Lately, my schedule has been really erratic. I’ve been traveling over the last two weeks and my typical, nourishing daily routines took a back seat. But the one thing I stick to as much as possible—no matter where I am—is entering the day intentionally.
Why? Because as a self-care author/teacher evangelist for the last 25 years, I’ve learned that how I “enter” the day is how I “do” the day. The state of being I cultivate first thing in the morning has an enormous impact on how I connect, lead and relate to others throughout the day!
Do you flop, race or ease into your day? If we take time to make conscious 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 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 morning 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 lymphatic system, helps to detoxify your body and boosts 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. I believe this is the MOST important tip. Whether you meditate, pray, read an inspirational passage, journal about what you’re grateful for, or sit quietly and let a one-word intention come to you—taking time to reflect on how you want to BE today (not just what you want to DO) has huge pay-offs. The benefits of moving into your day from “the inside out,” will be felt for hours to come (read Why I Meditate).
- Give and receive morning hugs. We gain huge physical and emotional benefits from hugging (read more) our family members, friends and pets. Warm, safe touches and hugs have an enormous impact on our mental health and overall well-being. Hugs are one of the fastest way to release oxytocin (the cuddle hormone) and to feel more connected to yourself and to those you love.
We are creatures of habit. It’s easy to keep doing the same things over and over again and remain in a rut. Perhaps you’re overwhelmed and exhausted 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.” For me, it always comes back to the question, “Renee, how bad do you want to feel good?”
I’D LOVE TO SUPPORT YOU IN FINDING YOUR CENTER. JOIN ME FOR AN UPCOMING EVENT:
- *MOST POPULAR RETREAT OF THE YEAR!* October 13-15th ~ Awakening Your Wild Soul: A Women’s Self-Renewal Retreat at Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health (Berkshire Mountains, MA). Packages start at just $635. Enjoy gorgeous leaf color and crisp, refreshing mountain air; Kripalu is pictured above. Learn more/register. Can’t make it? Join me at Kripalu Jan. 19-21 for Sing, Dance, Pray: Romancing the Beloved women’s self-renewal retreat.
- Wild Souls Nature Adventures (based in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western NC): authentic movement classes, community song circles, full moon hikes, meditation workshops, women’s circles & more. New offerings are listed each week; have me design a custom experience for your team/friends. Join us on Sundays for Wild Souls Authentic Movement class near Asheville, NC. Learn more.
- Download your self-guided retreat today ~ Ready to prioritize your self-care, relax your body and enjoy empowering mentoring from Renee 24/7 from the comfort of your home, car or office? Our highly popular self-paced online retreats are only $59. Download & enjoy today. Learn more.
Subscribe here to Live Inside Out, a weekly blog written by mindfulness coach/author/speaker and self-care evangelist Renée Peterson Trudeau. Passionate about helping men and women find balance through the art/science of self-care, Renee has been facilitating high-impact, interactive workshops for Fortune 500 companies, national nonprofits/conferences and organizations/teams worldwide for 25 years. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Fast Company, Good Housekeeping, US News & World Report, AARP, Spirituality & Health and more. She and her team have certified more than 450 facilitators in 10 countries around the globe to lead self-renewal groups/retreats based on her pioneering self-care curriculum. She’s the author of two books on life balance including the award-winning The Mother’s Guide to Self-Renewal: How to Reclaim, Rejuvenate and Re-Balance Your Life. She and her husband live in Western North Carolina and Austin, Texas; her latest venture is Wild Souls Nature Adventures. More on Renee here.