Whether you are a morning person or not, leaving the comfort of your bed could seem like a daunting task on most days. A few established morning rituals might just be what your body needs.
In this article I include ten easy-to-do morning rituals that can be incorporated in your routine with very little effort but they leave you with bright mornings and much brighter days. All of these rituals have been tried and practiced by me for an extended length of time and I vouch for them. Your morning schedule could be a combination of 3-4 activities listed below, some daily while others maybe twice or thrice-weekly activities. My suggestion is to start out by picking 1-2 activities for each morning and expanding from there.
- Wake up early, don’t hit the snooze button. After you hit the snooze and go back to sleep, the brain starts the sleep cycle all over again. Now when the alarm goes off a second time, it is likely that you are in an even deeper sleep so you then wake up feeling even worse than you did the first time. So to avoid that grogginess in the mornings, get up and leave the bed the first time your alarm goes off.
- Stretch. An early morning stretch is the best way to get rid of achy and tight muscles and to give your body that instant boost of energy to keep sluggishness at bay for the entire day. Here’s a simple early morning stretch routine. But as always, seek help from an experienced trainer before you start and respect the limits of your body to safeguard yourself from injuries.
- Listen to the sounds of nature or your favourite music. I find that going for an early morning walk is the best way to wake up my senses. Try to do this before the early morning rush of traffic and the chaos takes over the birdsongs. Another way to brighten the morning is listening to your favourite tunes. The simple act of listening to music while you drink your morning cup of coffee or take a shower can do wonders to your mood. If you think you do not have time for this, cut down on the screen time. You can catch up on the news later.
- Drink a glass of warm lemon water. Before your coffee, reach out for a lukewarm glass of water with a slice of lemon in it. According to Ayurveda, the lukewarm water stimulates the gastrointestinal tract and peristalsis while lemon aids in loosening AMA or toxins from the digestive tract.
- Scrape your tongue. Scraping the tongue is another Ayurvedic ritual. According to Ayurveda, the morning tongue fuzz is a sign of undigested AMA or toxins in the digestive tract. Use a metal or plastic tongue scraper gently scraping your tongue from back to front 7-14 times to cover the entire area. Not only does this gets rid of the undigested toxins, it also awakens the taste buds.
- Green smoothie. We do not recommend replacing your breakfast with a green smoothie, although some of us are guilty of that. The leafy greens in your smoothie, which can be spinach, kale or anything else provide phytonutrients, fibre and minerals. To get maximum benefits, blend together some seasonal diced fruits, the leafy greens, chia or flax seeds, and some yogurt, water or juice.
- Jump on the spot or on a trampoline. Just lightly bouncing on the spot or jumping on the trampoline helps in lymph movement and drainage. Target to do around 100 bounces and when you finish, you will feel happier, firmer and lighter. This works every muscle in your body – legs, core and upper body.
- Dry brush your body. Choose a good exfoliating brush made from natural fibres and before you shower, dry brush your body with strokes towards your heart. This is a wonderful way to improve your circulation and slough off dead skin cells.
- Meditate or just “be still”. You do not need to sit in lotus pose and chant away for an hour. Just try to spend a few minutes sitting comfortably in silence without any distractions. Controlled thoughts and a positive attitude in the morning leads to lesser amounts of stress during the day. Discard the negative thoughts, discard the worries when you meditate. Work on keeping your mind on the bigger picture rather than nit-picking and getting caught up in small issues. If you want more positives in your life, focus on the positives that you already have. You will be amazed at the number of new positives that magically appear in your life by doing so. The same works for negativities, make your choice wisely.
- Make a to-do list. After you meditate, take a pen and a paper and make a to-do list of 5 most important goals that you need to achieve for the day. On the onset, writing down 5 goals everyday might seem a bit difficult, achieving them more so. But try to be persistent. If you forget to write a goal which you remember later, it’s because it wasn’t all that important and something else with bigger importance has taken its place. Do not edit and re-edit your list during the day.
The way you start your morning can affect your whole day. Begin with a sense of calmness, coolness of emotions and a smile.