8 Ways to Start Your Day with Intention
Beep. Beep. Beep. Grab coffee. Dash out door. Adrenaline blaring, mind already awhirl, we launch ourselves out like cannonballs—scattershot, hurling, into the world. Now, is that any way to start the day? What if you started the day feeling more centered, and less ballistic? For this week’s healthy habits, let’s consider eight ways to start your day with intention.
- Journaling. According to the researchers at the University of Rochester, journaling helps manage anxiety, reduce stress and lower depression. Many find it’s a way to help prioritize what’s most important in life, too—and what better way to start the day than by reviewing your goals and aspirations?
- A walking meditation. Unlike taking a brisk walk for health, or a purpose-driven walk, such as taking the dog out, a walking meditation centers around the experience of ... walking. As you stroll, become aware of your body in motion, and each breath you take. Observe these, as well as nature around you.
- A sitting meditation. Or, as an alternative to a walking meditation, allow yourself to become very still. Choose a quiet spot to focus on the breath. Some people find that a meditation app, such as Stop, Breathe & Think, or Headspace, can be a useful guide.
- Sun salutations. Greet the sun, and stretch and tone muscles with surya namaskar, a flowing series of 12 postures. While serious yogis do 108 rounds, the casual practitioner can aim to work up to at least 12. This exercise is best done on an empty stomach, before breakfast.
- Devotional reading. Spend 10 minutes enjoying the study of a work that feels holy to you, deepening your understanding of God or nourishing your sense of spirituality in some way.
- Shower with aromatherapy. Use an essential oil such as eucalyptus, peppermint or rosemary to get your day off to an energetic start. Fill a washcloth with a few drops of the oil and warm water and inhale, or add more drops and place the washcloth on the shower floor, where the vapors will rise up from.
- Spend some laser-focused time with your child. Enjoy a few minutes connecting. Snuggle. Read a book. Color or play. Your child will not be this age for very long.
- Sing. Whether it’s a Shaker song or a Shakira tune, belting something out can release endorphins and make you feel relaxed and ready to tackle the day’s challenges. Take that, alarm clock!
How do you start your morning with intention? Share with us in the comments section below.
Kathryn Drury Wagner is a writer and editor based in Los Angeles. Her latest book is Hawaii’s Strangest, Ickiest, Wildest Book Ever!, a science and natural history “gross out” for young readers.