My Morning Ritual

I’ve decided to start sharing some of the things I do off the mat to keep myself feeling healthy, even when things get busy.
Today it’s my morning ritual. Rituals are important. When we repeat the same set of actions again and again we create a new neural pathway in the brain, or a habit. We want to develop healthy habits so when life gets chaotic and we don’t have a lot of time, we still have these self care rituals in place that are so ingrained in our behaviour that we don’t think about doing them, they’re automatic – like brushing your teeth.

So here’s what I do each morning to set myself up for the day.

1.I get up early and I try to get up at the same time each day
– Waking at the same time each day helps to regulate our circadian rhythms, or sleep cycle – so important for maintaining mood, immune function, weight and cognitive performance.
– Getting early morning sunlight helps us to produce more seratonin during the day (feel good) and melatonin at night (feel sleepy)
– If you’re a night owl know that it is possible to retrain yourself to go to bed early so waking is easier. You just need to learn how to switch off at night. Try my blog on tackling sleeplessness for some tips and tricks.

2. I brush my teeth and scrape my tongue
– The first thing I do upon waking is brush my teeth and scrape my tongue
– Based on Ayurvedic principles, this ritual removes the residual waste product that the body has accumulated in the mouth overnight as we breathe out.
– After the body has worked so hard to get rid of all that toxicity you don’t really want to swallow and reabsorb it do you? Plus you’ll have much better breath if you regularly scrape your tongue.

3. Turmeric tonic + probiotic
– Science tells us that over 80% of our immunity comes from the health of our gut. So what we put into our tummies, especially first thing in the morning really matters.
– I start the day with a probiotic capsule to build gut health. Then I make a turmeric tonic:
Hot water – boiled then left to cool rather than boiled with splash of cold water from the tap
Sprinkle turmeric – anti-inflammatory, powerful anti-oxidant, medicinal properties
Squeeze lemon –  important vitamins & minerals, aids digestion and keeps you feeling fuller for longer, immune boosting
Splash ACV – alkalising effect in body, anti-bacterial properties, balances blood sugar levels, helps with cravings.

4. Meditate
– Before I allow myself to be distracted by any of things on my to-do list I always sit down and meditate.
For me this is the most important self-care ritual I have. It sets the tone for the day and allows me to view what I need to do from a calm and centred state.
– Meditation is shown to improve immunity, memory, creativity, cognitive function, focus, sleep, weight, cholesterol, blood pressure, healing ability and to reduce the incidence of depression, anxiety, and chronic illness.
– If you’ve never meditated before then try my short breath awareness meditation on Insight Timer – perfect for beginners

5. Movement
– Exercise shouldn’t be a punishment because you ate the wrong thing, or because you feel you should do it. Rather view movement as medicine, a tool to keep you healthy.
– When I have a lot on my plate my movement is nourishing and builds my energy rather than depleting it – slow walks, yin yoga, gentle flow classes etc.
– When I’m full of beans I ramp it up with power flow, fast walks, dance and pump classes

6. Breakfast
– The final part of my morning ritual is to eat a good brekkie – eggs in some form with green veggies and a little scoop of sauerkraut for more gut building probiotics
– I chose eggs rather than muesli/cereal to stabilise blood sugar levels (less chance of cravings later) and to stay fuller for longer

Hope this has been of help. Keep checking back for more ways to stay healthy when busy.