Frantic and stressful … or … relaxed and readying
How would you describe your weekday mornings?
I get it. There’s a train to catch, kids to get to school, lunches to prepare, the body to beautify, coffee to gulp, or all of the above. Me too.
What if you awesome-ised your morning routine? Added a few minutes to just breathe, in preparation for the day ahead? Altered your drink of choice to one that supports your body, in preparation the day ahead? Stepped outside to awaken brain chemicals, in preparation for the day ahead? Would you be willing to see if your body thanks you for it within a week or two?
1. On waking, swish one tablespoon of coconut oil in your mouth for 5-20 minutes. Spit into a bin, then rinse your mouth with warm water before spitting out. During colder months coconut oil becomes solid – either soften in your mouth, or in a glass sitting in hot water. The amount of oil you use is personal preference, and sesame oil can also be used. If time is tight, shower, meditate or prepare breakfast while you swish. Oil pulling is a traditional Ayurvedic technique for removing toxins from your mouth, with the added benefit of whitening your teeth.
2. Boost those serotonin levels by getting outside, as daylight signals your body clock to begin its active cycle. Stretch in the fresh morning air. Sprawl on the grass and ponder what you are grateful for. Take a walk.
3. Prepare your digestive system with a warm drink. If morning minutes are limited, prepare a batch the night before, for a few days ahead. For four servings, mix the juice of one lemon, one lime, one teaspoon of salt (sea or Himalayan), one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar (with mother of vinegar, such as Braggs) and three cups of water, and refrigerate. On the day, stir, then pour one serving into your favourite mug with a little boiling water. If not to your taste, add a small amount of honey, or take away any of the above ingredients – any remaining will still be most beneficial for your health.
4. Ditch packaged breakfast cereal and experiment with a green smoothie, chia pudding, pumpkin porridge or scrambled eggs. Again, if you are tight for time, many grain-free breakfasts can be made the night before, or for a few days in a row. Lots of delectable options on my Facebook page and Google. Reducing or eliminating gluten (found in wheat, barley and rye) helps many people feel better, as intolerances have skyrocketed in recent years for various reasons (a post in itself – stay tuned).
5. Meditate or breathe – simple techniques that make a world of difference. Free guided meditations are available online. Or practise breathing techniques to reset your neurological system, such as that by Dr Andrew Weil. Touch the tip of your tongue to the roof of your mouth, just behind your teeth. Breathe in through your nose for four counts, hold for seven counts, and breathe out through your mouth for eight counts. Repeat four to eight times.
6. Look into a mirror and state positive affirmations aloud, such as “I deeply and completely love and accept myself” or “I look gorgeous today” or “I welcome all the wonderful things that are going to happen to me today”. You don’t even have to believe your statements, repeat them enough times and you will. Feed your body some self-love and it will reward you ten-fold.
Okay, perhaps you are thinking there is no way you could fit these six steps into your morning.
How about 10 minutes? A tiny investment of time for health, happiness – and awesome-ness.
One minute to get the coconut oil into your mouth, swishing while you shower, dress, most things other than talk really. Two minutes outside. One minute to boil the kettle to top up your ready-made digestive boost, and drink. An additional four minutes to eat, to thoroughly enjoy your healthy pre-prepared breakfast. One minute to focus on your breathing. One minute for positive affirmations. You could even combine some of these to make it happen in even less time – I’m thinking breathing technique and breakfast, while outside. Definitely do-able!
Choose any or all. Enlist your family to join in. Share with friends. Motivate each other in the comments section.
Remember, you are important to your health as it is to you.