Since I was little up until the end of my university years, I never used to be a morning person. I remember my poor mama singing to me every morning to wake me up during my first years at school. Then she got fed up and got me an alarm clock! I still remember it, it was a pink Minnie Mouse clock and although it annoyed me no end I used to love the way it looked. After I started working 9-5, waking up before 7 became my routine and I never slept in but still I can’t say I enjoyed waking up that early especially on a cold British morning. However, something shifted about 2 years ago and I actually stopped waking up just in time to shower and get ready to leave home and started enjoying waking up much earlier to take some time to myself to start the day calmly and in a good mood.
The U.K. summer also helps waking up early as the sun is shining in my room from 4 a.m. So these days I set my alarm at 5:45 and have added some steps in my morning routine that give me energy, prep my body for the day and put a smile on my face.
It might sound like an over used new age thing but meditation has really helped me put some ease to my overthinking mind, relax and be more mindful instead of stressing about things that haven’t happened yet and possibly never will. I meditate for 15 minutes every morning and I would like to increase that time on the weekend but I haven’t managed yet. Not every time I meditate is the same. Sometimes the resistance to let go is high and I spend most of the time trying to go back to my breath only to achieve this beautiful feeling of pure bliss the last 2 minutes before my alarm rings and I have to come out of the meditation. There are some other times though that after the first minute I feel my limbs starting melting until it feels like I don’t have arms or legs anymore and I’m so light, experiencing a euphoria that is very difficult to put into words. These are the times that I really hate it when my alarm rings. It’s similar to when you wake up suddenly from an amazing dream.
Of course I wasn’t sure how to meditate when I decided to give it a go. What helped me was the Headspace app. I did the 10 days’ trial to learn the meditation basics which were given in a very clear way. I particularly loved the little cartoon-type videos that came before every session explaining how meditation works for the mind. I didn’t subscribe as I felt that the guiding voice was interrupting me the times I was getting into deep meditation but my fiance has a monthly subscription and he really enjoys it.
On the days that I feel extra stressed I also add a few rounds of Nadi Shodana (alternate nostril breathing) to my morning meditation as this practice has an immediate calming and balancing effect to me. You can see how you can do it here.
Since I got sciatica I have been much more careful with how I treat my body making sure that I’m stretching it daily and not just after a workout (bit too late, I know). It feels so good giving it a good stretch first (well OK second!) thing in the morning. It’s makes the limbs long and flexible and preps the body for the day ahead. It’s the step I miss the most if I skip it as working in an office means that I then have to sit on a chair for the best part of 8 hours, so stiffness overload!
Step 2-Yoga Stretches
Since I got sciatica I have been much more careful with how I treat my body making sure that I’m stretching it daily and not just after a workout (bit too late, I know). It feels so good giving it a good stretch first (well OK second!) thing in the morning. It’s makes the limbs long and flexible and preps the body for the day ahead. It’s the step I miss the most if I skip it as working in an office means that I then have to sit on a chair for the best part of 8 hours, so stiffness overload! Most days I just follow my own routine but as I have mentioned before, I have also subscribed to the OneoEight yoga platform where I can find some great morning flows.
Now this is a step that I have to admit that I can’t commit to every morning. I am trying my best though! Lean Greens very kindly sent me their Super Greens Powder to try and review. Loaded with some amazing ingredients like Wheatgrass, Barley Grass, Spirulina, Chlorella, Alfalfa, Spinach, Broccoli, Carrot, Blackcurrant, Blueberry, Digestive Enzyme Blend, Green Tea Extract, Siberian Ginseng and Stevia Leaf this is wellness in a powder. If wellness tasted like spinach-flavour infused water that is! Yes you guessed it, I struggled with the taste. I tried to mix it with squash, with flavoured water, with whey powder but the taste was still there so any recommendations are welcome. Because you know what? The product is really good! It works wonders for bloating and whenever I drink it I feel energised all morning long and any food cravings are minimised. I really want to stick to drinking it every day and if you can persevere the taste then I totally recommend to give it a try!
I can hand to heart say that since I started journaling my mindset is the best it has ever been! Starting the day with writing down the things I’m grateful for, positive affirmations and my goals for the day ahead puts me in a positive mood and motivates me to stay positive and productive throughout my day. I love free-hand journaling but journals pre-formatted with prompts and questions are amazing too. Some of my favourite are the Daily Greatness journals so I just reordered the Daily Greatness Training Journal as it’s a great motivational tool not just for physical fitness but fitness of the mind too.
Step 5 – Delicious Breakfast
I try to never leave the house without having breakfast. If I do then I’ll have it at work-skipping it completely is never an option! But having breakfast quickly on my desk whilst reading my e-mails feels nothing like making a hearty, nutritious breakfast at home and enjoying leisurely every single bite. Now that the weather is hot I prefer something fresh for my breakfast so I usually go for some Greek yogurt with fruit, nuts and honey or with granola-I love Lizzi’s High Protein Granola.
Step 6-Brisk morning walk
One of the things I love the most about England is its parks and gardens. And I am lucky to live in an area where we have plenty of parks nearby and my neighbours’ gardens are floral masterpieces!
So my favourite thing is to take a 20-30 minutes walk around the neighbourhood before leaving to work, while listening to my favourite podcasts. Some of the podcasts I’m loving at the minute are: From the Heart conversations with Yoga Girl, Full Coverage Podcast with Lindsey Kelk and Harriet Hadfield, At Home With (so excited this is back on) with Anna Newton and Lily Pebbles and Breaking Beauty. The walk energises me and the podcasts inspire me so it’s a match made in heaven and the best start of my day!
What are your favourite morning routines?
Loads of Love,