I suggest doing something that will set you up in a wonderful mood for the rest of the day. If you have completed what you want to do already in the morning, you know that you are guaranteed to have a great day, regardless of the outcome because you did everything you wanted to do!
Maybe you enjoy some light stretches, full-on yoga session, or gym session. Others like to just sit and read something uplifting while enjoying a nice cup of coffee.
You decide what will set you up for your best day yet and work with that.
If you need a little help on what you can do, I’ll let you in on what my routine is.
I’m typically awake around 6am, lie in bed, do 10 deep breaths while I reflect on my night; any dreams I had and what I’m grateful for and also what my day will look like. I then brush my teeth and wash my face, make a black tea or coffee, sit with my warm drink and journal anything that comes up in my head – frustrations, worries, dreams, gratitude, love for someone in my life, what music I love, etc. you get the picture.
Then I do some gentle stretches, yoga poses, coupled with more deep breathing.
Yoga stretches that I love are:
(If you are interested, you can google these, and images will come up.)
We are crunched up in bed, in a fetal position throughout the night and therefore need to open up the front of the body (shoulders and hips) with stretches and some light exercises to strengthen the back of the body (see list above of yoga poses).
This morning routine helps me to connect my mind body and spirit. As yoga really is more than just a bunch of poses, it allows your mind to clear and focus on only your body through breathing and contracting/stretching the muscles of the body. The incessant chatter in the mind really starts to fade away – which is ultimately what we want and will also solve the problem of overwhelming anxiety, depression, feelings of control and comparison to others.
If it’s best to do your favourite activity in the evening, because of timing, creativity at it’s best, or that’s when you take a class, then this is the time to do it. Set aside an hour (at least) to enjoy and develop this craft, skill or activity that you love.
My favourite things to do before bed is have a hot bath, while listening to music or a meditation, and practice my keyboard.
I ensure I have time for a bath (a hot bath is typically my replacement for aerobic exercise as it increased blood flow, circulation and detoxifies your body through sweating), brushing my teeth, drinking some water or an herbal tea, listening to peaceful music and practicing my keyboard, usually taking me about 30-60 minutes total. I follow this all up with listening to soft music or a meditation while lying in bed. I usually don’t even get through 10 minutes before I am asleep. If I don’t do all of these every night that’s ok, I don’t stress too much, as long as I have had a chance to do one or two of these to help calm me down after a potentially stressful day. I recommend you do something similar to this.
**Also, as stated in week 6 Food & Nutrition, I recommend that you finish eating 3 hours before bed. This will allow your body to finish processing all the food in your digestive system and therefore not need to digest a heavy meal while sleeping. Our brains need the circulation to dream (and process any stressors of the day) more than our digestive system. Go back to the food chapter for more information.
You will want to start settling down into sleepy time, so choose something that calms your mind and body and puts you in a place of peace. Cortisol (the stress hormone) naturally reduces toward the end of the day, so allow this to happen naturally (try to limit stimulants like caffeine around the evening hours, unless it is decaffeinated, so that you can begin to get quiet).
Some examples of what you can do before bed: