I was recently chatting to a friend about how, if we keep our core strong (not only our stomach muscles but our actual “inner strength core”) when it comes to who we are as a person, then it doesn’t matter what is going on in our external world, our inner world should be able to remain calm and at peace.
I described our self-care practices like a tranquil island that can always stay consistent, calming, and safe, no matter what stormy weather is happening around it.
We should always be able to sit within our little island and retreat to it whenever we need to feel safe.
In my opinion, the most effective way to build this self-island of tranquillity is to start with a morning routine. This is the perfect time to practice some self-care.
Morning is my very favourite time of day. I am the archetypal morning lark and can honestly say that I do not need to hit snooze on my alarm, even on a day off work, as soon as my eyes are open, I can step out of bed quite freely to begin my day.
Early mornings for me are about delicious stillness. They are for me and me alone, especially in the silence when the others are still asleep. There are no expectations in the morning space, I can use it purely for my own practice of self-care indulgence.
If you need some inspiration for your own morning routine, I have given you an example of mine below and I can honestly say that if done consistently, it can be life changing.
After rising at 5.30am, I now have a rule that I do not look at my phone for social media, messages, or emails for at least an hour on waking.
By doing this simple thing has reduced my racing thoughts which in the past has often led to an anxious mind during the day. If you find that your mind turns on at full speed ahead in the morning, perhaps try doing the same. Give yourself time to be in the moment and walk to a slower pace, which you should hopefully continue throughout the day.
If you are unfamiliar with Ayurveda, I would highly recommend that it is something you read up on to learn more. In a nutshell, ayurveda is one of the world’s oldest, holistic whole body healing systems which originated in India.
Ayurveda explains that we each fall into one of three different body-type constitutions, Vata, Pitta or Kapha. Once you understand what your dosha is, you can understand what the imbalances your body (more than likely) has. The core root of ayurvedic philosophy is that our digestion is absolutely key to sustaining a healthy and disease-free life.
The first thing I do in the morning is clean my teeth and scrap my tongue, which is common practice in Ayurvedic tradition. During our sleep time, toxins rise into your mouth (as the body heals) and layers on the tongue, this is called “Agni”. The point of tongue scrapping is to take the agni away to help eliminate toxins in the system.
Once I am downstairs and I’ve made a cup of herbal tea, I take some time to journal, just a paragraph or two. It is a good way to start the day, with some intentions and journaling allows reflection time, especially on any dreams you may have had the night before. Dreams can be incredibly symbolic and helpful with messages for us from the subconscious.
Ten minutes of meditation follows which I have now come to really enjoy. I find sitting upright on a chair provides the best intention for meditation, and sometimes I am surprised how quickly the minutes fly by.
After my meditation I then pull out my yoga mat for around twenty-minutes of vinyasa flow. I’ve been following Adrienne from You Tube and thoroughly enjoy this practice, even on the days when I feel less motivated with low energy, by the end of my practice I feel grounded and ready to start my day.
As I follow as much as an Ayurvedic practice as possible with my diet, my breakfast normally contains poached fruit with a different morning grain, currently its either Pearl Barley or Amaranth (an ancient nutty grain that makes a delicious morning porridge!). This is mixed with my seasonal spice mix for my dosha (like cinnamon, turmeric, nutmeg and cloves) and oat milk with some coconut milk for sweetness.
The benefits of a morning routine
Here are just a few of the benefits of incorporating a consistent morning routine into your schedule;
- It will without doubt, increase your productivity.
- You will have a sense of being in control and that you do have “time’. This will take away any stress that will undoubtably build if you rush out of bed with no structure to the morning.
- Developing a healthy habit with one aspect of your life makes it easier to slip in new ones….
- You will feel shaper, calmer and at ease. This will in turn improve your relationships, as stress from you may trigger stress from others around you and vice versa, you will be more equipped to handle other people’s stress.
All the above benefits have been working for me. There will be some days that I do not have the energy to carry out a full routine (for example I have been battling a flu bug recently, so I did not do the Yoga). But even just sitting, with a warm drink and a book is a wonderful way to start the day.
Treat the day like it’s going to be your friend, believe that time is always on your side (it is) and that there is no need to stress, fuss or rush. Just by doing this, you walk to the beat of your own drum, and you can handle the stuff that life likes to throw at us sometimes.
Until next time,
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With brightest blessings,