Balance, Wellness

4 Ways to Start the Morning Off Right

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During the cold winter months it can be tough to get up and out of bed in the morning. Who loves getting out from under warm covers and shivering until you jump into the shower?

Getting enough sleep is, of course, the first step to making waking up a bit easier.  Mostly the focus around sleep is creating a ritual to signal your body its time for bed.  But it’s equally important to create a ritual for when you wake up.  How you spend the first couple minutes of day can dictate how you feel, what your mood is like for the rest of the morning, and continue to affect you long after you have woken up. Taking the time to set your mind, body and belly before tackling your to-do list can set you up to feel great and maybe even increase your productivity (!).

Here are three tricks that have helped me get up and start the day on a positive note.

1.  Meditate.  My new year resolution was to mediate for 10 minutes every day.  Over the past 2 months I have experimented with where, when and how I meditate the best.  The answer is: in bed as soon as I wake up.  Taking the first ten minutes of your day to listen to your body and your breath sets you up to feel connected all day long.  As soon as my alarm goes off, I sit up, make my self comfortable with pillows, set a timer and meditate.  Although it did not start this way, I look forward to those first ten minutes of tuning in and don’t want to start my day any other way.

3 Ways to Start Your Morning Off Right

If you don’t already have an established meditation practice, try starting with deep breathing. Breathe deeply through your nose for 5 slow counts, hold your breath for 5, and slowly exhale for 5. As you tune into your breathing, focus on how your breath moves from your nose all the way to your solar plexus (chakra located around your navel) and then back up to your third eye, between your eyebrows. You can also simultaneously meditate upon a mantra or your intention for the day.

2. After my 10 minutes of mediation are up, I spend a few minutes doing some yoga.  Depending on how I feel, this can also happen in bed.  After a few twists, cat and cow pose and forward fold, my body has caught up with my mind and is awake and ready to go.

Morning Yoga Cow Pose

3. What always encourages myself to get out of bed is the promise of a treat.  By treat I mean a delicious smoothie, a latte or a mug of green tea. Breakfast is always something I look forward to.  Taking the time in the morning to fuel your body or get a little kick of caffeine can be a great motivator. (Don’t know what to make for breakfast? Check out our vegan breakfast recipes!)

3 Ways to Start Off the Morning Right

4. Developing an adorning ritual that you enjoy can be a great way not only to get out of bed in time but to also start the day right. If you have a killer mascara that makes you feel dolled up, glam and feminine, or a shower gel that smells so delicious and invigorating, use them to put yourself in the mood! And in the shower, do a body scan to check in with your body while you wash, noticing any aches or pains, whether you need extra TLC for any scrapes or soreness. Taking the time to care for your body is a reminder of your self-care and nurture at the most visible level. Show yourself some love in the morning, and you’ll feel that energy throughout the day.

All of my tricks to start the morning off right are what works for me, but that doesn’t mean they’re what has to work for you.  Take some time over the next few morning to see how you feel when you wake up.

Do you have any favorite tips, breakfast recipes, or meditation techniques that help you not only get out of bed but also have a great morning and day? 

 Also by Nina:  5 Tips for Meditation from a Yoga Teacher

Related: 10 Ways to Become a Morning Person

Yoga in Bed for Gentle Waking

Morning Yoga for Energy

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Photo: lillie kate via Flickr; Mary Hood; Kevin Morris via Flickr

Nina Roberts

Nina Roberts

Contributor at Peaceful Dumpling
Nina Roberts currently lives in Chicago and works as a yoga teacher while working towards her master's degree in Public Health. She writes about food, fitness, and fun on her blog,Basic Three.
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