I am not a morning person! If you’re anything like me, then you dread the inevitable hour where your alarm clock “dings,” and you must reluctantly roll yourself out of bed. You go through your morning routine like a zombie only to arrive at work and wonder why everybody else looks well rested and chipper.
Implementing a steady morning routine has been helpful, but it wasn’t until I got creative that my mornings became… dare I say, Zenful?
Here are a few simple ideas to add to your morning routine that will help you find your inner bliss–even at an ungodly hour!
Whether it’s your computer or a hand-written journal, keeping one right next to your bed so you can effortlessly snag it upon waking up can help you start your morning off right.
Writing in your journal first thing in the morning is different than any other time of day, meaning that what you write can be completely nonsensical. Your grammar and spelling can be embarrassingly incorrect. Your thoughts can be random and incoherent.
No matter how bazaar this seems, the benefits are great. When you write freeform, without censoring yourself, you might end up expressing worries or annoyances you didn’t realize were building up. You’ll be surprised to find that, once you get it on the page, your mind is less troubled and you actually feel lighter.
Journaling first thing in the morning can help you capture your dreams! When we wake up and immediately begin to think about what we need to do next, our dreams can slip out of our minds. When you give yourself time to jot down (and by default, reflect on) your dreams, it can lead to epiphanies. It’s possible to expose an underlying meaning that makes you feel like you have a personalized dose of morning magic.
In any case, journaling in the morning wakes up your brain while you’re still in bed, so that the rest of the day goes smoothly.
Related Content: 3 Tips to Enhance Your Journaling Experience
A Warm Compression
I actually was directed to do this by an eye doctor for a minor eye infection I had, but I was obsessed with the sensation and I now do it All. The. Time.
It’s pretty simple. After you get out of bed, run the hot water so it gets HOT, then submerge a washcloth into the water, wring it out, and (when it reaches the desired temperature… I like it as hot as possible) place the washcloth over your eyes as you lay back in bed. Leave it resting on your eyes until the water cools.
This helps wake me up, while also giving me an opportunity to do a little meditating that won’t put me to sleep because the heat keeps me alert.
Talk about finding your inner Zen! The warmth on your eyes is so soothing, even though it helps wake you up!
Hang Upside Down
I know, I know. What the heck am I talking about, right? Don’t worry. This is much easier than it sounds! You don’t need some machine or to be a gymnast to do this.
Stand with your feet a little further than hip distance apart and bend over at the waist. Your knees can be bent as much as they need to be. Let your arms hang down to the floor, and then lift yourself from your hips just a bit. Shake your upper body out before relaxing again. I like to let out a slow, vocal exhale as I do this.
When you’re finished, very slowly roll yourself up, letting your head be the last thing to come up.
This is a great way to get your blood flow going and to get energized. You will feel so refreshed once you’re finished with this exercise that you’ll be ready to take on whatever the day brings!
I love this so much that even when I implement it into my morning routine, I still might slip into the bathroom during work and hang upside down for a minute. It’s perfect or when I need a little pick-me-up.
Drink Green Tea
Not a lot of people know this, but green tea is actually one of the healthiest drinks in the world.
Green tea is rich with antioxidants. Just like coffee, it can boost your metabolism, but unlike coffee, it has zero calories and can aid in weight loss. In addition, green tea contains polyphenol, which can help to prevent cancer and heart disease.
But green tea doesn’t just benefit your physical health. It can totally add to your inner Zen. Just the aroma awakens your senses. It also has something called L-theanine, which promotes the same alpha wave production in the brain as meditation. So if you wish you could meditate but can’t quite swing it so early in the morning, green tea is a great substitution or accompaniment.
Whether you aim to implement one, or all, of these ideas, just a few simple modifications can make a substantial difference to the rest of your day.