by Katharine Asif – Editor, Mindful mornings
As we all deal with the impact of lockdowns and restricted travel, we asked one of the Guava & Gold team to talk us through ways to get going in the morning …
Getting anything done can be hard at the moment. Days seem to blend into one another and, without us realising, weeks or months can go by in which we feel we have accomplished very little – I, for one, am amazed that we are already in February 2021! It is certainly true that it can be hard to keep to routines and resolutions when we rarely have the opportunity to leave the house and, indeed, the same can be said when we find ourselves swept up in the business of everyday life and everything that accompanies it. This is why in 2021, I have resolved to take the time to be mindful of my life and to appreciate what I have. To this end, I have incorporated the practice of mindfulness into my morning routine, which I will share with you so that you, too, can take the time to slow down and feel your way into each day.
Get out of bed, the right way
The first step each morning is to leave my bed. Although this can seem daunting at the best of times (and even more so in the middle of the English winter), I see it as the key to starting the day with a positive mindset; an opportunity to set the tone for how I approach what is to come. That this is a conscious decision allows me to take stock of my emotions and my physical state at the outset of each new day, which in turn grants me greater power over myself.
Give technology a break
Our motivation is at its highest first thing in the morning and, as a result, this is the ideal time for us to practise active mindfulness. In order to give my mind the space and time it needs to be fully appreciative of my life, I avoid using any devices (such as my phone or laptop) for the first hour after waking up. This time is for me, not for the outside world. This allows me to turn my focus inward and to take in my surroundings. As much as I wish I were on a beautiful, sandy beach listening to the waves, I am still able to recognise the beauty of morning birdsong while gazing out over my garden! Recently, snowdrops have started to come into bloom and so every morning I find myself greeted by a sea of white flowers, and every morning I make sure I am actively aware of that beauty.
Be present in your own life
At the heart of mindfulness is the heightened presence of mind that allows us to take in our surroundings. Before actively investing myself in my mornings, I found it was easy to allow time to slip by, and to take the beauty of each morning for granted. From then to now, I feel a stark contrast within my approach to the new day as I make a greater effort to notice and be aware of everything I do with my body: I am more conscious of and grateful for the uplifting fragrance of my Coco & Cherimoya shampoo when I wash my hair, I pay attention to the products I use and to the food I eat. I have even recently started to savour my morning cup of tea, rather than simply going through the motions of drinking it without really thinking. All these actions combined have allowed me to be more mentally present at the day’s beginning and have brought me a sense of increased purpose.
The practice of appreciation
Whilst being mentally present in the morning can often seem difficult, it is through recognising our capabilities and being kind to ourselves that our start to the day can truly become mindful. For me, this exercise in self-love takes the form of an active appreciation of both myself and every individual action which comprises my morning routine: I wake up and feel the strength in my body, the softness of my hair after conditioning it with the Coco & Cherimoya conditioner I’m using at the moment, and, after moisturising with a Coral Beach body lotion, I am thankful to be able to use clean products on my skin. This active appreciation each morning of everything which goes into starting my day on the right foot is at the heart of my mindful practice and it ensures that I never take the gifts each day brings me for granted.
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