New Year, New Routines, Positive Changes….
It’s early January, the hustle and bustle of the holiday season is over. We are settling back into the regular rhythms of life. Some of you might be establishing new routines….did anyone make any New Year’s resolutions?
Maybe you’ve decided to start eating right or exercising every day. Maybe you’ve decided to stop smoking. Some people may have started a new meditation practice. My best wishes to all of you who may be undertaking a new challenge this year. That is awesome!
One thing I have been actively working on is establishing a growth mindset vs having a fixed mindset. I’m sure many of you may have heard these terms. They are popular buzz words right now in the field of self-improvement.
In a nutshell, having a growth mindset is believing you can change, grow and learn new things. Having a fixed mindset means you don’t believe you are capable of change, you are fixed or set.
I believe I can change, and I can make things better. I have the power! Of course, belief is not all of it. I have to do things to change. One area of my life that I have been working on is my morning routine.
I’m going to share of few of the things that I do in the morning to create a better day. Did you know you can program your brain for a great day?
Step One, Don’t Do This
Do you push the snooze button every morning? If you do, you may be doing yourself a disservice.
I recently learned that pushing the snooze button, after a full night of rest, can cause our body to believe it is going to enter
into another sleep cycle. Sleep cycles last 60-90 mins and if we make ourselves wake up a few mins after entering a brand new cycle, we can feel worse. We might experience something called sleep inertia. This is a groggy feeling that can last for several hours.
Part of my morning routine is to NEVER push the snooze button. I am definitely one of those people that experiences that extra groggy feeling that lasts for hours if I choose to hit the snooze button. I’ve known this for a long time, so making this part of my morning routine was easy! I actually don’t like napping either, as upon waking from a nap I feel disoriented.
If you tend to push the snooze button on a regular basis and you do experience sleep inertia, try getting up with your first alarm. It may not be an easy thing to do at first but it is a step in the right direction for programming your brain for a great day!
Step Two, Reserve the First 10-30 Minutes for YOU!
During the first few minutes after waking, your brain is in prime condition for programming. Our brains are in the alpha state, and according to scientists what we see, hear, smell and feel at this time can leave a deep imprint and have a significant effect on the rest of the day.
Be good to yourself, you deserve it. Reserve this time for you, don’t look at your phone, computer or TV. The outside world and everyone else will get your attention when you are ready.
Once you have risen (with the first alarm), gone to the bathroom and made yourself a coffee (this is priority for me…LOL), take part in an activity that will get your day started in a good and positive way. It only needs to take a minimum of 10 mins, making it longer is great but just start out with 10.
There are a number of ways to program your brain for a great day.
- Going for a quiet mindful walk, weather permitting of course. It’s pretty cold at the moment where I live to just go out for a leisurely walk. LOL
- Do some mindful stretching, this can feel great! Listen to some calm, instrumental music while gently waking up your body. While you are stretching you can think about your positive intentions for the day or try some mindful breathing.
- Writing down your intentions (goals, aims) for the day can help your brain solidify those ideas and you will be more likely to accomplish what you want.
- Meditate and or listen to positive affirmations.
See a previous article for more information about meditation.
I meditate most mornings. Once I have my coffee in hand, I head to my meditation area, turn on my Himalayan salt lamp, and there I remain for at least 10 minutes. I may choose to listen to a guided mindful meditation (there are tons of them on YouTube). Some mornings I choose to listen to some positive affirmations (also available on YouTube).
I have saved a number of favorite meditations and affirmations on my iPad. Having them saved and easily accessed is handy, as I don’t end up surfing the internet or checking emails. I go straight to my video of choice and begin listening.
I’m not the greatest meditator but I make an active effort and I see definite results in my life by doing so. Some sessions are better than others and that is OK. The goal is to take action and continue to improve my growth mindset.
I love my morning routine. In order to give yourself at least 10 minutes of reserved YOU time, you might have to set your clock to ring 10 minutes earlier. I encourage anyone to give it a try, you might just end up enjoying that piece of the day that belongs to you. You will likely find that taking the step to actually set this time aside to think positively and deliberately about your upcoming day will actually make a difference. Our brains are an amazing part of us and we can exercise it like a muscle. Give it try!
Step Three, Don’t Forget the Essential Oils
We can’t forget the essential oils. Did you know some oils can help you wake up? It’s an easy thing to do for yourself while you are taking those first few minutes just for you. Before you sit down to meditate, write in a journal, exercise or whatever you decide to do, throw a few drops of your favorite uplifting, energizing oils into your diffuser. Let the invigorating smell fill up the room, ease your way to full wakefulness.
When it comes to using essential oils to increase alertness, choosing citrus is highly recommended. It is said that these oils even boost the happiness hormone serotonin. How great is that?
Other essential oils known to help wake you up and improve your mood are peppermint, rosemary, black pepper, cinnamon, just to name a few.
Using these oils topically is a nice way to wake up too. Give yourself a little massage (always dilute with a carrier oil first). Let the refreshing scent sink into your skin as you slowly awaken.
It’s easy to create blends of your favorite oils using Olilia Roller Ball Bottles. Having your oils ready to use in these convenient bottles makes the morning just one step easier.
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Until Next Time
Your morning routine can influence the rest of your day. Are you making the best of yours?
Making these small changes in my morning has been of great benefit to me. Most mornings, I head out the door with a positive mindset. I have established goals and made my intentions with regard to what I want to accomplish for the day. I am set.
I would really love to hear from you. Please leave a comment about how you start your day and share any tips you have found that work for you.
Thanks a bunch for stopping by! I hope you all have an awesome week ahead.
Stay happy and healthy!
Angela (founder of Your Aromatherapy Store)
Re: Growth Mindset
Re: Brain Chemistry in the Morning
I would like to remind you that essential oils are very POTENT and should be used with common sense and caution. Always read the labels. If you are currently taking any prescribed medication it is recommended that you speak to your doctor before using essential oils.
If you are concerned about allergies, you may want to perform a patch test on your skin.
It is also good to be aware that some essential oils are photo toxic. Avoid the sun as necessary when using these oils.
Please know that some oils are not recommended if you are pregnant or nursing.
Essential oils are considered “complementary and alternative medicines” and are not always a substitute for professional medical intervention and advice. If you are experiencing severe physical or mental illness it is best to contact a medical professional.