I facilitate live virtual meditation sessions every morning at 6:30 am through OM*Studio. (what? you're not aware of this? Learn more).
And while I typically get up well before the session starts, there are those days where I'm really pushing the envelope on being bright-eyed and bushy-tailed to greet my clients.
And I'm not the only one. On more than one occasion I'll have that bleary-eyed participant roll in at 6:30 on the nose, looking as if they literally sat up in bed as they were fumbling for the video conference link. Nothing wrong with that! I'm just glad to see your face, sleepy head.
In life, there are those people who leap out of bed every morning, who feel the thrill of the day dawning as the first light of day cracks their eyelids.
That's not me. Maybe that's not you either.
I have a great life, but no matter how pumped for the next day when I go to bed, I often will feel a sense of 'meh' (that's a feeling, right?) when I wake up in the morning.
Anyway, I've learned that some essential steps to get moving and on the right track. We have to work with our bodies and minds in these situations, and as always, knowing yourself is step #1. What works for someone else may not work for you.
But here are some tips for a happier morning leading into a happier day.
1) Start the night before
Journaling out all of your stressors or 'to-do's' before you go to bed takes it off the list to immediately start thinking about when you open your eyes. (You still might, but try it anyway.)
2) Feet on the floor
When that alarm goes off, do not stay horizontal. I repeat, do not stay horizontal. Getting upright as soon as possible will strengthen you against the siren song of snooze and pulling the covers over you, wallowing in whatever thoughts you woke up with. Many a low morning came on the heels of "just 30 more minutes." This is a discipline. Get upright and get moving.
Grab your journal (not your smartphone) and put pen to paper. Recommending gratitude is one of my favorite things, because I think it causes the most eye rolls. Yeah, this again? (*insert eye roll here*). Well I'm going to keep hammering it home until it sinks in, as it's a powerful practice on about 10 different levels. Change it up - who from your past are you grateful for? What is something great that happened yesterday? What is something to be grateful for today? What's the smallest thing you can think of to be grateful for?
4) Turn on all the lights
Turn on lights. Crack your blinds. Better yet, step outside if the sun is coming up. Better still? Take a walk outside in the fresh air. The longer you stay in the dark, the slower your system and mind will be to catch up to the fact that it's a new day full of possibility and opportunity. Oxygen and light are powerful.
Even 5 minutes sitting (upright) and breathing can shift your mood and bring a sense of peace and inner strength to your morning. Joining us for morning sessions brings the added bonus of other people's energy and accountability.
6) Ask Yourself: Is there something here to look at?
If you are waking up with a similar thought or stressor morning after morning that is leading to feeling dread, it might be time to investigate what's going on and get to the source. If the goal is to "not feel stressed by x every morning", maybe you need to face x head on. For example, if you feel a sense of dread every morning related to your jobs or a relationship, it's time to tackle the issue. Tackle or be tackled. What are you pretending not to know?
Feeling good requires identifying what works for you, trying things, and executing - it's not easy to build new habits and the beginning is always the toughest. But play with what works and see if you don't discover a boost to your morning by trying one or more of these.