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Is Your Morning Routine Making or Breaking Your Day?

by Harinder Ghatora Mental Wellbeing Health & Wellbeing Balanced Living Emotional Wellbeing

Let me take you back to this morning and ask how you began your day. Did you have a calm, quiet and orderly start? Or, was it rushed, manic and frenzied?

How we choose to spend the first minutes and hours of the day has a significant effect on all those that follow. What we do - and how we feel - sets the tone for the entire day. That has certainly been my experience.

On an ideal day, I get out of bed at around 5.30am. I shower and sit down to meditate for 45-60 minutes. I follow this with my daily energy work session during which I clear, balance and protect my energy field. I then set my intentions for the day and do a few rounds of yogic sun salutations to stretch my body. I’m now ready to start my day, so I put on some gentle relaxing music, get dressed, eat a healthy breakfast, and leave the house at 8am to drive my daughter to school.

That has been my morning routine for a very long time. Now I would be lying if I said I manage to do this without fail, every single day. I don’t. Some days I wake up feeling tired and cranky and just can’t bring myself to get up on time.

What I do know is that the way in which I spend those first two hours in the morning makes a noticeable difference to my mood, my creativity, and the flow of my day.

On days when I get up early and take charge of my internal state, I feel calm, settled and in control. Life flows smoothly and harmoniously. I get more done. And, I feel happier.

On the days I don’t get up on time and follow the routine I’ve established for myself, I feel frazzled and out of control. Things just don’t seem to work so well. And, I feel as though I am constantly on the back foot, chasing my tail all day long but never quite catching up!

The reason for this is that our general energy vibration affects our whole life and how we experience it. There is plenty of evidence out there to confirm this. Our energy vibration affects all aspects of our wellbeing: our mental, emotional, physical and spiritual health.

So, if we know that life reflects back to us the energy we are emanating, then it makes perfect sense that we should take charge of ourselves at the start of the day and ensure that what we are putting out there works in our favour. And there is no better way to do this than by establishing and maintaining a good morning routine.

The key thing to remember is that there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to this. We are all different, so what works for me or for the next person may not work for you. However, ideally, your routine will honour and nourish your mind, your body, and your spirit.

What’s more, you don’t have to spend a long time on your routine. For many people time can be at a premium in the mornings. I know that I spend over an hour on my routine but I especially enjoy this time. In fact, back in the days when I was suffering from chronic anxiety this time was an absolute necessity. I literally could not function without it. But, you can establish a routine that takes as little as 15 minutes and still experience the benefits.

Most importantly, your morning routine should make you feel good about yourself.

If that’s not your experience right now, or what you are currently doing could do with a shake up, here are 12 easy and rewarding ideas for you to try out:

1. Practice Yoga

Find a yoga routine, or some other form of gentle exercise, that suits you and allows you to move and stretch your body.

2. Take a walk

Go outside, ideally into an open green space, and practice walking mindfully. Observe all the details in your surroundings, pay attention to your body, and be completely present to each moment.

3. Repeat positive affirmations

Choose one or two positive statements that are meaningful for you and repeat them over to yourself. It could be something like: ‘I am calm, peaceful and centred and look forward with excitement to my day’.

4. Pray

Sit down in a quiet space, light a candle, close your eyes and engage in focused prayer. You can repeat a prayer someone else has written, for example from a spiritual text, or choose your own words.

5. Meditate

There are many different meditation techniques so choose one that works best for you and dedicate at least 15 minutes per day to the practice. (If you would like to know more about how to meditate, click here for details of the Introduction to Meditation e-course I offer).

6. Listen to music

Music can have a wonderfully calming effect on your mind and body. By playing some gentle relaxing music and consciously focusing on your breath you can help yourself to relax easily and effortlessly. (Click here to download your free copy of my 20-minute breath awareness meditation).

7. Read a spiritual text

Select a passage or a chapter from a spiritual text that inspires and uplifts you and read it yourself, either silently or aloud. Spend some time afterwards reflecting on what it means for you personally.

8. Express gratitude

Identify the things for which you are grateful and write them down in a gratitude journal. Counting your blessings is a really effective way to cultivate positive thoughts and feelings to kick-start your day.

9. Set your intentions

By reflecting on your priorities and writing down your intentions for the day you can direct its course deliberately and purposefully. This is particularly helpful in clarifying what is most important to you and staying on task.

10. Visualise

Decide what your goals are for the day and then visualise yourself successfully achieving them. Put as much feeling and emotion into this exercise as you can; it’s most powerful when you both imagine and feel that the goal has actually been accomplished. Or, visualise having achieved bigger, longer-term dreams and projects.

11. Practice self-healing

Lavish some care and attention on yourself by practicing a healing modality. There are many forms. Reiki is one example. (To learn how to practice Reiki click here for more information.)

12. Eat a healthy breakfast

Honour your body with a nutritious breakfast and eat it slowly and mindfully. Choose foods that will boost your energy levels and provide you with fuel for the day ahead.

You can choose to create your routine around just one of these suggestions or combine several of them. What’s important is that you decide on a routine that’s realistic and achievable for you and practice it consistently for a few weeks. It may take some perseverance at first but soon it will become a habit. Then notice the difference it makes to your mood, your body, and your days.

Don’t be surprised if you start to feel:

  • happier and more positive about life;
  • less stressed;
  • more grounded and in control;
  • more energetic;
  • more creative, clear and focused;
  • more motivated; and
  • better about yourself and your life.

Knowing that you have started the day on your own terms leads to a deep sense of accomplishment that lasts the whole day.

In fact, once you start to experience the benefits of having a nourishing morning routine you won’t want to stop.

I know I can’t do without mine.

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