Creating the right start to your day can increase your productivity, improve your interactions with people and provide an overall sense of well-being. But it does not happen on its own, some planning and consistency can eventually make these five activities become an integral part of your day.
- Waking up with the right sound/music
We are often jolted from our night’s sleep by the sudden and blaring sound of our alarm clock. We think the louder the sound; the better it is in waking us up successfully. But did you know waking up this way could make you cranky and even give you a headache that could last for the rest of the day? A better way to rise from your deep sleep is to be awaken by gentle music that increases in volume slowly. This way you will gain consciousness minus the rapid heartbeat that usually accompanies your loud alarm sound.
The late Louise Hay had a wonderful waking up ritual, which she shared in her all-time bestseller “You Can Heal Your Life”. Once you are fully awake, remain lying down in your bed. Before reviewing your day in your mind, bring your thoughts to all the things that you are grateful for. Silently allow your heart to be filled with gratitude for waking up to another day, for being healthy, for the ability to breathe fully and joyfully, for a roof on top of your head, for a car that functions well to let you fulfil your daily activities. Allow yourself to create this ritual for a few moments in bed, lying quietly in the dark and mentally listing down all the things that you are grateful for. Studies have consistently shown the practice of gratitude can result in a more resilient immune system, stronger and better relationships and increased optimism.
- Getting out of bed
In the practice of yoga asanas, students are often instructed to take a few quiet moments of rest on their yoga mat at the end of their practice. When they are done, a method of getting up is to first wiggle and stretch their fingertips and toes before turning to the right side of their mat and gently pushing themselves up into a sitting position. The same approach can be practiced when getting out of bed each morning to avoid accidentally pulling or spraining any muscles, as we are about to begin our day and to encourage better blood circulation. If you are pregnant and are in your final trimester, it is recommended to turn to your left side instead before slowly pushing yourself up into a seated position.
Having slept for about 6 – 8 hours without any fluid intake, our body is often dehydrated upon waking up. The best way to awaken and rehydrate your internal system is to drink a glass filled with warm water and a squeeze of lemon. There are many variations to this, but the best is still the above, as the lemon helps neutralise any acidity in your blood and the warm water nourishes and hydrates your body gently.
- Morning Pages
I have adopted the habit of freely writing in my journal through my encounters with the work of Julia Cameron who teaches ways to recover and cultivate creativity in her well-known book “The Artist’s Way”. Morning pages consist of three pages (yes, do not scrimp on those pages if you attempt this habit!) of longhand writing that is uncensored and unedited. Cameron calls it “strictly stream-of-consciousness” and what this really means is to just write anything and everything that goes through your mind on to the paper. It is not meant to be your serious piece of writing nor is it supposed to be a piece of art. It is to allow your subconscious to arise to the surface, to help you be aware of your fears, emotions and deep-seated negativity that may be holding you back from living the best version of your life.
About Nabilla Sharil, Certified integrative nutrition health coach and registered Yoga instructor
Formerly a Management Consultant with a global consulting firm, Nabilla left her role as a Change Management Consultant in early 2014 and founded Mind Body Breath, a holistic wellness approach through yoga, mindfulness and nutrition.
Learn more about her here.