How a great morning routine can change your life

Today we are really happy to be sharing an amazing article with you from Miriam Kerins Hussey. Miriam is a qualified pharmacist with a huge passion for holistic health and wellbeing. Her passion has led her to train as an Integrated Wellness and Nutritional Coach as well as a Yoga instructor and Holistic Healing Practitioner.

Miriam believes having a great morning routine can bring calmness and balance into your life. It sounds so simple yet how many of us actually spend time and thought over our breakfast? Modern life has us all in a huge rush to get up and get out, even during a cancer journey, when our bodies and minds would benefit so much more from some time well spent at this critical part of the day. Here is her advice on how to create a nourishing routine that will suit you.

Having a morning routine is a really important way to wake up and greet your new day. It can automatically reduce stress as it eliminates that morning ‘rush’, which inevitably leads to a ‘grab and go breakfast’ and a chaotic signal into your energetic field – setting you up to feel like you are chasing a wild horse for the day yet you never catch the horse! Having a morning ritual gives you structure, creates a sense of self-care and self-nourishment, and brings calmness and balance into your life.

The energy you wake up in, the emotions you feel and the mental thoughts you meet the day with, have great power and potential to dictate how your day will run. You can attack your day with vengeance and anger or you can greet your day with openness and gratitude.

Creating a peaceful morning ritual aids in creating a peaceful day, which in turn results in a more peaceful life. Below are some useful tips, tools and ideas that you can begin to incorporate into your own morning routine.

I have divided them into 3 main sections – physical wellness, emotional wellness and mental wellness.

Try out new rituals and routines, experiment, use your body as a lab and find out what feels good for you. We are all unique, and different, and beautifully designed that way. Listen to your body and honour its needs.

1. Rituals and routines for physical wellness

Begin by setting your alarm 20-30 minutes earlier than what you normally would. After a few days of rising a little earlier, your body will adapt and you will no longer feel alien to this ‘godforsaken, new, crazy time!’ You will begin to naturally wake with ease.

– Lemon water
Upon rising, drink a pint-sized glass of warm water with lemon. Let this be the first thing that enters your body on rising, and avoid eating anything for 30 minutes after if possible. This kickstarts your system for the day. It flushes out toxins that may have been sitting in the GI tract overnight, it aids the digestive process and stimulates the liver to start it’s detoxifying work. It’s great for the bowels and also fantastic for your skin.

– Movement
Moving your body is a super way to wake up your system and shake off any tiredness, tension or stress that may be residing in your body. Find something that works best for you. Walking, running, yoga, swimming, attending a gym class or cycling. Generating movement in the morning releases endorphins and helps boost your happy hormones, clearing the head from overwhelming noise, and creating focus and clarity for the day ahead.

– Healthy breakfast
Begin your day with a breakfast that suits you. If, of course, breakfast does suit you. The myth that you must eat breakfast is like telling someone they must go to bed at 9pm. We are all different, our bodies are unique, thus our GI tracts react differently, accordingly. Listen to your body and eat when you are hungry. Honour your body’s needs by tuning into it and listening to it’s signals. There is wisdom and information in each and every sensation and signal that our body sends us.

Choose foods that are right for you, not what has been recommended by a strict diet plan, or what you may have seen on somebody’s instagram page – find what suits your body. Experiment with different foods, smoothies and juices and see how your body reacts. Add in superfoods, more green veggies, more fruits. Keep adding in the good stuff and eventually this will crowd out the cravings for processed foods. Giving yourself that extra few minutes in the morning enables you to make that smoothie, to prepare your lunch or simply just allow yourself to sit and enjoy your food. Be mindful and present as you eat, and savour the ritual that breakfast is. You’re breaking the fast from the night before. Enjoy it. Try playing some nice music or lighting a candle. Make your morning an enjoyable, precious experience.

2. Rituals and routines for emotional wellness

– Meditation, silence or prayer
Meditation helps to burn away the ego’s frantic voice of fear. When we meditate we literally emit different brain waves. We receive information at a much deeper level than we do during normal waking consciousness. When we build it into our daily lives we emanate vibes. Although invisible, they carry an energy.

When we tune into our higher self during meditation we begin to emit vibes that are authentic. We begin to reconnect back to our self, to our essence. When we give ourselves the time and space to stop, be still and listen, we can start to hear all the noise we create in our minds. It helps us become aware of our thoughts, and enables us to wisely choose which ones we give more energy to. Energy flows where our thoughts go. As a result, we can begin to see our world differently. It becomes a kinder, more accepting place where we choose to see love instead of anger and peace instead of war.

– Breathing
Breath work can reduce stress and anxiety, calm the nervous system, create focus and clarity, and recharge your system (mind and body) for the day ahead. All you need are your lungs, your breath and 10 minutes or less.

Sit in an upright position, spine long and straight and begin to inhale to a count of 4, hold…. pause…. then exhale for the count of 4, hold…. pause…. And repeat.

Doing this gentle breathing exercise helps to activate the parasympathetic nervous system which triggers the body to rest and digest, calming and grounding the body for the day ahead. The beauty of breathing is that it can be done anywhere and any time. The car, the shower, the office desk. Stop, breathe and reconnect.

– Gratitude
Keeping a gratitude journal is possibly one of the most powerful and immensely rewarding things you can do. Gratitude is a beautifully empowering force that we can use to expand our happiness, create loving relationships, and even improve our health.

Jot down 3 things each morning you are grateful for. Think about them in your mind and then feel those blessings in your heart. It is in the fullness of heart that shifts us from limitation and fear to expansion and love. The deeper our appreciation, the more we feel love in our lives. By cultivating a morning ritual of being grateful we send out a vibration of love into our world which can allow our life to flow in harmony with the creative power of the universe.

3. Rituals and routines for mental wellbeing

– Morning Pages
The secret to a productive day is actually a very simple practice. Every morning, take a pen and three blank pages and write down whatever you feel needs to be released. This practice is called ‘Morning Pages’ and acts as a mind dump to get rid of clutter from the brain. It’s simply a conscious stream of writing from mind to pen, and pen to paper.

There is no wrong way to do Morning Pages. They simply are about anything and everything that crosses your mind, and they are for your eyes only. Don’t overthink Morning Pages, just put three pages of anything on the page, and then do three more pages the next day, and so on. This ritual helps to reduce the feelings of being overwhelmed or panicked. They provoke, clarify, comfort, cajole, prioritise and synchronise the day at hand. It sets you up for a calmer, clearer and more productive day.

– Visualisation
The daily practice of visualising your dreams as already complete has huge power to rapidly accelerate your achievement of those dreams, goals and ambitions. On waking – take a few brief moments to visualise how you want your day to go. Visualise how you look, how you walk, how you feel. Visualise yourself smiling, laughing or singing. By visualising what you want, and focusing on what you have as opposed to what you don’t have – you will greatly dictate how your day will run. By developing a morning ritual of visualising a healthy and happy image, you will begin to create a happy and healthy life.

– Self Talk
What is the story you tell yourself? What are the first thoughts that cross your mind in the morning?
“Oh, no, not the alarm?” “I wish I had 10 more minutes in bed…”
“Oh, crap it’s raining!”
“Oh, no the traffic is going to be crazy today, it’s a total disaster, I’m going to be so late!”
Sound familiar?

The stories we tell ourselves, the thoughts we think, and the pictures we create in our minds are the biggest dictators of the life we lead.

You create your own reality by the thoughts you think and the words you say. Choose your words carefully. Consciously say something nice to yourself or a loved one first thing in the morning. Remember energy flows where your thoughts go.

Changing your story will change your day. Changing your days will change your life.

Each morning brings about a new day. A day in which you have never ever lived before. Each and every day has infinite possibilities and opportunities. Miracles are waiting to be unfolded if we just allow ourselves to see the beauty and the wonder both in ourselves and all around us. Creating a morning ritual brings you into the present moment, the present day, which is all we ever have. This ‘present’ day is the greatest gift of all. Embrace it…

This article has been adapted from an original article on Miriam’s website, and re-published here with Miriam’s permission.

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