Enjoy these 5 Morning Practices For a Balanced and Productive Day. They will help you stay centered so that you can be peaceful and happy, no matter what comes your way.
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There’s a lot of chaos in the world right now, and I’m guessing that perhaps a little has seeped into your own life. It’s hard not to let the chaos consume you, but there are some ways to stay centered and grounded when the world is spinning at a breakneck speed around you. I have 5-morning practices for a balanced and productive day.
There’s a reason that many people focus on setting up good morning rituals. How you spend your morning sets the tone for the day. If you wake up in a panic having slept through your alarm and start reacting to flurries of emails, the rest of your day will be filled with more of the same anxiety and stress.
The idea is to have a few solid morning practices that get your feet firmly planted on the ground and your head in the right space. Let’s dive into 5-morning rituals for a balanced and productive day.
1. Make Your Alarm Work For You
Most of the world needs to set an alarm to wake up for work. This is likely the first sound that reaches your ears in the morning. Do you want this sound to be a whole lot of bad world news or raging hard rock that takes your heartbeat from resting to 150 beats per minute?
Don’t exhaust your adrenals before you even get out of bed. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather save my stress hormones for a real emergency. If you make your stress hormones work for too many non-emergencies, when you do come face to face with a real grizzly bear, you may not have enough cortisol in reserve to help you out.
Say no to grizzly bear attacks, and yes to a gentle release from sleep. I recently switched my alarm clock music to wake me with classical music. It makes me so much more relaxed to ease into and embrace the day.
There are also different alarm clocks on the market now that gradually wake you from sleep. There’s a wake-up light alarm that uses light and sound to gently get you out of bed. You can also get an alarm with sunrise simulation so you wake using a more natural method than rap music.
Ideally, your very first moment in the morning is a gentle alarm as discussed above. The next moment is equally important for a balanced and productive day.
Your body will follow along with whatever your mind tells it. If you send it into reactionary, crazy mode the second you wake up, it’s going to assume chaos is the name of the game for the entire day. What do you want to tell your mind and body is a priority for the day?
Is it someone else’s emails? Is it the news of the day? Or is it a more grounded morning practice of sitting still, collecting your thoughts, and making a prioritized plan? (Hint: choose the last one).
Starting your day in reactionary mode to other’s people priorities puts your own goals way down at the bottom of the list. Why wouldn’t you give yourself top billing?
I used to check email before I was even out of bed. That would send me into a tailspin before my feet even touched the ground. I have now banished electronics from the bedroom and I do my very best not to even look at email until I’ve finished my 5-morning practices.
3. Get Quiet and Get Grateful
So you’re not going to get sucked into a reactionary vortex seconds after waking. Here’s what you’re going to do instead.
Spend a few minutes collecting your thoughts. Meditation can be super helpful (here’s how). If structured meditation seems too daunting, try just sitting quietly. A few deep breaths can ground you to the present, instead of spinning out about what dangers lurk ahead.
Then get grateful. Steer your brain to all the wonderful things in your life – a bed, sheets, the fact that you woke up, have electricity, and people you care about in your life. Keeping your thoughts on the positive will direct your attention to find additional things to be grateful for so you can have a happy and balanced day.
Next, try making a short list of what you’d like to accomplish with the hours ahead. Having goals can keep you focused, as opposed to spending your time reacting to strangers’ emails.
If you prefer to put pen to paper, free write in a journal. Talk about how you want to tackle the day. Or write to clear your mind so you can be really focused later. There may be some things that you can control and some that you can’t, but you can always control your attitude. Make a promise to stay centered and balanced as you move through the day.
Your brain should be in motion after getting quiet, grateful and confirming your priorities. Now it’s time to move your body.
Exercise is a great way to get the body’s natural endorphins moving. Get your blood circulating with a brisk walk, yoga, or lifting weights. It’s even better to move outside for some natural Vitamin D and to wake up your body’s circadian rhythm. If you leave exercise for the end of the day, there’s a greater risk that you could be sidelined by distraction.
Bonus plan: stay focused and productive in your day, and enjoy movement at the beginning and end of your day. There’s nothing like an after work or after dinner walk to clear your mind, and also make you more relaxed for loved ones.
Movement offers another beneficial way to get out of your head and into your body. We spend a lot of times in our heads and you likely spend most of your day there. Moving your body lets you connect all the pieces so you can be truly present and productive in your day.
I’m a big believer in making sure to nourish the mind, body, and spirit. When one is out of alignment, the rest will be askew as well. Getting quiet and prioritizing will help your mind and spirit, and moving will help your body, but there’s more. We need to be mindful of the food that goes into the body.
I always start my morning with warm lemon water. This warm drink helps me fire up the belly, which is especially helpful when you have weak digestion like I do. It also ensures that I’m rehydrating my body after sleeping.
My breakfast always consists of a bunch of greens – usually a smoothie, juice, or greens bowl with some added protein. Need some ideas? I have 50 healthy breakfast recipes right here.
I avoid gluten, dairy, and heavy carbs since these are all more difficult to digest. I want to have energy and clear thinking throughout the day and it’s not going to happen if my body is still trying to process breakfast.
See how your mind, body, and spirit feel after practicing these 5-morning rituals. Feel free to adapt these practices, adding in more of what feels extra good and less of what isn’t working for you. Then see how your day becomes more balanced and productive.
What’s your morning ritual for a balanced and productive day?
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