Looking to take things a little slower in the morning? We asked relaxation therapist Angelique Roussey for her checklist of the mindful morning habits we should all be adopting.
#1: Breathe, stretch, repeat
Getting out of bed can sometimes be the most challenging part of our day, particularly if we’ve got a busy schedule ahead. So, how can we change our approach to our morning routine to avoid falling into the social media trap? Relaxation therapist Angelique Roussey says that even before opening your eyes, repeating a few simple breathing exercises can help to anchor us in the present moment. When breathing in, try and imagine your body inhaling positive energy, before gently exhaling through pursed lips to get rid of any lingering negative thoughts. Repeat three or four times, before gently stretching to warm up your muscles. If you’re looking to get a little more active, these yoga routines could be right for you. (A quick 5-minute morning yoga routine).
#2: Say no to the screen
Angelique recommends avoiding checking any devices for at least thirty minutes after waking up - and yes, this does include the news! Bombarding your brain with a barrage of information before you’ve given it a chance to properly wake up is only going to result in increased stress, so try and hold off on hitting social media first thing in the morning. Instead, open your curtains and take a look outside, opening your window for a breath of fresh air if you can. Making sure Mother Nature - and not Facebook - is the first thing you see each day, is likely to lead to a drastic improvement in your morning mood.
#3: Learn to live in the present moment
This takes practice, Angelique says, but it’s crucial to avoid feeling overwhelmed by the stresses of daily life. As mentioned earlier, breathing exercises are great for centring the brain and encouraging our bodies to really feel what it’s like to live in the present moment. To improve your posture while regulating your breathing, Angelique recommends a breathing technique known as ‘the sponge’. Simply breathe in while tensing your muscles - shoulders, thighs, buttocks - and gently release on the outbreathe. Finally, living in the present also means letting go any stress about things that have already taken place and that we can’t change. Guided meditation is a great technique (Start the day with these guided meditation tips) if you struggle with anxious thoughts.