How we live our daily life determines our health and vitality over time. Our choices can either contribute to long term vitality, or they may unintentionally wear on us. What we eat, our exercise habits, how we respond to and interact with others, or even how late we stay up at night can positively or negatively affect our overall health: mentally, spiritually, and physically.
Establishing and sticking to a morning routine sets the tone for each day we live, giving us a sense of ease, calm, and well-being as we embark on all life has to offer us in each day ahead. Routines also help put our bodies in harmony with the rhythms and seasons of nature. Having a specific morning routine to start the day gives us both discipline and positive self-esteem, allowing us to truly live our best lives complete with lots of joy, happiness, and peace.
Add these 5 key practices into your morning each day to create the foundation for long-term health and vitality.
1) Wake up each day at the same time
Start your day early striving to wake up each morning at the same time, whether it’s a weekday, work day, or weekend. Doing so is key to establishing a body rhythm, the first step in keeping everything (physically, mentally, and spiritually) in balance.
2) Try waking up before sunrise
Waking up before the sun comes out, usually sometime between 5-7 am, seasonally and geographically dependent, gives us the energy we need to get through the day without that feeling of heaviness or dullness often experienced when we sleep in too late. Upon awakening and before getting out of bed, allow all of your senses to come online, feeling into gratitude for another day to live in this beautiful life.
3) Clean your face, mouth, and eyes
Splash cool water on your face and eyes to gently further awaken your senses. Blink your eyes several times and then pat your entire face gently dry with a towel. Use a tongue scraper to scrape your tongue 7-10 times to eliminate bacteria that accumulated during sleep. Brush your teeth and follow this by swishing sesame oil in the mouth for at least 2 minutes to help strengthen gums, teeth, and your jaw.
4) Sip warm water with fresh squeezed lemon juice
Drinking warm water with lemon helps awaken the digestive system helping with healthy daily elimination, which is key to optimal health. If you’re finding that you’re not able to eliminate daily, try increasing daily fiber intake by adding fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to your diet, while also increasing your water intake. Drink the water at room temperature or warm throughout the day to keep your digestive fire strong.
5) Do something that brings joy and well-being to your mind, body, and spirit
As an important part of your morning or even extending into your day, consider practices such as journaling, meditation, mindfulness, yoga, and/or a daily exercise regimen. These can be incorporated into your morning routine, or peppered in throughout your day, whatever works best for you. Practice each of these on a routine basis, or perhaps focus on one or more activity as a start, adding others as you see fit. Whatever you decide, make a commitment to yourself to allow space in your day for cultivation of well-being through these practices.
Journaling allows us free, unrestricted and uncensored expression of our thoughts and can help us work through unresolved experiences in our daily lives. As you journal, allow yourself this free expression of thought without holding back. Let the words flow from pen to paper without worry of grammatical correctness. Just focus on getting your thoughts on paper.
Daily exercise, in whatever form speaks most to you, helps improve circulation, strength, and endurance. It also helps us sleep better, digest and absorb nutrients from the food we eat, as well as aiding in daily elimination. Choose an activity that you enjoy and can easily make part of routine. An exercise as simple as walking can help reap huge health benefits, so don’t discount it as a form of daily activity.
Yoga, meditation, and mindfulness all come with great health benefits allowing for more peace and balance in your life. Sitting quietly and engaging in intentional breathing or meditation can help calm both the mind and body. The active practice of yoga, known as asana, helps strengthen our muscles, improve flexibility, release tension, and maximize the flow of energy within the body. This keeps our bodies in balance, eliminating potential blockages that can lead to illness or disease over time.
What does your current morning routine look like? Could it use a reset? If so, feel free to try some (or all) of these practices. Our health and vitality of tomorrow depends on how we live our life today. Why not begin each day with practices that not only make you feel better but also contribute positively to your health? Be a warrior for your health! Get into the groove with the creation of your own morning routine, taking action today to become a healthier you!
In good health and vitality,