New year, new beginnings & the perfect time to discover new ways to enrich your mind & body. Now I know this sounds a bit 'hippy' but stay with me on this. I'm a big believer that in order to be truly healthy inside & out, you need to have a healthy mindset as well as good nutrition & daily exercise. After all, it doesn't matter how clean your diet is if you are stressed out all of the waking hours. does it?
What better way to achieve a healthy, happy mindset than to start your day with positive rituals. I know if my day starts 'properly' I have a positive outlook on life, my mental attitude is stronger & happier. Now, that's not to say it doesn't go a bit awry later on depending upon what the rest of the day holds in store but it does mean I'm in a stronger mental frame of mind in which to tackle whatever the day does throw at me.
Therefore I'm sure you'll agree it would be nice if we all had positive morning rituals that would set the tone for the day and start it off right? I'm going to tell you exactly how to transform your morning
The night before your next workday, make sure you have a few things in order. Decide what you’re going to wear the next day. You don’t need to lay it out, but at least have an idea in mind so you aren’t standing in front of your wardrobe stressing about outfits (and wasting at least ten minutes of your time). Next, pack all of your necessities, such as your laptop or paperwork into your bag This will also save you time and will prevent a potentially disastrous situation, like walking all the way to the train station and realising you forgot your ticket and now you are running very late. Lastly, if you usually bring your lunch to work, prepare it ahead of time and have it ready so you can simply grab it and go the next day. I write a meal plan at the weekend for the following week, planning what to buy & batch cook.
Get up early.
I know, I know, this isn’t ideal, but if you get up with the time needed to actually do your make-up, style your hair and eat breakfast without running around like the Tasmanian Devil, you will feel calm, cool, collected and ready to tackle the day when you finally arrive at the office. I’m not saying you need to get up at the crack of dawn on a daily basis, but allow yourself enough time to get ready without too much fuss.
I'm not talking full on crossed legs & chanting. I'm yet to be able to achieve a calm mind through this method of meditation. I'm talking about being present in the moment. At any given moment and for any duration of your choosing. For example, while you are eating your breakfast in the morning, take a couple of slow deep breaths; enjoy your food not just for the taste, but also for the smell and texture. When your mind begins to wander on the upcoming “to-dos,” refocus your attention. What you’re actually doing is practising your ability to be aware of the “here and now.”
I know what you’re thinking. How can you possibly fit in a workout before work? The truth is if you’re dedicated to living a balanced lifestyle, sometimes you have to put in a little extra effort. All you need is thirty minutes! Whether that’s thirty minutes of cardio on one day, or a thirty-minute session of circuit training or resistance on another, those thirty minutes can set the tone for the day ahead. Not only does early morning exercise jump start your metabolism, it also awakens the mind, increases your energy level and helps regulate your sleep patterns. So once you get into the routine of fitting in a gym session, your body will adjust and it won’t be so much of a struggle. Plus, it feels amazing knowing you already hit the gym before your co-workers even have their morning coffee.
Now that you’ve had a chance to eat some breakfast, meditate, hit the gym and get ready with plenty of time, while you’re on your way to the office, create a mental (or physical) list of goals for the day. This will make you aware of tasks to be done and will ensure that your day continues on a productive path.
Although some of these changes may not seem realistic or sustainable, practice makes perfect. If someone had said to me two years ago I would be rising at 5.30am to make it to the gym on a cold & frosty dark January morning I would have laughed out loud, but I do & I love it. I love the routine, and the happy boost I get post workout. I love eating breakfast feeling that I earned it, dressing in an outfit I already put together in my minds eye & know it works. I love packing my lunch just before I leave for my morning commute knowing that when I get to work I have a tasty filling, nutritious meal to look forward to.
Make your morning rituals a non negotiable part of your daily routine. The more you adhere to these positive changes, the more likely they will become second nature.