morning

Our routines are powerful and they can either help move us forward or stop us in our tracks.  The morning and evening are the bookends of our days.  Are you supporting your goals or working against yourself?  With our insanely long to-do lists, we typically overlook the importance of how we begin and end the day.  Feeling rushed first thing in the morning and stressed as we close our eyes bleeds into the rest of our lives.

There are amazing resources out there about creating ideal morning and evening routines.  I have very limited time, though, and as much as I would love a slow and full routine I just don’t have the spare minutes in my day.  In the past I’ve crafted elaborate and beautiful morning and evening rituals but they weren’t realistic.  I’d get amped up, follow them for a few days, and then burn out.  Instead of setting myself up to fail, I’ve reigned it in and determined my top two.  Just two simple things to do in the morning and two more at night.  I can handle two.  You can handle two.

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Start your day with:

Meditation

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again (and again): meditation is a must do.  Starting your day with meditation is like taking a mental shower.  It washes off the dramas and to-do lists.  Morning meditation is magical.  It allows you to begin your day with peace.  It provides you with an opportunity to be alone with yourself before the hustle and bustle of your day.  Meditation infuses your life with ease.  You can design a morning meditation that works for you.  If you’re short on time set your alarm for five minutes earlier than usual.  (It’s just five little minutes.)  You can simply sit up as soon as the alarm goes off, close your eyes, and breathe deeply for a few minutes.  I love silently reciting affirmations during my morning meditation.  I have everything that I need.  I am strong.  I am radiant.  I am peace.  Choose an affirmation that you respond to and repeat it in your mind.  You’ll be surprised how often your mantra will replay in your mind throughout the day.

Warm water with lemon (or lime)

The days when I feel my best always start with warm water and lemon or lime.  Lemons and limes are alkalizing and balance your body’s pH.  They wake up your digestion, preparing your body for breakfast.  They aid in cleaning out the “junk” that has accumulated overnight and get things moving in the morning.  They work to clear your skin and brighten your complexion.  You can even put the kettle on, go meditate, and use the whistle of the kettle as the end of your meditation.  (How’s that for morning multitasking!)

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End your day with:

Gratitude list

I am committed to being grateful every single day.  I hold myself accountable by writing down 3-5 things that I am grateful for each day.  Some days the gratitude flows freely and other days it is a real struggle to get to 3.  But I always do it and I always get to at least 3 things.  Big things, small things.  Deep things, trivial things.  It doesn’t matter.  Just write down 3-5 things from that day that you are grateful for.  There is power in writing them down so I encourage you to keep a gratitude journal.  There are some great {free} apps that you can get to track your gratitude.  I love going back and reading through previous lists.  Ending your day with gratitude instead of dread for the next day or regrets from the day ending will reframe how you perceive your life.  Like attracts like and by focusing on what you are grateful for you will energetically attract more of it.

 A night-cap

I love a soothing night-cap (herbal tea) to end the day.  There is something about a hot mug of tea in your pajamas that just screams relaxation.  It officially turns off the day and signals that it’s okay to slow down and be still.  Ease into a restful state by getting comfy, turning off the phone and tv and curling up with your journal or a great book and a warm cup of herbal tea.  A great alternative to tea is warm water, Natural Calm, and a splash of pure cherry juice.  Natural Calm is a magnesium supplement that relaxes you and cherries naturally increase your melatonin.

We have the amazing chance to start fresh each morning.  It’s never too late to design a morning and evening routine that is manageable, relaxing, and supports your overall health and happiness.  Share your morning or evening routines in the comments below!

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Image credits: Image one was found on Pinterest.  Image two and three were found on Oprah.com.