15 Minutes: All You Need For A Mindful Morning
If you asked me what's the most important life changing thing I've done for myself and my health within the past few years, I would tell you truthfully that it was switching up my morning routine to put my health at the forefront of my day, and to also make sure that no matter what day I have ahead of me, that I know I took time for myself that morning. I have never once regretted having a mindful and positive morning regimen, and I don't think you will either. I want to share with you why you need a mindful morning routine from an herbalists perspective, and also as a dear friend. Give yourself 15 extra minutes.
10 Reasons Why You Need A Morning Routine
You'll feel a sense of accomplishment.
You'll understand the importance of pausing.
You'll finally be able to keep up with that habit you've been trying to achieve.
Your health with be at the forefront of your day.
You will be able to start your day with intent.
You have full control over what happens during this time.
This time is finally all about you, and that's okay.
You'll be able to organize your priorities by importance.
No one has talked to you yet- okay no that's my favorite part.
Finally, you're sending love to your self, and that's pretty damn important.
No Routine Looks The Same
An important point to make here is that no morning routine should ever look the same. We all have different needs, our priorities look a little different, some of us don't have weekends off, and sometimes our schedules are all over the place. Since we are all magically different not only with our schedules, but also with our bodies, it would be hard for me to list exact steps you should take the moment you awake to make your morning as mindful as possible, because again, we're all different. Instead, allow me to lead you in a direction that makes you feel as if the power is in your hands. As my grandmother would say, you can lead a horse to the water but it's the horses decision to drink. I don't know, but I like it.
Real quick, before we move on I wanted to remind you that this time in the morning is all about you. Even if you have kids, a pet or a family member who has needs in your morning routine, I advise you to make some adjustments when it comes to how early you wake up in the morning. I get it, waking up feels daunting but if you go in with the mindset that you are setting time for your body and your mind, really it's something to look forward to! This will really benefit you in the end. Even if you set your alarm 15 minutes earlier than what it's currently set to now, you can squeeze so many loving tasks into that time frame. Don't worry, I'll show you.
Here are some questions you should ask yourself when building your personal mindful morning routine:
Can you wake up 15 minutes earlier than you do now?
If you value those minutes, don't fret.
What's important to you? e.g waking up slowly
Do you need to shower, or is this something you can achieve the night before?
Do you need to meal prep, or is this something you can achieve the night before?
Is there a new goal or habit you wish to accomplish?
Those are pretty simple, yet broad questions to ask yourself. Have your answers?
Formulating Your Routine
When asked what is important to you, I hope listed health as one! If you said coffee, I completely understand.. we will make sure we squeeze in your coffee. However, health should be important to you and we are going to focus on that aspect of your routine first. I don't want to worry about the finer details or goals such as setting your phone in your living room so you don't sit on your phone as soon as you wake up. While that absolutely is a positive and mindful habit that you can make in the morning, that's not the same for everyone and not the core of a positive morning. If that's your goal, by all means sister!
Warm Lemon Water
Here's where I'm now going to tell you what is a must in your morning routine... drinking warm lemon water. Drinking warm lemon water first thing in the morning will kick our digestion off on the right foot and it will allow our bodies to eliminate in a positive manner. We are not cutting out your morning coffee, although let's make your morning cup of coffee come second because coffee produces hyperacidity in the gut which is no way to start a balanced morning. Lemons will increase our metabolic process (the rate of digestion), meaning it's a gentler approach to having a morning bowel movement which is essential to our health. We must eliminate once a day!
Tip: If you have a programmable electric kettle, set your water to boil at a convenient time for the morning the night BEFORE so it's ready for you the next day. Also, try cutting your lemon slices ahead of time so they are prepped for you and all you have to do is give one a squeeze and throw the rind in your cup. If your kettle is not programmable, make sure you set some time for yourself in the morning to boil water before you take on the rest of your day.
This is where our health continues to be at the forefront of our morning routine. When you go to bed at night all of the days toxins have built up on the surface of the tongue. This includes bacteria, food debris, dead cells and fungus. Sitting toxins on our tongue end up in our gastrointestinal tract by reabsorption. The toxicity of the ama causes a weakened digestive response, a lowered immune defense and a decreased ability to absorb nutrients from our foods.
How to scrape your tongue:
There are two ends of the scraper, put one end in each hand.
Find a mirror and stick out your tongue. See the gunk?
Place the scraper on the back of the tongue (the furthest that you can comfortably go).
Gently press the scraper down on the tongue and pull forward. You should be able to see the mucus in front of the scraper coming off.
For every scrape forward to the tip of the tongue, dip the scraper in your running faucet water and return to the back of the tongue and repeat 5-10x's.
Once complete, rinse off your scraper completely and store in a clean place.
Deep Belly Breathing & Stretching
Now it's time to pour love and abundance directly into our hearts. I have been known to wobble my way right into my living room as soon as I wake to fall right into child's pose and breathe really deep. I will breathe, and breathe, and breathe once more. Fall down onto the tops of your knees and bow them out to the sides to open your pelvis nice and wide. Link or touch your toes together and in prayer formation reach your hands all the way to the top of the floor and bend forward. This is child's pose. An extremely comforting pose when you feel tired, worn out or to simply feel grounded to the earth. Listen for your heartbeat, feel the textures around you. Make gentle movements with your body in any way you wish. I think most times we get caught up in how our body looks at any given moment, but not how it feels. Don't worry about where your tummy or breasts are lying, just move for a few moments. Small gentle movements of any kind is an extremely beneficial way to massage your internal organs to also prepare the body for smooth digestion. Begin to ask yourself some questions during this time, or create an intention for the day.
What are you grateful for?
How do you feel in this moment?
What's bothering you? Why?
Do you feel safe?
Those 15 Minutes
Remember when I asked you if you could wake up only 15 minutes earlier than you normally do? Because with these 3 small mindful morning practices added to your routine, this is how long it would have taken you to not only pour love in into your body, but to put more of a focus towards your health. There's no particular order your routine has to go, and I encourage you to make more adjustments as your mornings progress through the next few weeks. Perhaps you can drink your warm lemon water while you stretch and breathe, so now you have time to practice self oil massages like abhyanga. Now, let's tally those tiny moments up..
Preparing + Drinking Warm Lemon Water- 5 minutes but could be slowly enjoyed as you progress through the morning.
Tongue Scraping- 30 seconds, only 5-10 scrapes down the tongue will do. The simplest task!
Deep Belly Breathing & Stretching- 10 minutes of soft organic movement and intentional breathing to ease you into your day.
What's that equal? 15 minutes!
If you cherish your sleep and you can't add an additional 15 minutes to your morning by waking up earlier, how can you take back the 15 minutes wasted? Can you slowly awake but not get stuck in the vortex that is your phone? Can you plan your outfit the night before? Can you shower the night before? Can you meal prep the night before? Is there anything at all that you can change tomorrow morning to have a more mindful and loving sunrise? Of course you can dear one. Just say yes.