Do your mornings look something like this?
Wake up, power on the phone (if it was even turned off while sleeping), boot up the laptop and dive into the world of emails, text messages and phone calls before even fully waking up? Maybe, just maybe, you put on the coffee before you fire up all of your machines. The day is started in stress-mode and it never improves from there. You move through your day in a technological fog, feeling emotionally scattered, like you just aren’t able to focus and are downright irritable.
You’re not alone. I am guilty of setting myself up for a stress-filled day like this more often that I would like to admit. However, I have figured out practices to implement in my mornings that make them feel much more calm and relaxed, most of the time.
We don’t have to start our days feeling like a mad woman especially when there are other options and these other options leave us feeling WAY better throughout our day, guaranteed. As a matter of fact, doing the opposite and avoiding the inclination to grab the phone and boot up the laptop will send you dancing through your work day (likely) stress-free altogether.
Disclaimer: This is a practice.
Let’s not be too hard on ourselves if we don’t get it right every single day, emergencies do happen. Technology is an incredible thing and while I totally love it for all of the convenience and connection that it provides, it can be addictive. It takes time to train the brain and the body with a new practice, so know that it may take several successive attempts at implementing the “don’t-jump-on-your-iPhone” program before it fully sticks.
So, what can we replace our technologically saturated mornings with then? I’m going to share five ritual ideas and practices to nourish the mind, body and spirit. These are things that can be done after waking and before turning on all the devices for the day.
(Note: For those who need to go into an office to work, this may require setting aside a little extra time before heading out the door.)
1. Get your meditation on.
One way that I love starting the day before diving into anything else is with meditation. I usually sit in silence with my eyes closed for 5-10 minutes in front of my altar for my meditation. It really doesn’t need to be complicated, it could be as simple as sitting in a comfortable spot at home with eyes closed while breathing deeply. Also, it’s okay if the mind is chattering, this happens to everyone, you will train yourself to feel more calm with practice.
Try focusing solely on the breath if your mind is busy, as this will help to bring more peace and oxygenate your cells! The key is taking time to get centered before beginning the day, and if you want set a timer for the amount of time you’d like to meditate for.
2. Sacralize your space.
I really enjoy burning incense and beeswax candles in the morning after I finish my meditation. It creates such a luscious home environment, as if it single handedly turns my home-temple into a sacred Priestess’ lair. That is how I see it at least!
Not only will your space smell nice, but burning beeswax candles releases natural ions into the air, so the air you are breathing is being cleaned too! Whatever can be done to make your space feel homey, comfortable and sacred in the morning – do it!
3. Move that sexy body of yours.
We are human animals and we need to move our bodies! I think this is the most important of my morning rituals. It is 100% non-negotiable for me because I feel so incredible after I have busted out a badass functional fitness routine, stretched out with some yoga, or shook it all out with some dancing. I also enjoy pushing myself just past my edge of what is comfortable and I often do this through movement.
Whether it is testing myself with a challenging exercise routine or dancing ecstatically in a class with other people, it feels good to start my day having proven to myself that I can stretch a little more into my vast potential. It is so great to get our blood moving first thing in the morning, to sweat, and to just be active.
Not only does exercise offer us a myriad of health benefits that is far too long to list here, I think it also evens us out emotionally and clears our heads mentally.
4. Concoct divinely delicious beverages for yourself.
Now this is a totally fun part of the morning. I love crafting up yummy drinks to start my day with. I’m not a big “breakfast right after I wake up” kind of person, so I enjoy making blended drinks to consume first.
My current favorite morning drinks are (local/organic) goat kefir smoothies with frozen berries and turmeric lemonade. There are so many different possibilities for what can be made here, I like to make one drink that gets my system revved up (i.e. turmeric lemonade) and one drink that is more satiating (i.e. goat kefir smoothie).
Making a pot of herbal tea to drink throughout the day is another great way to go, which I also love to make in the mornings. My current favorite herbal tea drink is dandelion root, burdock root and yellow dock root decocted in spring water, and then blended with a few tabs of butter, a teaspoon of vanilla, and stevia to taste.
5. Anoint yourself with sacred libations.
While everything listed above is totally pleasureful to do, one of my favorite ways to gift myself pleasure each day is to rub myself down with incredible natural oils. I wash my face each morning with Living Libations most magnificent product Seabuckthorn Best Skin Ever. I enjoy lathering my body in coconut oil after I shower, taking the time to massage my body a little bit as I go, and always taking the time to do a little breast massage to keep the boobies healthy!
I love covering myself in sensually scented botanical perfumes, like Living Libations Poetic Pits and Amrita Aromatic’s stunning collection of plant-based perfumes. The best resource I can offer for acquiring a wide array of incredible skin care products is Living Libations. They make everything from shaving cream, to body oils, to lip gloss… The list is endless. Oh, and their products are made with entirely organic and/or wild-crafted ingredients. Their products are fit for Queens and Kings. Get them and thank me later (I’m slightly obsessed).
Make these practices non-negotiable.
If it means letting your loved ones know in advance that you will be unavailable until (insert chosen time here), do it! Explain that you are taking care of yourself people will understand. If you have children, perhaps you could designated a sacred space in your home to do your self-care practices each morning during a set period of time.
Make it realistic for your lifestyle.
It doesn’t need to be hours upon hours of self-care every morning, carve out whatever time feels feasible. Doing some or all of these things each morning will leave you in a much more centered state of mind with a sense of connected well-being throughout your day
Now it’s your turn!
Action is everything when it comes to making changes in your lifestyle. Tell us at least two things in the comments that you are going to do for yourself each morning before you dive into the world of technology and social media. Do you already have an awesome morning ritual laid out for yourself? Share with us what it looks like in the comments below!
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editorial Assistant Lauryn DeGrado/Editor: Bryonie Wise
Photo: elephant archives
hot on elephant
The 4 Stages of a Good Divorce. A Letter to my Children: You do not come from a Broken Home. These People are Rare Gems—Keep Them, Fight for Them, don’t Give Up on Them. Mom, can I Call her Mom, Too? Jon Stewart makes first appearance since retiring—”it’s not your country.” Waylon shares 10 transformingly beautiful Quotes about Love. My Marriage had to End—for my Life to Begin. 40 Things I’ve Learned in 40 Years. Why your Yoga Goals are (Probably) Irrelevant, if not Downright Dangerous. The Day I Stopped Running.