Even as I wrote the title of this blog, nothing feels simple about a morning routine to me. Although after years of practicing it, I know how important it is. Practicing intention for the first moments upon awakening can set our attitude for the remainder of the day.
I’ve released high expectations because nothing is routine with two young kids in tow. I believe morning routines can uplift us and sometimes simplifying our routines makes it easier for consistency.
I’m big into habit stacking. What is habit stacking you may ask? “It’s a technique where you form new habits by pairing a new desired behavioral change with, on, or following an already existing behavior you routinely do (making coffee or showering) — or something that routinely happens in your day (your alarm going off or the kids coming home from school)” –everydayhealth.com.
The first non negotiable thing I’ve made habitual is to hydrate with 32 oz of water before breakfast. Along with that, I’ll intentionally add breathing exercises, gratitude practice, movement outside (or inside) and cold showers. These are a few ideas as everybody’s morning routine varies, but the challenge is to try different things and find what works for you. I love and have been studying the Wim Hoff method of breathing, but it’s great to practice pranayama on other days. Practicing gratitude is usually stacked with breathing as I focus on all the many blessings I have. I moved my spin bike outside to face the east so I can watch the sunrise on days when I can get on my bike. I also love taking my dog for a walk in the early morning. There’s so much serenity and peace at sunrise. It feels like a reset to my circadian clock and is a beautiful way to connect with nature. When it’s too cold for a full cold shower, I like a cold blast at the end. It’s been a practice I’ve gradually worked in and deep breathing can help facilitate the cold as well. I thought the idea of cold showers making me happier was nuts in the beginning. How could the freezing cold, which I hate, be such a wise teacher? But after reading so many studies about how it can improve your mental and physical health I took the plunge, slowly increasing my cold shower time up to a few minutes. I emerge ready to face any challenge the day may present with less anxiety.
Though still not every morning goes as I’d like it to. So many nights my kids have kept me awake for various reasons and the morning can just consist of a little stretching, a few rounds of deep intentional breathes, gratitude and always, water.
I’m interested to hear about your morning routine and what gets you motivated in the morning. I’m naturally an early riser, so how do you wake up if that’s not the case? Next week I’d love to speak more in depth about movement and how that’s evolved in my life.
Lots of love.