Are you finding this a tricky time of year? Are you experiencing extra challenges due to the prolonged restrictions we are living within? I highly recommend that you prioritise an extra 10-15 minutes of self-care, first thing in the morning.
Maybe you’re feeling negative, low, frustrated, restless, bored, or overwhelmed with all the challenges in your life. These emotions are very understandable and common and it is very easy to let these become the overriding focus in your life. However, what I am currently noticing in my acupuncture practice is, that the people that are coping best with all the new challenges and changes that are occurring externally, are finding the time and energy to practise self-care, and keeping their focus on what is important to them and their overall health and well-being.
My morning self-care routine recommendation is:
Get up 15 minutes earlier, when the world is quieter and your mind is calmer and more open.
Start with an invigorating hot shower followed by:
Movement: 5-10 minutes of gentle physical movement – stretching or yoga is good. There are many available to follow on YouTube. However, make sure you take care when moving your body without a professional teacher watching you, only do what feels within your comfort range, especially first thing in the morning.
Breathing: I would recommend you follow this up with a 5-10 minute meditation. There are many free meditations of varying lengths available on my website www.elainegibbons.co.uk or on my YouTube channel.
There is a newly recorded short morning meditation available here.
Focus: I recommend following this with doing some intention setting for your day – what inner states would you like to cultivate and see more of in your daily life? Inner peace, contentment, motivation, happiness, compassion, kindness, feeling loving, loved and lovable? Focus on what you wish to do during your day, what good food would be nourishing for you to eat today, who it would be good to talk to and any other things that would make you feel good.
Gratitude: Follow this up with a short gratitude practice – noticing 3-5 things you feel grateful for right now. It doesn’t have to be big things, it can be everyday things like having a comfortable bed to sleep in, having enough food to eat, having loving family or friends around you, having a job you love, acknowledging the aspects of your physical body that work well, all day, every day – your heart beating, your digestion processing your food intake etc.
Maybe you’re reading this but feeling especially unmotivated, resistant and lethargic. Well, feel the resistance and do it anyway!
Maybe experiment with my suggestions for a week. See if any of these activities create some positive change in your life. If not, then discontinue. If it helps, then keep going! In my personal experience, when you start the day with a 15 minute self-care and intention-setting routine, if you have been feeling negative or low, you can redirect the trajectory of your energy for that day. If you are already feeling ok, or even good, it can highly elevate your physical and emotional energy levels which can leave you feeling empowered, optimistic and like anything is achievable.