Mornings are always a hectic time, but mornings during the holidays can seem almost impossible. From the moment we wake up, a non-stop nagging urges us to keep piling onto our lengthy list of to-do’s until we finally collapse back into sleep at night. We’ve been conditioned to think this is how we must act in order to survive the holiday season. Taking time away from working, shopping and going on seasonal excursions with our loved ones, to simply gather our scattered thoughts, revive the spirit and stay grounded, is deemed selfish. In reality, it’s necessary!
With all of the stress involved with keeping a frantic schedule, especially under the financial stress that is placed on us during this time, we need to permit ourselves small moments throughout the day to recharge, or we’ll end up being less productive and more exhausted than if we hadn’t. As soon as we stop treating the holidays like a sprint to last place, we can remember what it was like to actually enjoy them.
It’s a cliche that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but it should be as widely propagated an idea that your morning ritual is the most important time of the day. Starting your day of right with a healthy breakfast and a healthy dose of personal time can help you stay grounded and keep you from feeling so physically and emotionally depleted later in the day. The more energy you invest into your own well-being, the more you can give away to others.
Simple Morning Rituals to Stay Grounded Throughout the Day
There is an action in yoga, to wake yourself up out of savasana, where a person rubs their hands together, giving their palms warmth, and brings them up to their cheeks. They wash their face with a spritzing of affection. This gently soothes the body, and signals to the mind that it is time to wake up. Using this after you’ve wiggled your toes and fingers to attention in the morning—assuming your alarm clock hasn’t beaten you to it—is a peaceful way to start the morning off on your time. Even if you have to be up at that time anyway, it’s nice to tell yourself that you are getting up because you are ready for the day. This extra 10 seconds keeps you from jolting yourself up, and being unable to sustain that momentum for the rest of the morning—let alone the day.
A Routine of Setting Intentions
Having a routine can be exhausting when you lose consciousness of what you are doing. Mindless work, even tedious, little tasks like brushing your teeth, putting on clothes, or making breakfast, can feel like a trance if you let it. Instead, stay in the moment. Mentally be aware of the task at hand. This will help you from feeling like you are still asleep. Your alert mind feels the water cleansing your face, the brush running through your hair, and every action in between.
A misconception about meditation is that it has to take a long time. Mornings are fast-paced, but a quick meditation fit between waking up and running out the door is 5 minutes well spent. Anxiety and depression spike during the holidays. Studies have proven that meditation can ease the severity of both these afflictions. Before you say you don’t have time for meditation, see where you might be able to borrow a few minutes from watching the news or checking emails to put into your morning meditation.
To begin meditating with crystals, sit cross-legged on the floor, or with a pillow seated between yourself and the floor. With your crystals in hand, get in sync with your breath. Shut your eyes, and instead focus on your third-eye point. You can either say a mantra—a simple intention for you or your day—or you can meditate in silence. The important thing is that you concentrate on elevating your mental clarity with each breath as if it is pulsing life force into you, and casting out that toxic morning anxiety so you can stay grounded throughout the day.
Leaving the House
Before you leave the house, take one more small moment to give yourself an affirmation. Tell yourself what you need to hear so that you can have the confidence to take on the day. Looking at your reflection, say, “I am strong. I can do this!” Relieved of stress, this fresh energy that you have gifted yourself with carry you throughout the rest of your work and holiday-related tasks.