In a world of 40-hour work weeks and traffic jams, mornings can be pretty hectic. We may find ourselves rushing every morning to get to work or get kids to school. We may even find ourselves doing our makeup in the car during rush hour because we're just that rushed.
When we start our days with such a hectic and rushed routine, we're making ourselves start our days stressed out and overwhelmed. And, frankly, who really wants that? So here are five easy morning rituals that will reduce stress and overwhelm:
#1 -- Wake up at least 30 minutes earlier than you usually do
If you normally wake up about an hour before you need to be out the door, then maybe add on an extra half and hour. If you normally wake up less than that, then you may want to try to add on more than a half hour.
Our weekdays can be pretty stressful as it is, so we certainly don't want to make it more stressful for ourselves by rushing every single morning. So try to give yourself some extra time in the morning so that you have more time to get ready and do more things for you and your own health and well-being.
And if you're concerned about getting enough sleep, then be sure give yourself more time to at night to wind down and go to bed... it is possible!
#2 -- Swap the coffee for a green smoothie
Many of us depend on coffee for our morning energy fix. Though there can be a nice ritual around the process of brewing coffee, such as the smell of coffee beans or the flavor, coffee alone doesn't give us the vitamins and minerals that our body really needs (and no, a morning bagel or donut doesn't make it much better). Eating leafy greens, fruits and veggies first thing in the morning is a much healthier option.
So grab your blender and make yourself a green smoothie. If you're in need of recipes, I'm currently obsessed with Kris Carr's new book Crazy Sexy Juice for all my smoothie and juice recipes, so you may want to check that out.
#3 -- Take a moment to really breathe some fresh air
There's something magical about the crisp morning air that, once you stop and take a moment to appreciate it, can be extremely calming and grounding. So before you rush out the door, take some time to open a window or step outside on to your porch and deck. Take a few conscious breaths and allow yourself to take in and enjoy the beauty of the morning.
#4 -- Write!
Our dream life is a world within us that we tend to neglect. While we may remember a dream that was very charged for us for days later, most of the time we completely forget them. This is unfortunate because our dreams are a bridge to our unconscious world. When we take time to acknowledge our dreams, we allow ourselves to become more consciously aware of our thoughts, feelings and experiences that may have either repressed, forgotten about, or was never really aware of.
So upon waking, take a couple minutes to write down something that came up in your dreams. It may be a lot of material or it may be only an image or two. Even if you can't write down anything about a dream, take a few minutes to free write about any thoughts that you have lingering in your mind upon waking.
Taking this time to write first thing in the morning, helps us to process our inner world. By putting those thoughts, feelings and images out on to the paper we are making the internal experience less charged for ourselves. Making this kind of activity a morning ritual, can be beneficial in reducing things like anxiety, depression, stress and so on in our waking lives over time.
#5 -- Move your body
While those of us that are early birds may morning jog to start our day, it doesn't always work for everybody. However, it is still highly beneficial to do some kind of movement first thing in the morning.
So take a few minutes to stretch and walk around. If you're a yogi, maybe you can do a few sun salutations. If not, maybe you'd want to walk around your house or apartment before going to work. Do whatever you feel called to do, but be sure to give yourself time move.
When it comes to your morning routine remember this: How we start our mornings sets the foundation for the rest of our day. So if we start our mornings stressed and rushed, then we're likely going to be stressed the rest of the day. Remember to slow down, take a few breaths, and do things for you so that you can feel happier and healthier.
Out of the rituals listed, which are you going to start doing for yourself this week? Share it in the comments below!
Jennifer is a self and relationship coach, writer, and teacher. She is the founder of JenniferTwardowski.com and the creator of Ignite Love from Within: Meditations to Create Relationships and a Life Filled with Love, click here for a free meditation from the album. Her mission is to help women create loving relationships with both others and themselves. Click here for her Free Self and Relationship Healing Meditation and weekly blog updates. To learn about how you can work with her, click here.