This year I have dedicated a lot of time to self-development and self-reflection. It dawned on me recently that I spend so much time helping other people create positivity, routine, meaning and purpose, that I often neglect to do so myself.
During my self-exploration I found many books, articles and information about people who wake up at the crack of dawn to go for a run, read their emails, tick things off their “to-do” list, all before they start their working day. I commend anyone who can do this. I am not one of these people. Many attempts of waking up early to go to the gym or do yoga before work left me feeling lazy and like a failure. I savour the extra minutes I get to stay in bed in the morning. For some people, due to their obligations/commitments/responsibilities (children etc), they may not be able to get up and spend time on themselves, or have those few extra moments in bed – their morning might entirely be focused on getting others ready. Everyone is different. After much exploration I found that regardless of whatever your situation is, it IS possible to bring more intention into your morning. You can find ways to start the day on a positive note. This is by no means an exhaustive list, and these suggestions may not work for everyone, they are merely that – suggestions.
WHILE YOU ARE STILL IN BED
Affirmations have become such a big part of my life and my practice, along with visualisation exercises. Both of these can be done right from your very bed, without even getting out from under your blanket! As thoughts contribute so significantly to your mood, it is important to start the day with positive thoughts and affirmations. While you’re in bed, visualise what the coming day will look like. Tell yourself the following things:
1. May I feel healthy and strong today
2. I have all that I need to make this day of my life great
3. I have the knowledge and ability to deal with any challenges that may come my way today.
4. May I be safe today.
Repeating these affirmations will help you roll out of bed feeling positive, rather than with a groan!
WHILE YOU GET DRESSED
I am a firm believer that you can turn absolutely anything into a mindfulness or gratitude activity. Getting dressed included. There is no need for you to be mulling over your to-do list, while you’re getting dressed – you can’t do anything about any of it whilst you are putting clothes on! (Unless putting clothes on is on your list). The next time you’re getting ready for your day, think of something (or several things) that you’re thankful of. The more specific, the better. It doesn’t have to be something huge and momentus that you are grateful for – it could simply be that the sun is shining. Take a moment to be in the gratitude. This short practice grounds you in the moment, rather than worrying about what you might be facing during the day ahead.
While you’re in the bathroom, choose one of your beauty routines to turn into a mindfulness activity. It could be washing your face or brushing your teeth. Whatever it is you choose, whilst you’re doing it, focus on the sensations you’re experiencing whilst you are doing it. Notice the way your mouth moves, notice how it feels on your skin or teeth. Are there any scents? What does that activity sound like? Do you hear the bristles on your teeth or can you hear your finger over your skin? Don’t have an opinion on what you’re doing or create any judgements. Simply notice what is taking place in the moment.
Create YOUR intention for the day
We get so caught up in what we NEED to do for that day, rather than what we WANT to do. Ask yourself what you would like to get out of the coming day? Yes you have 20 things on your to-do list, but what is that one thing that if you tackled it, it would feel like an achievement? Create one intention for YOURSELF.
Lastly, before you leave the house, write on a piece of paper or on your phone, a message that you wish a friend would say to you – what is it that you think you’d like to hear? Keep this with you and then later in the day when you feel you need it, pull it out and read over it. Give yourself the information that you need to hear.
There are so many different ways to start your day with intention, these are simply a few ideas. It is important to try a range of different things and find out what works for you. There is no right or wrong. The most development is made throughout the journey, not when you arrive at your destination.
I’d love to hear about your journey and how you bring intention into your day. Please comment below or send me a message. You never know what you can learn from each other.