What's the first thing you do when you open your eyes in the morning? If you said reach for your phone, you're not alone! 61% of people reach for their smartphones within 5 minutes of waking up. This includes checking messages, social media, and emails. Just think, you haven't even opened your beautiful eyes for more than 5 minutes and you're already bombarded with to-dos and falling into the trap of FOMO (fear of missing out). Even more than affecting how you feel personally, studies have found that your mood in the morning actually impacts your productivity even hours later.
So to help you fight the itch to reach for your phone, here are 9 things to do instead:
- Breathe. Yes, I know you are already breathing, but I mean mindfully! Practice taking 5 long deep, breaths, holding for about 5 seconds, and exhaling slowly and deeply before opening your eyes. Tip: We love doing 5-10 minutes of Pranayam before getting out of bed, though I have to admit we haven't been the best at keeping up with it since the holidays. But when we do, it helps us to feel calm and more alert.
- Meditate, Visualize and Set Intentions. Meditate. Take a moment to tune in and focus on the internal. Let your breath take you in. Visualize how you want your day to be and set intentions that align with those feelings. Starting the morning off with positive images and thoughts, rather than emails or social media, helps set the tone for the day and aligns us with what we wish to feel and achieve. Tip: Imagine your intentions as vividly as possible and feel the joy you'd feel if they were already manifested.
- Oil Pull. We've recently added this into our morning routine and our mouths feel amazing! Our teeth are brighter (even our dentist noticed) and our gums feel healthier. It took me some time to get used to the feeling of warm coconut oil in my mouth, but after experiencing the results, it's easy as brushing my teeth :) Simply swish a spoon of organic coconut oil in your mouth for 10 minutes and rinse well. Tip: If 10 minutes feels like a lot, start with 3, then 5 and work your way up.
- Read or Write. Imagine if we started each day by reading something that inspires us. A quote. A few pages from our favorite book. Or even writing what's in our hearts. Whatever it may be, starting your day with something inspirational will help motivate you and fuel your passions. Tip: Practice free writing and tap into your inner wisdom.
- Look Out the Window. Nature is truly magnificent and has the ability to calm and inspire us. Before reaching for your phone, look out the window and enjoy the beauty that surrounds you. Whatever it may be: sunshine, blue skies, clouds, trees, flowers, birds, take a moment to soak it all in. It's good for your mood and mental health. Tip: If you're really feeling inspired, take a short walk or enjoy your breakfast outside.
- Take a Moment to Be Grateful. Nothing makes us feel more blessed than gratitude. Whether it's for waking up in a warm, cozy bed, for the people in your life or something you get to do that day, take a moment to practice gratitude for all that you truly have. Tip: Allow yourself to fully soak in the energy of the things that make you feel blessed, and know that you can draw on that energy throughout your day simply by closing your eyes and taking a moment to remember.
- Stretch Your Body. What do all animals do when they wake up? They stretch their limbs and move their bodies. Why? Because it feels good (and, it's good for you!). Lying in bed all night can stiffen our muscles so doing a quick stretch, or better yet some yoga, help get the body flowing and ready for the day. Tip: If you're short on time in the mornings, doing one or two simple Surya Namaskars (Sun Salutations) is a great way to engage all of your muscles in one go.
- Enjoy a Cup of Mindful Tea. Or warm water with lemon and honey. Or coffee. Or whatever you enjoy! The point is to take your time and really savor the experience. Tip: Close your eyes and feel the warm liquid energizing and soothing your body with every sip.
- Kiss Your Loved Ones. Obviously, I saved the best for last. There's nothing better than starting your day with a hug, kiss or snuggle from someone you Love. Tip: You don't have to have a spouse for this one. Hug your family, your pet, yourself! Yes, you can wrap your arms around yourself and squeeze tightly and it counts as a hug. Go on, try it :) The takeaway here is to start your day with a physical expression of Love because let's be honest, there's nothing more beautiful than Love.
Love + Light,
P.S. How do you begin your day? I'd love to learn your morning rituals in the comments below!