We devote so much time to getting things done throughout the day that we don't always feel we can make time for self-care, especially in the morning. It's easy to overlook the importance of a nurturing morning routine when there are more tasks than hours in the day. When we give time to ourselves before we tackle the day, we are able to give more in every area of our lives. Below are four wellness boosts to add to your morning routine.
Meditation is a life-changing practice. It has been shown to increase happiness, improve concentration, promote relaxation and create structural changes in the brain. Many people get stuck on the how when approaching meditation, but one of the reasons meditation is so great is that it's all about what resonates with you. Luckily there are many resources to help you start a meditation practice. Calm is a great place to begin your journey, it features a user-friendly website and mobile apps for iOS and Android. Calm provides users with mood music, various meditations and a deep breathing tool. Headspace is another great resource for beginners, with guided meditations accompanied by interactive videos to help users better understand meditation and make it a regular part of their day. Both platforms offer notification reminders to assist with consistency. Meditation is a great addition to your morning because it gives you a moment of peace before you handle your responsibilities for the day.
2. Oil pulling
Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic practice that serves as a detox for the body. It involves swishing a tablespoon of any plant-based oil (usually coconut or sesame) around in your mouth for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes is up, rinse with warm water and brush as normal. It is recommended that oil pulling be done on an empty stomach, which makes it a perfect activity for your morning routine. It's also extremely easy and accessible because you probably already have the tools in your kitchen and you can use the time while you oil pull to prepare for your day in other ways. Some benefits of oil pulling include: whiter teeth, fresher breath, headache prevention and balanced hormones.
Stretching is something we all should be doing throughout the day, and it's a perfect morning activity because it physically sets the tone for a good day. Stretching in the morning has been shown to reduce back pain, improve flexibility and increase energy. Stretching also lubricates your muscles and joints by creating warmth with the movement of your body. Additionally, stretching awakens your body and alerts you that it's time to get the day started. This 10-minute Kemetic practice is an awesome yoga sequence for your morning.
Adding a daily journal ritual is essential to start your day off fresh. Writing your uninhibited thoughts in the morning allows you to process anything bothering you from the previous day and set intentions for the day ahead. Morning Pages is the practice of filling three pages with free-flowing stream-of-conscious writing. The goal of the activity is to overcome those automatic negative thoughts that creep in without permission and dampen our mood. Morning pages is a simple and easy but incredibly healing activity and has been shown to improve creativity, increase clarity and reduce anxiety.