Happy Fall, Y’all!!! That’s the transplanted southern girl coming out in me 😉
Now, here in Tampa Bay, it is still very warm, with no signs of colors changing. The storms, on the other hand, are every afternoon and evening. This is actually considered hurricane season; thus, we are all grateful when the storm only lasts a few minutes to a few hours!
Last week I began this series of Optimizing Your Vitality During the Storms of Life by discussing the benefits of an evening routine. As promised, today I’m going to address the optimizing benefits of having a good morning routine or ritual.
Before I do, I want to reiterate–these routines are not just about feeling good in the moment but are cumulative and have a huge compound effect on your health and vitality in all areas – emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually, too. A hurried, harried life filled with chronic stress and deadlines, day in and day out, wreaks havoc on our hormone balance. The constant cortisol coursing through our veins will impact your physiology in multiple ways – from increasing inflammation, lowering your immune function, raising blood sugar (and resultant belly fat), as well as dramatically draining your Progesterone. This is called “Progesterone Steal.” And, what the big deal about that – well, it causes estrogen dominance with a host of significant health challenges – from weight gain, mood swings, depression, and even increased risk of breast cancer, to name just a few. Can you see how stress impacts all our bodies (emotional, mental, physical)?
I know that I’m not the only one that has had a harried morning that has thrown off an entire day. It may be an illness you’re addressing. A sick child or pet with linens to change; your alarm doesn’t go off or something else. But when this happens, it seems the whole day is just “off balance.” I’m off balance when my day starts like this! Can you relate?
I’ve learned that creating some boundaries and structure around my morning has served me well beyond the time spent. In other words, the Return on Investment (ROI) has proven to be huge! By taking time to meditate and CREATE my day, each day flows so much better!! For instance, I keep my phone out of my bedroom, turned on airplane mode or at least in “sleep” mode, and I don’t turn it back on until I’ve started my day the way I want to. I am very conscious about what my thoughts are early in the a.m. I’m conscious and very careful about the influences that I let in. Instead of responding to the influences and demands of the world, I keep the social media apps off and instead tune IN. I take the quiet time to reflect, meditate, and co-create my day with God. I nourish my body with water. I move my body. And I’m very clear about the messages I give myself – what I say to myself.
Now, there are some days that I must do a “mash-up” and do a walking meditation while I’m walking my little Gemma (my 7 lb. Yorkie Poo). Or my movement/exercise may need to be shortened, yet I’m still doing these fundamentals to support my best self!
The supportive a.m. routine or rituals that you create may be very different from mine. They are designed to support YOU and your physiology, your mood, your soul. As yourself, what would help you create your ideal day?
Here are a few questions to ask yourself when creating you are creating your am ritual.
Whatever your new ritual may look like, I encourage you to really ponder what will optimize Serenity, Clarity, Charity, and Abundance for the day. And remember what my Shero Chieko Okasaki stated, “In Principles have Clarity, in Practice have Charity.” There will be days when you will need to do a shorter 1-minute version of your routine (I call that a floor version).
Now, what would YOU create? What does your ideal morning look like? Perhaps reading the paper with a cup of tea? Turing on some wonderful music? Again, get creative! I promise, as you start this ritual, and refine it, you will find that you are more grounded, more serene, more patient, have more clarity and creativity, and experience more JOY!!
As I shared last week, I’m in the middle of a Category 5 storm in my own life. Having these habits in place for some time has now proven to be more critical and more supportive than I had imagined when I began to refine this routine. Even IF you’re not in the middle of a storm right now, I encourage you to start these habits so that when you are in the middle of the proverbial storms that life WILL bring you, you’re more prepared and practiced to weather the storm with peace!
Next week I’ll share some tips on how to be consistent in these new rituals without being perfect! In the meantime, get creative and start visualizing!