5 positive ways to start your day
I’m in the middle of my busiest speaking time. I just finished two engagements and am preparing for two more. While I love to travel, break routine and “do it different,” going for extended periods where I’m eating new foods, sleeping in hotels and flying, can be hard on the body. So the one thing I stick to as much as possible-no matter where I am- are my favorite grounding, morning practices.
Why? Because as a self-care devotee for the last 18 years, I’ve learned that how I “enter” the day is how I “do” the day. And the state of BEING I cultivate has an enormous impact on how I lead, teach, parent and relate (read How Do You Want to BE in 2019?).
Do you flop, race or ease into your day? If we make wise choices, our morning time can set the course for how creative, positive, productive and happy we are in the hours to follow. How we begin our day is key to everything.
Here are five simple things I try to do each morning to support a great start (note: if your current a.m. routine includes a large dose of network news and a carafe of Starbucks –be gentle with yourself; start with baby steps):
- Ditch screen time and become comfortable with silence (or classical music). Be judicious about your media diet and who you allow into your head–at least for the first hour of the morning. Often we get our best ideas shortly after waking; give yourself some time to ease into the day without added mental clutter and unwanted noise. This can feel strange at first, but over time you may crave this quiet.
- Stretch or do some gentle yoga before you get out of bed. Every morning I lie on my back and fold my right knee gently into my body, then alternate and bring in my left, stretching the opposing leg while taking deep belly breaths. Then I bring in both knees and gently rock side to side (great for the kidneys, adrenals and digestion). Want more? Read Why I Do Yoga.
- Drink a cup of hot water with lemon shortly after waking. This practice aids digestion, hydrates, flushes out the lymph system, helps to detoxify your body and boost your metabolism. Even if you’ve got to have your java jolt, try starting with warm lemon water. Read more about the many benefits of this practice here.
- Pause and enter your day intentionally. Whether you meditate, read an inspirational passage, journal about what you’re grateful for or choose a one-word intention that calls to you, taking time to enter your day thoughtfully and with intention has huge pay-offs. The benefits will be felt for hours to come (read Why I Meditate).
- Give and receive morning hugs. Making a conscious choice to choose love, benefit from hugging (read more) and express this to your family members in the form of sweet touches and hugs has an enormous impact on your physical and emotional well-being and stress levels. The fastest way to release oxytocin (the cuddle hormone) and come into a sense of connection with family is through safe and loving touch.
We are creatures of habit. It’s very easy to keep doing the same things over and over again and remain in a rut. But maybe you’re sick and tired of being sick and tired and are ready to experience more well-being and joy? Author Robert Puller says, “Good habits, once established, are just as hard to break as are bad habits.” Ultimately, for me, it always comes back to the question, “How bad do you want to feel good?”
- Feeling like things are moving too fast and you could use some deep to-the-bones renewal? Winter is an ideal time to reflect, replenish and re-assess. Join me Jan. 25-27 for New Way of Being: Women’s Self-Renewal Retreat at Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health (Western MA) for a deeply restorative winter self-care retreat focused on self-compassion (+ special guest author Katrina Kenison!). Packages at Kripalu start at just $550 and scholarships/commuter options are available; reserve your spot today learn more.
- Hire me to plan/facilitate a custom workshop or retreat for your company, team or organization on life balance, resiliency or self-renewal in 2019-2020. I’ve been speaking professionally for 25+ years on work-life balance, self-care and resiliency. My clients include Fortune 500 companies, nonprofit agencies, national conferences and women’s organizations. Learn more and email me at workshops at reneetrudeau dot com with questions.
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Subscribe here to Live Inside Out, a weekly blog written by life balance teacher/speaker/author and self-care evangelist Renée Peterson Trudeau. Passionate about helping men and women experience balance through the art and science of self-renewal, her work has appeared in The New York Times, Good Housekeeping, US News & World Report, AARP, Spirituality & Health and more. Thousands of women in ten countries are becoming RTA-Certified Facilitators and leading/joining self-renewal groups based on her award-winning self-care curriculum. She is the author of three books on life balance and mindfulness including the award-winning The Mother’s Guide to Self-Renewal. She lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband and 16-year-old son. More on her background here.
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