What are your first thoughts when you wake up?
How we start our mornings can impact our day. Celebrities such as Jennifer Aniston, Oprah Winfrey and Ellen Degeneres adopt morning routines such as staying off electronic devices, meditation, gym/yoga workouts.
Yoga and meditation helps to manage anxiety, induce calmness and clarity. Workouts raise endorphin levels to make you feel good. Everyone has different styles, and here’s my morning ritual that I’ve built over the years for calmness and self-development.
1. Wake up with gratitude
Our first thoughts can impact our motivations. There was a time when I dreaded coming out of bed. I realised if I think of something that I am grateful for, I can’t wait to get up and start my day. Things that I always find myself thankful for - the kind people I’ve met, I’m able and alive, and every day is a new possibility.
2. Stretch it out
A back injury had me making a habit of doing 4 or 5 stretches on my mat. Many neuroscience research has proved that body has a large part to play in our thoughts and perceptions. These stretches help me to feel nimble and less stiff, thus reducing body aches. Having a good stretch flow also makes me feel calm and collected.
3. Staying off electronic devices
I’d only check my calendar and have a quick preview at messages to see if there’s anything important I need to know (they still remain “unread”). I like to stay away from electronics until I reach the office.
4. Read a book on the train
I love to read but finding time to read at home can be challenging. Therefore, I choose to read on the train! It’s great to start the day learning something new. It makes me feel a little smarter, ha!
5. Healing music
I’ve somehow minimised listening to mainstream music. “Keep Calm” is one of my favourite playlists on Spotify. I also love music by Peder B. Helland, Fridrik Karlsson, Parijat. Do you have any music that helps you to heal?
6. Healthy Breakfast
My personal favourite breakfast is an avocado salad with berries. After a night of sleep, I get dehydrated, and this is the perfect way to get me to hydrate myself. Avocados are also high in potassium, an electrolyte that’s necessary for energy and many other functions. I like to make my salads bright and colourful. Looking at it makes me feel happy already!
7. Nice walk
We’re pretty lucky that we live in a garden city. Every morning when I walk out, I try to immerse myself in what I see and hear; the birds chirping, the flowers blooming, the buzz in the market. It makes me feel alive. And the cool morning breeze makes it all better.
8. Something to look forward to
Set little things that make you look forward to every single ahem workday. For me, it’s as simple as a Monday workout, a delicious home-cooked dinner Tuesday, a Wednesday ballroom lesson, Thursday workout, and a Friday to recover.
Do you also have a favourite routine to start your day? If not, start by just building one habit. When you like how it feels, you’ll be inclined to add more into your life.