Wouldn't it be amazing if every day started with the cool sand between your toes, the gentle sound of the ocean waves, the smell of the salt air and a colorful sky from the rising sun!
Instead, maybe the day begins rolling over in bed, hitting the snooze alarm, then opening up email or social media on the phone and rushing out the door all while the news is playing in the background on the television.
Which way would you rather start your day?
I hear you.....we don't live in the Caribbean, so the first option is only available when we're vacationing someplace tropical. However, the second option doesn't have to be the way to start your day.
How you begin your day can set the tone for the rest of your day. So why not start your day in as peaceful a manner as possible so as to give yourself the best chance possible for responding favorably to the day's stressors? Try one or more (or all!) of these things below.
1. Breathe. After you get out of bed (and after you use the bathroom), sit someplace quietly and breathe. Notice the rhythm of your breath. Notice where it's landing in your body. Notice if any areas of your body feel like they need to be stretched or moved. Take a few minutes to tap into how you're breathing and how you're feeling.
2. Meditate. I hear this all the time....meditation is hard. At times it is hard, and sometimes it's uncomfortable. That being said, there are no bad meditations. Each meditation session, whether it feels super calming or incredibly busy-minded, is beneficial. A 10 minute guided meditation from apps like Headspace and Calm can help clear your mind of distractions and improve your focus for the day.
3. Holding palm stones in your hands. When I sit and breathe or meditate, I really like holding stones in my hands. Specifically, I like placing a stone in the center of my palm, resting my middle finger on top of the stone and then relaxing the rest of my fingers. Doing so can stimulate an acupuncture point that is beneficial for calming anxiety. My favorite stones to hold are ocean jasper or Caribbean calcite, but even stones you find in your backyard can have a nice grounding effect.
4. Tea. A warm cup of tea in the morning can ease the damage from free radicals (think things that can damage cells and lead to diabetes, high blood pressure and other bad things), improve memory and boost metabolism. If you love your morning cup of coffee, that can have its own health benefits as well, provided your coffee isn't laden with creamers and sweeteners.
5. Connect with your pet. If you have a pet, spend a little time in the morning with them. Pets can give so much unconditional love, so why not start your day receiving that love? My cat Gizmo loves to chase a puff ball in the morning before he comes bounding over to the couch just as I'm about to sit down. My other cat Lucky likes to stretch his paws on either side of my neck as if he's hugging me.
6. Go outside. Even if it's chilly, bundle up and take some deep breaths of fresh air. Face towards the sun and let it shine on you. Listen to the sounds of the birds. Feel the breeze on your skin.
If you have at least 30 minutes to do these things, that's an amazing way to start your day, but even 10 or 15 minutes can make a big difference. And except for using apps like Headspace and Calm, keep your phone away from you. Those emails and social media posts will be there for you after you've given yourself this time in the morning to set yourself up for the best day possible.