My Morning Ritual...5 tips for having a more calm and productive day

Over the past year I have learned that a morning well spent can really set the tone for your entire day.  Most people I know have pretty hectic mornings as they rush around to get kids ready for school or just run out the door to catch a train into the office.  Before you know it half the day is gone and you are already thinking about what you didn’t get done.  What I know for sure is that the best days are the days that I take the time to do some self care practices in the morning. So assuming you’ve had a solid 7-8 hours sleep here are some tips to help you have a more mindful and peaceful start to your day.

1.     Drink water

As soon as you wake up in the morning squeeze ½ an organic lemon into a cup of slightly warm water.  Hydrating yourself first thing in the morning is the best way to get your system moving and to wake up your body.  

2.     Start your day with gratitude and meditation

In the beginning I did not find meditation easy,  I found it very challenging to slow my mind and to sit still for any amount of time.  Today after quite a lot of practice I do anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes of mediation every morning.  If you are just starting out you can try some of the guided meditation aps on iTunes.  I like Calm, Deepak Chopra’s Living in Love and Tara Brach’s podcasts. Meditation is a great way to set your intentions for the day and to show gratitude for all that you have.

3.     Set your intentions for the day

This is a new practice that I just started a few weeks ago and it has really been working for me. I started a daily journal and each day I make a list of my “must do’s” both work and personal.  These are the tasks you know that you’ll feel badly about if you don’t tackle them that day.  The trick is first thing in the morning start working on the thing you least want to do.  It's amazing to see when you get the tasks out of the way that you really didn’t want to do how much space opens up for you to accomplish everything else on the list. This one small change can have a huge impact on the amount of stuff you can accomplish in a day!

4.     Move your body

I find the best time to exercise is in the morning.  I’m not sure if it makes any difference what time of day you actually work out but for me I hate to shower twice in a day so getting this out of the way first thing in the morning has been the solution for me! I also make better food choices during the day if I know that I put the time in at the gym already. Having my workout done in the morning allows me to focus on other things in my life like blogging, cooking or meeting up with friends.

5.  Get outside

I have truly been amazed at how much better I feel when I’ve taken a walk outside in the morning. It’s so peaceful to walk around the city before everyone else is awake take in the the fresh air.  When I have a little more time in the morning I’ll walk down to the lakeshore and do my meditation while the sun is coming up.  It’s a great way to connect with nature and get some vitamin D from the sun.

I hope these simple tips gave you a little inspiration for how to change up your morning routine.  When you're strapped for time just try one of these tips, then on the weekends when you have more time give some of the other ones a try.  It’s about making a few small changes over time not about doing everything at once.  If you take the time to center your mind and focus your intentions each day I promise you’ll have a more calm and productive day.