For this month's TONIC Tribe guest post Emily Davis, Health Counselor & Holistic Nutritionist, shares her thoughts on why morning routines are so important while offering some super easy (yet super effective) ways to set the tone for your day & get your vibe right.
Emily is the founder of Chronically Healthy (@chronicallyhealthy), an online community of people with invisible illnesses - chronic conditions that tend to be overlooked in a world where it is often assumed 'if you don't see it, it doesn't exist'. She has created a community based around love, health, happiness, education in order to "bring light and positivity–with a healthy dose of realism–to something that has the potential for so much darkness."
Upgrade Your Mornings & Take on the Day
Have you ever had one of those mornings that impacts your whole day? You know, the kind of morning where you’re wearing your favorite white shirt and dump your coffee down the front? The kind where you can’t find your keys, you’re late for an important meeting, and it seems like the universe is doing everything in its power to bring you down? The kind of morning that makes you feel like dumping the entirety of your CBD oil right down your throat? You know what I’m talking about.
The first hour of your day massively influences your mood, productivity, mindset, and even health. If a few unfortunate events can change the whole trajectory of your day, what kind of impact do you think a peaceful, calming, and happy morning routine can have?
The beauty of your morning routine is just that. It’s yours. What works for me might not work for you, and that’s ok. I’ll share mine for reference. It’s also important to add that prior to implementing this routine, I despised mornings. Like, really hated. In the battle of self-care and snoozing a few times, the bed always won. I have multiple chronic illnesses and mornings can be incredibly difficult. Now I’ve found something that works for me, and I want to share it with everybody.
Set Up Non-Negotiables
I start with a list of non-negotiables; meaning, tasks that I want to accomplish daily no matter what. This includes taking morning supplements, some form of movement, meditation, and a gratitude practice.
Recently, CBD joined this list of non-negotiables. It took me so long to try due to lack of knowledge, but now that I have, I’m never going back.
With a chronic pain disorder, daily movement is crucial. But, health issues or not, movement does the body good.
The exact level of movement I am able to do depends on the day.
Instead of writing “go for a two mile run” or “spend one hour at the gym” on my checklist, I write “movement”. This part is important. It removes the room for self-judgement.
If you wake up and have “go for a run” on your checklist, but end up in extreme pain that day and aren’t able to go, that’s going to feel like defeat at the very beginning of your day. Writing “movement” gives you a little room to modify depending on how you’re feeling.
Some people do better with an exact exercise and an indicated workout length because it holds them accountable. If that works for you, awesome! If that’s never worked for you, there are other options. If working out in a gym isn’t your thing, check out this list of at-home work out resources!
I am one of those people who cannot sit still. Meditation has always felt like the most daunting part of my to-do list. Which is funny, right? Why does deep-breathing, chillin’ out, and taking some time for myself feel so arduous?
Turns out, I hadn’t found the kind of meditation I enjoyed yet. Meditation does not mean you have to sit on the floor with your legs crossed, chanting strange sounds. There are so many kinds of meditation out there.
For a higher-price (but extremely worth it) meditation, Transcendental Meditation (TM) is incredible. If you are just starting out and getting your feet wet, I recommend starting with an app like Calm or Headspace. Your meditation can be in the form of a run, a restorative yoga practice, or a long walk in nature.
Again, the options are limitless, you just have to find your perfect fit.
Gratitude Practice & Journaling
Research shows, people who practice gratitude daily have a more productive life, are overall happier, and even have stronger immune systems than those who do not.
A journal is a safe, non-judgmental place to get all of your random, angry, happy, depressing, hilarious thoughts out. Some of us have a tendency to keep a lot bottled up inside of us. This leads to increased stress levels and a bunch of other unwanted happenings.
Writing it all out creates mental space for all the good things.
Your gratitude practice can be as simple as writing 2-3 “I am grateful for…” statements per day.
My Morning Routine
- Wake up (do not check phone)
- Lemon water and tea
- Journal for 5-10 minutes (gratitude practice, affirmation, mantra of the day)
- Open computer and begin day
This checklist adapts depending on what’s going on in my life, how I am feeling, and what my main goals are for the month. The foundation stays the same, but the theme can be modified to fit my life. If you’ve tried to stick to a morning routine before and failed, try this method that is free of judgement, simple, and super effective.
Do you have a morning routine? If not, what’s holding you back?