours? Could you turn your phone off 30 minutes earlier in the evening? There will probably be something that you can do less of that doesn’t serve you or your health goals, making room for something that rejuvenates and inspires you. I know for me it is my phone. I can waste so much time on my phone! When these time wasters are reduced you can start sleeping more and adding a morning ritual that starts your day from a good place. A place with lowered stress hormones. A place of positivity and peace rather than stress and anxiety. A time for you, before you spend the day meeting the demands of others.
What will your morning ritual look like?
Making time for you means your morning will look different from others. It is time to spend on your desires, the things that bring you joy will look different to someone else’s. Some will like a quiet calm space to breath and listen to the sounds of the birds. Others will blast their music and dance around the kitchen. The best thing is, it doesn’t matter what others think. This time is designed to help you find happiness joy and pleasure.
A few questions we can ask ourselves to help us find the components of our morning rituals are:
• If this were a holiday, what would I most enjoy doing as soon as I woke up? (Why not let a morning ritual have that “holiday” feel?)
• What is something I want to do today for myself that I won’t have time for once the “noise” of the day begins?
• Is there an aspect about this particular time of the day that I don’t want to miss? (eg: sunrise, glassy ocean, gentle breeze, clean air)
• Is there something I am pondering that requires quiet and my greatest clarity of thought?
In answering these, we’ll doubtless find some very attractive rituals to incorporate into our daily slow-and-steady wake-up sequencing, and in doing them, we’ll set ourselves up to greet each day with purpose, fulfilment, confidence, and peace.
Let’s wake up earlier tomorrow and start the day with Number One!
Yours in Health,
Dr. Anthea Holder
(Chiropractor and Functional Nutritional Therapy Practitioner)