January 18, 2020

Written by Camille Scott

How to bring Mindfulness Practices into your day

Whether you are a New Year’s resolution supporter or not, this time of year is a great to develop new habits.  Little changes can make the biggest impact on your day to day and are easier to commit to in the long term.  So, the following is a short list of practices that when done first thing in the morning, can help set you up for the day, encouraging mindfulness and clarity.

The best part?  It only takes 10 minutes!  And if you are one of those lucky people with more time in the mornings, there are some suggestions included that will help develop these practices further.

Unplug from technology

Ditching your phone first thing in the morning allows you to start the day on your own terms, rather than reacting to outside stimulation from emails or social media.  Although quickly checking your phone may seem harmless enough, according to Michael McQueen (the author of Momentum: how to build it, keep it or get it back) it can make or break the tone for the rest of your day.  By starting with an activity that puts you in the driver’s seat like stretching or making your bed (rather than reacting to something that was directed by someone else) you set your own tone and move into a proactive space, taking back control of the direction and intention of the day.

Stretch

Stretching is one of the best ways to start your day and you don’t even need to get out of bed for it!

Morning stretches help improve flexibility, posture, circulation and oxygen flow to give you a little energy boost.

It’s a simple as:

•  Taking your hands overhead, stretch your feet away and ease out, side to side

•  Draw your knees into your chest, with an option to lift your head to knees to lengthen your entire spine

•  Take your knees side to side, resting each side for a few moments to free up the sides of your body

•  Stretch out your feet and ankles


•  Taking three long deep breaths into your belly

•  Give your jaw a gentle massage

•  You’re ready to get up! (Bonus points if you make your bed)

 

Take it to the next level:

If you want to include some movement after you get out of bed here is a great time to introduce three rounds of suns salutations.

Sun salutations are like a mini yoga class condensed into a few minutes.  They incorporate every part of your body and help to centre your mind.  If you feel a bit stiff first thing in the morning take your time as you move through the first round.

See below for the version taught by Camille in her Gita Hatha classes.

*Please note the diagrams were drawn to be quite stylised to show the movements of the body and are not reflective of all body shapes and flexibilities.

Hydrate!

I don’t need to say much about this one, we all know water and staying hydrated is important.  Even mild dehydration can lower your energy levels and impair normal bodily functions. Your kidneys will thank you…

Take it to the next level:

Add lemon, cucumber, ginger or raspberries for a little variety

Practice Gratitude

This one can be as simple as waking up and thinking of three things that you feel grateful for and then taking a moment to feel that gratitude in your physical body.  This may feel like warmth in your body, spaciousness in your chest, deep breathing or joyful tears…but everyone is different and so it may not look like any of these…the important thing to remember is that there is no wrong way to have your own experience of this practice.

Don’t have three things?  Start with one. (Although you may notice the longer you do this the more and more things you’ll be able to come up with).

Take it to the next level:

I’ve seen another version of this gratitude practice where you write down one good experience, thought or feeling each day on a little slip of paper and fill a large jar or container over the course of the year and then on new years eve you can read through each one and reflect on all the wonderful moments you may have forgotten about throughout the year!

 

Get it out of your head

Rather than constantly going over everything in your head to keep track of what you need to do (or forgetting to do something, if you’re like me) having a diary or notebook to keep track of tasks allows you to clear your mind of future tasks and focus on the one that’s happening now and you get the satisfaction of crossing off tasks as they are done.

Take it to the next level:

If you want to get serious with keeping track of your day to day, take it up a notch by adding the Bullet Journal Method to your daily routine…. it’s a life changer!

https://bulletjournal.com/

Enjoy adding these little rituals to your morning routine, notice how your morning changes.  Keep adding practices if they feel right (like walking, meditation or music) and drop them if they don’t and find out what routines will stand the test of time for you.

If you would like to book a massage appointment with Camille or join her Tuesday evening yoga class please call

the clinic on (03) 5429 3610.  Alternatively you can use our online booking system to book now :0)

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