We’ve all been there; your alarm goes off and you hit the snooze button three times.
If you do it one more time, you’re going to be late.
You’re up. You’re rushing through your morning, getting super stressed in traffic and then waiting for your coffee-to-go. When you finally do make it to work, you can’t find a parking spot. Before you’ve even reached your office your nerves are on edge.
Does this sound familiar? Life doesn’t go as planned. But manic mornings can be avoided if you give yourself a little more time and space. How?
Here’s a key: don’t leave it up to your brain to make responsible choices each morning. It isn’t going to happen! Instead, use the power of a morning ritual. A morning ritual is something you commit to ahead of time, not in the moment. By making your plans when you’re not under stress, you can avoid making bad choices when you are.
How can you expect to wake up feeling rested and ready if you stayed up all night?
Your morning ritual starts with what you do the night before. To avoid waking up groggy and tired, turn off your phone at a reasonable hour and try some gentle exercise and breathing before bed.
Put a self-development book next to your bed, and read a page every night. Leave your phone on the other side of the room, rather than within arm’s reach. Where you put things has a big impact on what you end up doing with them.
Sometimes limiting your choices is the best way to stick to a healthy routine. Eliminate junk food and unhealthy snacks from your cupboard. That way, you won’t be tempted to snack on something salty or sugary late at night when it could disrupt your sleep. Sometimes less really is more.
Making a solid self-care routine is not about making to-do lists. It’s about committing to a new way of acting. If you’re constantly negotiating with yourself about what you’ll do, it’s hard to change.
When you decide on non-negotiable parts of your routine, you start to utilize the power of your brain. How come?
By deciding that something is non-negotiable, you’re telling your brain that doing it is more important than being comfortable. And that’s the key. Your brain recognizes when you’re not choosing instant gratification. When comfort doesn’t rule your choices, you’ll feel that your will power is growing.
Here’s one of the simplest ways to make something non-negotiable: tell other people about it. Get someone to check you on it. Yes, telling people about your plans puts pressure on you, but that’s the point.
It’s much easier to give up on something when you’re the only person who knows. So talk about your routine! Tell people you really want to make it happen. Let them help you to succeed.
Want another way to make something non-negotiable? Invest in it. Join a group exercise class. Sign up for a series of coaching sessions. Invest in a diet program or someone to help set up your meals for the next week. Sure, you might feel like “what if I don’t utilize the things I’ve paid for? Won’t I feel bad?” Well, again, that pressure is the point!
Still, a morning ritual shouldn’t feel like work. It should feel like you’re getting closer to your goal. Get yourself fired up by imagining what benefits you’ll receive when you follow through. Picture the changes in full. Set yourself up for success with a clear vision.
One of the best ways to jumpstart your energy in the morning is with mindful exercise! According to The National Center for Biotechnology exercise enhances cognitive function, meaning you’ll be able to better handle those daily decisions, remember people’s names, and not lose your keys.
Among many different exercises, Brain Wave Vibration (BWV) and Dahnjon Tapping are two of Body & Brain Yoga’s specialized practices. These can be done together or separately. Here’s how:
1. Sit comfortably with your legs crossed and back straight. Relax your neck and shoulders.
2. Close your eyes and begin to gently move your head left to right. As you find your rhythm, you can gradually increase your speed. Relax into the movement and you’ll begin to feel a sense of connection and centeredness
3. Make light fists and tap on your Dahnjon (lower abdomen) with both hands. This will help to strengthen your core, circulate energy, and develop awareness.
4. After 1-3 minutes, stop and exhale deeply three times. Experience the sensation of energy “moving” in your brain
5. This “flow state” will leave you feeling more relaxed, clear-minded and refreshed
You don’t have to have a perfect morning for it to be productive. Take the pressure off yourself and flow into a routine that works for YOU. A morning ritual looks different for everyone, but remember that consistency is key to implementing healthy habits.