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A Guide to Making the Most Out of Your Mornings

A Guide to Making the Most Out of Your Mornings
There’s something so magical about waking up to the birds chirping outside and feeling the sense of calm that a new day brings. The morning is a special time for us to reflect and simply be. One of the most powerful tools I've found for helping set myself up for a productive and positive day has been establishing a morning routine. Imagine that instead of waking up in reaction to the day, you give yourself the gift of curating some time that's just about yourself. A mindful morning routine is about nourishing the mind and finding a quiet moment of peace before beginning a productive day. Use the quiet time the morning offers to connect with your intentions and inner guidance.
Get Organized the Night Before.
Staying up fifteen extra minutes to get yourself organized, pack a lunch, get your work bag ready and figure out what you want to wear the next day can help make your morning flow with ease. With these details already worked out, you can use the time to focus on setting intentions for your day, or just enjoy a few minutes of quiet all to yourself.
Wake Up Earlier Than Usual.
Waking up early allows for a wonderful spaciousness to enter your day. Many people find that the early morning is their most productive time.  Try moving your wake up time back in 15-minute increments, until you’re getting 30 or 45 extra minutes (or more!) to yourself each day. Give yourself time to adjust and, as always, remember to be gentle with yourself.
Get Enough Quality Sleep.
Decide on a time to wake up and have your sleep schedule down pat. Even if you're just waking up a few minutes earlier than normal, without proper planning it not only won't work out but you'll be lacking sleep in the process, which will affect the entire rest of your day. Make sure your mattress is comfortable and supportive. The one you have been using for years may have exceeded its life expectancy – about 9 or 10 years for most good quality mattresses. Have comfortable pillows and make the room attractive and inviting for sleep but also free of  allergens that might affect your breathing during the night.
Right Before You Get Out of Bed, Do a Quick Body Scan.
Starting at the top of your head, bring your awareness to each part of your body, and notice how it feels. Is there tension in your face, or stiffness in your neck? Go through your body until you reach your toes, trying to notice how your muscles, skin, and energy feel.
Make the Bed.
When you make your bed, not only are establishing a discipline of tidiness, but you make your room look and feel ready for a new day.
Drink Lemon Water.
Try and make this one of the very first things you do after getting out of bed. Drinking water with freshly-squeezed lemon supports your liver in flushing toxins, and will help create a healthy, alkaline environment in your body.  Personally, I love to drink warm water with lemon and/or apple cider vinegar in the morning.
Turn Brushing Your Teeth or Doing Your Hair into a Meditation.
You don’t always have time to sit on a pillow to feel the benefits of mindfulness. If you just can't bring yourself to spend time in meditation, you can still practice meditative techniques while doing the things you have to do, like brushing your teeth or blowdrying your hair. Meditation doesn’t need to be complicated or intimidating. Keep it simple and peaceful. Try lighting a few candles and concentrate on breathing in and out deeply, slowly and gently while you complete another morning task.
Spend Some Time Under the Sun.
We've all experienced a day where we woke up in a panic, jumped in the car and spent the day working furiously in front of a screen. By the time you're ready to go home, especially during the winter months, you haven't seen the sun at all. How many days do we let go by without enjoying the great gift of nature?
Enjoy Your Coffee Sitting on the Porch.
Watching a minute or two of the sun coming up is an instant pick me up and sets the tone for a positive start to the day. Even in chillier climates, bundling up and walking outside with a steaming mug of tea or letting the dog out gives us a precious sliver of time to take pause and soak in the beauty that is right before us. Even our everyday routines can be transformed into spiritual moments.    
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