I’ve noticed that how I spend the first hour of the day after I wake up has a big impact on how the rest of my day goes. When I rush through this first hour, I tend to feel pressured and stressed for the rest of the day.
On the other hand, when I take my time and anchor myself with my morning routine, the rest of my day goes smoothly. I’m in a good mood, and accomplish things almost effortlessly.
This is my typical morning routine:
I get up at 7am, and meditate for about 40 minutes.
I use this time to gently, and gradually wake myself up, cleansing away any agitations or sluggishness from my dreams.
I also use this time to set my intention for the day.
I pick a quality that I’d like to focus on for that particular day, be it relaxation, acceptance, or enjoyment, depending on what I feel is appropriate.
When I come out of my meditation, I always feel that I’m ready – to embrace whatever lies ahead.
Then I spend a couple of minutes bonding with my cat and my boyfriend.
Every morning my cat waits for me outside of my bedroom door – to receive her morning love. And then it’s my turn to receive mine from my boyfriend.
After that, I make myself a nutritious breakfast.
My recent favorite is brown rice with sardines and avocado, and some berries. I also make myself a cup of freshly-made soymilk or green tea.
On weekends when I have extra time, I like to read a book that inspires me or interests me for about 30 minutes.
For me, that would be a perfect way to start my day. Hopefully I’ll find a way to add this one to my morning routine on the weekdays as well.
Your morning routine may look very different from mine. But I think there are three important components for an empowering morning routine – one that gives you energy, uplifts your mood, and increases your productivity and enjoyment in life.
1. A ritual to connect with your spirit.
It can be a deliberate mind-body practice such as medication, chanting, yoga, Qigong, or Tai Chi. Or simply setting an intention for who you want to be, or what quality you’d like to focus on for any given day.
This ritual doesn’t have to be long at all. It can be 5 minutes if that’s all you have to start with.
What’s important is to create a space where you can connect with and receive guidance from your spirit. It helps set the tone for your day, and with time, the tone for your life.
2. A nutritious breakfast.
The function of stomach and spleen peaks from 7am to 11am – the optimal time for digestion and dissemination of nutrients. This helps to explain why the first meal of the day is so important for maintaining good energy throughout the day.
Avoid a sugary breakfast that only gives you empty carbohydrates, such as muffins, bagels and pastries. The energy provided by such a breakfast burns fast and will not sustain you with stable energy throughout the day.
Rather, have a nutritious breakfast with a good source of protein, such as eggs and fish. Add some grains, fruits and veggies as well.
In countries like China and Japan, the breakfast menu is not much different from the lunch or dinner menus. They’re all well balanced with protein, grains, veggies and fruits.
3. A little love.
Love is the best medicine there is! Give yourself some love in the morning. It can be as simple as telling yourself how wonderful you are while combing your hair or brushing your teeth.
And share your love with your loved ones – your pet, your partner, your kids. Give them a nice hug or a kiss on the cheek. When you share love, you fill up your love tank as well. It’ll juice you up for the rest of the day!
Do you have an empowering morning routine? What’s your routine like? Please leave a comment and share with us!