You Lose if you Choose to Snooze
I used to stay in bed until the last possible second. I touched my snooze button more times a day than I touched my husband. Hearing the alarm was the most painful thing that happened to me all day. No, I am not a morning person.
After my first word of the day starting with an “f” or an “s” was mumbled through my hoarse throat, I would start the coffee, run out for a smoke, (I have been a non-smoker for two years!) and then make a total mess of my closet deciding what to wear. Following that cyclone I would toss food down for Bongo, fill my to-go cup with coffee and leave the house, typically late. I would arrive at work a harried and frazzled mess, without any lunch and without my coffee because I left it on the roof of my car, once again. No wonder I hit the snooze button so many times, I only had my own chaos to wake up to!
This rushed behavior set the precedent for my entire day, heck, my entire life! I would not remember until we were on our way to a birthday dinner that we forgot a gift or card and would need to rush into the drug store and sign the card in the car. Or my potluck dish would be something I picked up on the way to a party. I also drove too fast and carried a lot of stress around with me upon arrival to wherever I was going. My morning behavior lasted throughout the day and became a part of who I was.
My friends and my family would make jokes about me being late and unorganized. They would say it with love following it up with it being a part of my zany or quirky personality. I did not want to be labeled this way and I was getting tired of always being stressed out. I was looking for peace. I wanted to relax more, be chilled out and be on time. I did not want to be known as an undependable person. I did not want to be a spaz anymore!
What I did for myself was create a way to start my day doing things I enjoy so that I actually wanted to get up when I heard the alarm. I created my own “Morning Rituals”. To have time for this I had to get up earlier. Getting eight hours of sleep for me is a “non-neg” (non-negotiable) so going to bed one hour earlier was where I started. This was not easy at all, and honestly, I was still hitting snooze the first few days. Did I mention that I am not a morning person? It was also hard to put myself down earlier, so I unwound with a warm bath/meditation and a sniff of lavender essential oil right before lights out. This did the trick! I was able to start falling asleep in minutes.
I wanted to start my day with things that I would look forward to waking up to. I started this almost two years ago and it is now a non-neg. My Morning Rituals have changed who I am. I am more organized and decisive. I am more calm and relaxed. My confidence has boosted. I am more thoughtful. I am on time with time to spare! I am also enjoying the benefits of feeling healthier, more flexible, and more creative. Through the last 23 months my Morning Rituals have morphed. I have a mini version and even a two hour version if I really want to take care of myself. I am so excited to share my current Morning Rituals!
Pippy’s Morning Rituals
• Turn off alarm and turn on Enya on Pandora on my phone. Sniff lemon or orange essential oils that are on my nightside table.
• Do 8x8x8 breathing exercises (in through nose for a count of 8, hold for 8, out for 8, repeat 8 times)
• Stretch. Yes in BED! Then onto exercise matt on the floor at bedside to finish routine
• Read my Mantra (strategically taped opposite my toilet!) followed by being grateful for three things.
• Cleansing Drink (juice of 1/2 lemon, 1 tbs apple cider vinegar in warm water, using a straw to protect teeth)
• Breakfast and supplements for Bongo
• Outside with Bongo with my drink, stare into space (for real)
• Three pages in longhand for my Morning Pages The Artist’s Way Starter Kit
• Take a short walk with Bongo. Set intentions for my day
• On my mini-trampoline to my Happy Tracks from my previous post “Climb Aboard for the State Changing Ride of Your Life”
Improper breathing is a common cause of ill health. If I had to limit my advice on healthier living to just one tip, it would be simply to learn how to breathe correctly. There is no single more powerful – or more simple – daily practice to further your health and well being than breathwork. ~Andrew Weil, M.D.
Because YOU Have to Come First
Your Morning Rituals can start small with even just one ritual and can grow to be as big as you like. You can try setting your alarm 10 minutes early and just pick one activity and see how it feels. Taking a slow approach to this radical life change makes it more likely to stick. Taking care of YOU first every day will make you your best for everything and everyone else you will encounter throughout the day. Everyone can benefit from having their own Morning Rituals and I have included some other ideas that may inspire you to start your day in an amazing way!
Here are some ideas that you may want to include in your Morning Rituals:
• Draw or paint
• Light Exercise
• Sing in shower
• Listen to favorite music
• Have a dance party USA
• Practice yoga
• Watch sunrise
• Couples stretching
• Nature walk in your yard or neighborhood
• Tai Chi
• Walk on beach
• Write or read poetry
• Feed the birds
• A warm bath
• Light a candle
• Read the funnies
Don’t be tempted to plug in. You should not include housework, checking messages or e-mails in your Morning Rituals. These are things that you can get to later. You can keep it simple and just pick one single thing to do upon wake up that makes you feel good. You can do a different thing each day and switch it up or keep it as a routine that you stick to. The point is to set your intentions for your day. Take this time for yourself, your e-mails and conference calls will be there when you are done. Starting your day doing what you want to do will help you be who you want to be, all day long.
Take control of how you start your day. Don’t let your day control you. ~ Jason Sadler (the guy who made a million dollars wearing t-shirts)
My Morning Mantra (in case you were curious)
“Every day, think as you wake up, today I am fortunate to be alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others; to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings. I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others. I am going to benefit others as much as I can.” ~ Dalai Lama
You have read “Start Your Day, Your Way” here first on Live Big and Small.
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