The May AIP Reset has just finished. Some of the feedback I received – and this is proving common for many participants – was around the time commitment required for a personalised morning ritual – which happens to be one of my favourite additions to my health toolbox. It got me thinking about a speedy morning ritual.
“If you really think about it, hitting the snooze button in the morning doesn’t even make sense. It’s like saying ‘I hate getting up in the morning, so I do it over, and over, and over again.'” – Demetri Martin
Most people love the idea of a morning ritual – a series of actions performed according to a prescribed order that help to set you up for your day – but they just don’t know how to fit it into their day.
So, today I bring you the speedy morning ritual. It will take you less than 3-minutes!
The most important thing about a morning ritual is that it isn’t about mindlessly just going about your routine of choice. Rather, it’s a way of building something good into your life. It’s a very deliberate and conscious process that helps to set your course for the day.
The ritual itself may be as simple or as involved as you choose to make it.
Today, we’re keeping it simple
A little bit of Aussie and Kiwi cultural heritage for you…
I really wanted the title of the post to be ‘The Claytons Morning Ritual – the Morning Ritual for When You’re Not Having a Morning Ritual’, but I thought most people wouldn’t have a clue what I was talking about…
Back in the 1980s, Claytons was the proprietary name of a non-alcoholic soft drink marketed using the line ‘the drink you have when you’re not having a drink’. The Claytons packaging resembled a whisky bottle. The drink wasn’t very popular, but the word ‘Claytons’ remains part oif the Australian and New Zealand lexicon.
There are just 4-steps to this speedy version of a morning ritual. While you can certainly choose to limit your personalised morning ritual to these 4-steps, you can also use this as a stepping stone to creating your uniquely yours version of a morning ritual. The important thing is that you commit to it – make this the first thing you do every morning!
The best bit? – You can do this speedy morning ritual in bed immediately after waking!
Step 1: Hand on Heart
This speedy morning ritual is all about intentionally paying attention with kindness. So, begin with placing one hand (or both, if you prefer) over your heart.
This is a great way to start practicing self-love. It’s a bit like giving yourself a hug. When you place your hand(s) on your heart like this, you trigger the release of oxytocin, the hormone of care and connection.
You may find you feel a smidge awkward at first, but your body will respond to the physical gesture of warmth and care. Over time, you’ll come to appreciate just how valuable you are.
Leave your hand(s) on your heart for the duration of the ritual.
Step 2: 3 x 4:8 breaths
Next, you’re going to take 3 breaths – inhale for a count of 4 and exhale for a count of 8, three times. Really inhale – let your belly expand. Really exhale – let out all the air in your body.
Diaphragmatic breathing like this stimulates your vagus nerve – which is important in helping to reduce stress, anxiety, and inflammation by activating the of your parasympathetic nervous system.
Step 3: 3 x gratitude
While you’re taking your 3 breaths, think of three things you are grateful for in your life today.
What you practice grows stronger. Building a daily gratitude practice has been shown to improve both physical and psychological health, as well as sleep and self esteem.
Step 4: Set your intention
Finally, consider your day ahead. What do you want from this day? Set your intention for how you want to navigate the next 8 – 12 hours. Identify a word or phrase that you can hold in your mind as an anchor for dealing with whatever comes your way.
That’s it! – Your speedy 3-minute morning ritual. Do you think you could incorporate this into your day?