by Setareh Moafi, Ph.D., L.Ac.
“Don’t prioritize your schedule. Schedule your priorities.” - Steven Covey
How you start your day is an expression of what you’re cultivating in your life.
If you wake up to a loud alarm, rushing to get ready and make it to work on time, you’ll likely spend the rest of your day feeling rushed.
If you jump straight to email and social media, you’re choosing to allow your day to begin with the needs and lives of others instead of your own.
If, on the other hand, you begin the day slowly, mindfully and with a regard for your well-being, it’s likely that the centered state that you cultivate will also follow you throughout the day.
Taking care of your own needs at the start of your day will allow you to be more available to the needs of others without becoming drained or feeling resentful.
When you fly, you're told to put on your own oxygen mask before you help others put on theirs. By starting your day with a focus on yourself, you’ll be better equipped to contribute at a greater capacity to others throughout the day…and still come home feeling charged.
The moment you open your eyes in the morning, you invite a new day of possibilities.
In that moment each morning you have the opportunity to set the rhythm for the rest of your day. As the days cultivating self-care accumulate and that rhythm flows, your life is vitalized on the path of healing and wellness.
When you’re positive, intentional and focused with your mornings, you create the foundation for greater dreams to blossom and come to fruition.
To have time for a ritual in the morning will mean that you create that time by waking up earlier - even just 5-10 extra minutes in the morning can make a tremendous difference in setting the pace of your day.
Your morning ritual sets the tone for the rest of your day - and life.
In Chinese Medicine, the Earth element, which is comprised of the Spleen and Stomach, must be harmonized in order for us to move through life's challenges with ease as well as to maintain a consistent level of energy throughout the day.
The Earth element thrives on regularity - with meals, exercise, sleep and activities.
A regular morning ritual helps to strengthen the Earth element energy within us. This, in turn, will increase our ability to digest and assimilate the important nutrients we consume, as well as enhance our ability to process and assimilate our life experiences in a more healthy way. This is one way to support being more grounded in your daily life.
Ritual provides order and order harmonizes and calms the nervous system.
Starting your morning early allows more time for you to set the foundation you want to create for your day and to be more intentional about what you want that foundation to look like.
When building a house, the foundation is the structure that ensures stability for the entire project development.
Think of your morning ritual as your foundation for the project development of your goals and dreams.
5 Simple Steps for a Healthy Morning Ritual:
- Hydrate - after several hours of sleep and inactivity, the body needs hydration for optimal functioning. While in general, hydration is important (try to drink 1/2 of your weight in ounces of water daily, i.e. 75 ounces for a 150 pound body), it’s best to drink more water earlier in the day. Some suggest that drinking 50% of your daily water intake by mid-morning will not only keep you hydrated throughout the day, but can also prevent headaches and fatigue.
- Center your mind - this can be done through a quiet meditation or relaxation practice, and even journaling to help you release negative thoughts, worries and also to help plan out your day.
- Move your body
- Practice gratitude - this in and of itself could be a daily ritual. Remember, when we give gratitude for all that’s working in our lives, we create space for greater positivity and joy to flow into our lives.
- Eat a warm, nourishing breakfast and take the time to eat without rushing. Allowing time for your meals also nourishes the Earth element and digestive system, which leads to a faster, healthier metabolism.
Setareh Moafi, Ph.D., L.Ac. is Co-Owner and Director of A Center for Natural Healing in Santa Clara, California, a health and wellness clinic that specializes in Classical Chinese Medicine and Traditional Japanese Acupuncture. Setareh offers clinical services and transformational workshops that blend the ancient practices of Classical Chinese Medicine and Yoga. More information at www.setarehmoafi.com and www.acenterfornaturalhealing.com.