Namaste Divine One,
Tired all the time?
Dread the morning?
Feel you don’t have time to really wake up, let alone time for a health breakfast?
Not a morning person?
Upgrade your morning to change the way you feel the rest of the day. Taking steps to improve your mornings will make the experience entirely more enjoyable and maybe you’ll start to look forward to the sacred alone time you will have.
Here are some steps to follow for an energizing morning:
- Morning pages + oil pulling.
- Created by Julia Cameron, author of The Artists Way and other classic books on creativity, morning pages are an exercise that will boost your creativity, calm and center your mind and help you take a roto-rooter to your consciousness. She explains the process here. While I’m still sleepy and possibly in the stage between sleep and wakefulness, I also write any dreams I can remember and a list of ten things I am grateful for from the previous day. Gratitude is especially crucial for long-term happiness and satisfaction with life.
- Oil pulling helps detox your body, improve oral health and will naturally whiten your teeth. The oil you use depends on your dosha. Here’s a thorough article written by my friend and colleague, Colin Schour, explaining the process and how to choose an oil.
- Warm: Lemon + raw apple cider vinegar water: before you have any caffeine, drink a mug of warm lemon water with a capful of raw, unfiltered, organic apple cider vinegar. This will alkalize your body and give you lots of energy! You can add a teaspoon of raw, organic honey at first if the taste is difficult for you.
- 10 sun salutations and deep breathing or meditation. Sun salutations are naturally heat building, preparing your digestive fires, or agni, for your morning meal. Deep breathing and meditation will help you prepare for the day ahead and keep you grounded and in tune with your inner wisdom. This practice alone, done daily, will change your life. Here’s a great intro to sun salutations with all the do’s and don’ts. The Australian Meditation Society has a podcast as well as free guided meditations to listen to here.
- Green smoothie: Ingredients prepped and put in blender the night before, ready to hit blend the next day. Green smoothies are one of the best ways to get more vegetables in, alkalize the body and help you transition your taste buds into more healthful eating. If you want to drink some tea here too, that’s great. I drink green tea almost every morning and usually leave it until after I’ve done all the above. I always recommend the book Superfood Smoothies by Julie Morris to my clients.
- Dress to impress: Never leave the house in sweats. Honor the fact that you are important and wonderful and the way people treat you will be in alignment with how you treat and present yourself. So if you wanted to be treated well by others, treat yourself well. Wake up your face with some mascara and a bit of makeup. Wear clothes (and underwear!) that make you feel pretty, confident and powerful. We are already all these things but sometimes we don’t feel that way so it’s great to fake it ‘til you make it on your off days.
Other things to consider: Don’t turn on music in the morning. Or try listening to something soft and uplifting if you can’t live without music. Allowing yourself, especially if waking up before dawn, to experience the unique peacefulness that exists in the morning will add meaning and depth to your day. In the yogic and Ayurvedic traditions, it is understood that the times before dawn and dusk are especially potent for spiritual practice because the mystical energies of the planet flow more heavily during those times. You can feel it.
If you can, try waking up earlier and going to bed earlier. This may require you to prioritize your day better because you know you don’t want to leave your most important tasks for the end of the day when you could be going to bed. Try it out and let me know how it goes!
Don’t forget the night before!
- Track your sleep cycle using my favorite app: Sleepytime (free) on phones or http://sleepyti.me/ on the computer. We naturally have 90-minute sleep cycles and if you wake up during one of them you are likely to feel very groggy. It’s best to aim for 5-6 sleep cycles. This will help you wake up feeling refreshed. I use this app every day and it’s so helpful!
- Write your to do list for the next day: This will help prep your brain for the day ahead and ensure you don’t waste time in the morning because you don’t have direction. I fold an 8.5×11 piece of paper in half three times and assign one day to each square. Then I choose two mission critical tasks that I will do before noon the next day and also write all the self care I want to take care of: yoga, meditation, exercise, practice Spanish, etc. I get significantly more done during the week doing this than if I have a huge list of things to do every day because I have to prioritize. If you have trouble prioritizing, the best resource I’ve found to date on the subject is The Four Hour Workweek by fellow San Franciscan, Tim Ferriss.
- Have a bedtime routine: Light a candle or some incense, play soft relaxing music, do a hot towel scrub (I add 100% Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade essential oils to the mix), turn off all blue light screens (computer, iPad, phone, TV, etc) at least 30 minutes before trying to fall asleep as they disrupt sleep cycles and make it harder to fall asleep. Avoid alcohol before bed as well as it also severely disrupts sleep. Keep alcohol to a minimum during the week and save it for special occasions.
- Try to wake up and go to sleep around the same time every day. This will help regulate you and studies show that when we wake up at the same time each day, we feel we have more energy.
If you struggle to wake up early enough, take a look at your routines- do you have one at all? Perhaps you have a harmful routine? How are you eating?
Do you eat gluten (often linked with grogginess and lethargy) or a significant amount of processed food? “Significant” can be subjective. To a health coach, eating processed food more than once a day is significant. And processed food is technically any food that has been altered from the way it was grown in the ground.
Diet is very often the culprit for why someone can’t fall asleep, stay asleep or wake up feeling refreshed and energized. Keeping a food journal can help you discover areas of improvement in your diet or lifestyle.
What are your favorite holistic daily routines? I would love to hear about them!
Like what you read? Then you’ll love Jenna’s seasonal 11 Day Whole Food DIY Detox that will help you establish healthy habits and routines around food, sleep, relationships and physical activity. Click here to detox with Jenna! No starvation, grumpiness or lethargy (typically associated with extreme detoxes) required!