Over the last few months, I’ve posted about all of the wonderful things we’re doing at Soap Hope — the ingredients we love, the organizations we work with, the team here at Soap Hope.
Fair warning — this post is going to get a little more personal!
Like everyone else, I’m starting to notice the effects of careless choices about my health. Stress hasn’t helped, either, and I’ve had to address some of these issues (insomnia, headaches, etc.) just so that I can function like less of a zombie.
I started seeing an Ayurvedic nutritionist, to discuss my overall health and the choices I’d been making, especially when it comes to eating.
I could write about twenty blogs on Ayurvedic therapy and its holistic approach to health, but today we’ll just focus on one of the aspects of the practice that has made the biggest difference for me already: a morning routine.
My Morning Routine
This last year has been kind of a whirlwind for me — without going into a ton of detail, I found that I’d been burning out. A lot.
Looking at the kind of schedule I’d been keeping, it seems SO OBVIOUS that I’d gotten beyond the point of stressed and scattered, and started to venture into some concerning levels of anxiety.
I knew I needed to work on something, and when I looked at how I was starting my day — forcing myself out of bed, skipping breakfast, rushing into the office and jumping into whatever I had going on — I realized I might start by taking back my mornings for myself.
So when I talked with the nutritionist, I was excited — she didn’t just tell me what kinds of things I needed to eat, but also brought up the importance of a morning routine.
Starting the Day Off Right
From the Ayurvedic Institute:
“A daily routine is absolutely necessary to bring radical change in body, mind, and consciousness. Routine helps to establish balance in one’s constitution. It also regularizes a person’s biological clock, aids digestion, absorption and assimilation, and generates self-esteem, discipline, peace, happiness, and longevity.”
The Institute suggests several habits to adapt when building your morning routine — everything from exercise to water consumption to self massage.
As a self-proclaimed perfectionist, it was a struggle not to adopt ALL of the suggested activities. My therapist suggested working on just a handful of things, so that I’d make my routine something that works for me.
So every morning, I wake somewhere between 6 and 7 AM. I get up and take my dog out, and then I go for at least a mile-long walk.
My morning walk has proven to be such a fulfilling part of my day. I’m getting up and moving, I’m connecting with myself and clearing my brain before I jump into things. I’ve really gotten to enjoy this particular part of my routine.
When I get back home, I drink a glass of water with lemon. It’s refreshing, it’s good for my kidneys, and I like to think it helps wake up my insides.
Then I shower, and afterwards, I use a body oil and take the time to give myself a massage. It stimulates my skin and muscles, and it’s another great way to practice self-care.
I go about getting ready, and make sure to sit down and eat my breakfast, instead of just picking it up at a drive-thru or skipping it altogether.
Daily Self-Care and Long-Term Benefits
Stress isn’t just an inconvenience or something that keeps us awake at night. Chronic stress can lead to a number of diseases, weakens the immune system, and can take years off of your life.
According to the APA: “Reducing your stress levels can not only make you feel better right now, but may also protect your health long-term. In one study, researchers examined the association between “positive affect” — feelings like happiness, joy, contentment and enthusiasm — and the development of coronary heart disease over a decade. They found that for every one-point increase in positive affect on a five-point scale, the rate of heart disease dropped by 22 percent.”
By taking the time in my morning to care for and nourish myself, I’m setting the tone for my day. that time for myself is important, and so is my own health and happiness.
Do you have a daily routine? What are some ways that you start your morning off?