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New morning routine

Actual footage of how I imagine I look in Child's Pose...

Well, it’s been a while, hasn’t it? I’m surprised to find that it is now 7 October and I haven’t blogged since the middle of September. It’s no surprise to me why though. I’ve been really busy doing some corporate coaching, creating 360 feedback, collating responses and coaching Executives. It’s been exciting and I’m enjoying it, but now things have settled down into routine, it’s also nice to have some moments to reflect on life over the last 3 weeks or so.

One big change for me has been my morning routine. This came about because I was reading about someone else’s morning routine and realised my first response was ‘I can’t do that’. As I realised I had thought this, I wondered why. Fair enough, I am never going to make a routine of getting up at 5am. I know my body doesn’t respond well to that (and I’ve done my fair share of early morning shifts, night shifts, etc so I know that of which I speak!), but there is no reason for me not to get up a little earlier, if I plan my nights accordingly. But the rest of the routine, consisting of meditation, yoga, oil diffuser and lemon and hot water. Well, those I could do.

I think I’ve mentioned before that I tend to use meditation as first aid, to only use it when I feel I need to. I decided that I would meditate every day and to help me with that, I chose a ‘pack’ of meditation from the Headspace app. I chose Mindful Eating as my diet’s been a little, um, chaotic the last while. As it was a pack of 10 sessions, I thought it would help me to stay focussed.

I have lots of apps and dvds for yoga, but chose to use the Asana Rebel app. There are so many things I love about this app: a) there is a free short yoga workout daily (so you don’t need to pay to access anything) that is the first thing on the screen so you can just select that without having to make any more choices! b) there is a 7 day trial so you can see all of the different sessions before committing to paying c) it now gives you options for extending your workout at the end of your current one d) workouts range from 4 minutes (come on, we can all do 4 minutes!) to around half an hour e) you can pick from Get In Shape, Strength, Flexibility or Breathe & Relax, or you can browse by intensity, or by body focus or by short or long workouts. TL:DR, the app is awesome.

Next up was looking at an oil diffuser. I used to have one which I used regularly, but now they come in groovy electrical ones with different colour lights so I ordered one of those. My two favourite oils are lavender to wind down and orange to feel more alert. My plan was to get up 15 minutes earlier, put on the diffuser, do yoga, do meditation, have my lemon and water (which is something I regularly do anyway).

I have to say; this intention has transformed my mornings. Not once, in the 19 days I’ve been doing this, has this felt difficult to do. A couple of times, at the weekend, I haven’t done this first thing, but I’ve made time later in the day to do yoga and meditate, sometimes as a sleep meditation before bed. Every other day, I’ve woken up and just gone straight into this routine. I’m eating breakfast more frequently (something I used to always do, but recently have been slipping out of the habit of doing), I’m more engaged and alert by the time I go downstairs. I’m more mindful than I’ve ever been. I had a day last week where I felt a little unwell and a little stressed. I spent a few moments reflecting on what I wanted from the day and was surprised to hear myself asking, what can I do to nourish myself today? It was like I connected to a deeper awareness of how to look after myself. I finished the Mindful Eating pack and am now on a Finding Focus pack. I find that I’m more conscious of when I’m eating distractedly and can more easily slow down and focus on the act of eating.

For something that takes between 15 and 30 minutes a day, this routine has had a very positive impact on my life. It’s may not be for everyone, but I think what everyone can take from this is that it is easy to create a small routine that benefits not just you, but others around you too.

So that’s what I’ve been up to since I last blogged. How about you? What have you been doing?

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