What are you grateful for?
After taking few deep breaths to wake my body from slumber, I mentally (or share with my partner) say a few things I am grateful for. Practicing gratitude in the morning has put me in a better emotional and mental state for the rest of the day. I will revisit my list of gratefulness throughout the day too. It can be as simple as stating “I am grateful to be breathing”. Keep it simple.
Now, this has been a ritual of mine for the past 3½ years now. Remember when I said “start meditating at 3:30 in the morning”, well this is something else I experimented with and would take cold showers at this ridiculous hour in the earlier mornings when I was living in LA, but that’s a whole other story to share with you another time.
Taking a cold shower in the morning is in one word...Brave. After all this time, I’m still amazed as to why I put myself through this cold water therapy in the morning. I’ve always been a sucker for alternative healing practices, and this one for sure has been the toughest on me mentally. Always wanting to talk myself out of it, yet I always wake up every morning and go through the process. Yes, I’ve noticed changes in my health - I am not a doctor - but I rarely ever get sick now and I pay respect to my cold showers in the morning.
Hot water, finally…
After taking a cold shower, I get dressed and put on some comfortable clothes and prepare myself for my meditation. Just before sitting down, I turn the kettle on and pour myself a cup of hot water - drinking when it is safe to do so. For the past few years, I’ve experimented with hot water and lemon, but feel much more relaxed and find it easier on my digestion when I keep it simple. This hot water activates my digestion and prepares for the day ahead. I totally recommend this tip, if it’s the only thing you take away from reading this article. Drink more water, drink more hot water.
Meditation and I go way back. My mother introduced me to meditation over 16 years ago. I didn't do it as regularly as I do now then, but even in my early teens I benefited from the process. Today, I’ve been practicing meditation daily for the past 5 years. Early on sometimes I would even meditate for 2 minutes then increase my time to 5 minutes and gradually reaching 20 minutes. There have been a few instances where I’ve sat down, got comfortable and meditated for 2½ hours. This again is a whole other story to share with you another time.
I’m not a trained meditation teacher, but if you can make this a daily practice to your morning routine, this sets you up for the rest of the day. Hopefully bringing you a bit more calm and stillness in your life. Just sit and be still. Close your eyes. Take a deep breath. Be mindful of your inhale and exhale. Listen to your surroundings. Your mind will float to other ideas or play stories in your mind - just remember to come back to your breath. Shall we do this right now for 60 seconds? Stop what you are doing (if it’s safe to do so), close your eyes and breathe.
How was that? Now, that you’ve started your day with a few mindful rituals, you can now conquer the day. I hope you enjoyed and can start practicing on a daily basis, perhaps even having your partner join you through this process too.
Read our interview with Max about his journey to a more sustainable lifestyle.
For more morning routines, read Venetia Falconer's rituals here.