Once back to work after a vacation, it usually does not take much time before you fall into old, rushed habits. Your hectic morning, trying to get out of the house in time to beat rush hour traffic, is a harsh reality set against the set-your-own-schedule of vacation time. Even on a more scheduled vacation, waking up in the morning is always a lot less arduous, knowing there will be something new and fun to experience that day.
Hitting snooze multiple times, reluctantly peeling yourself out of bed, groggily taking a shower and then downing some coffee before running out the door is not exactly a therapeutic way to start your day. And it’s definitely not fun to face this reality once you’ve returned home from the beach, the jungle, the lake house, or some other exotic exploration after a summer vacation.
Interestingly, Ayurvedic philosophy (the sister science to yoga) and other studies show that a consistent and meaningful routine in the morning not only sets the right tone for your day, but also leads to abundant long-term health. While routine is typically the last thing we think about while on vacation, a daily morning ritual is the perfect thing to come back to, once your vacation ends and everyday life settles in. Returning home from a sweetly savored and well-deserved vacation just may be the perfect time to tune up your mornings.
If you google “morning routines” you will find many articles about success: how the top 10 most successful leaders start their day, a success-based morning routine, starting your day for success, etc. A morning routine is also one of the basic tenants of Ayurveda, which focuses vigorously on digestive health as the basis for longterm health and wellness. According to Ayurvedic philosophy, your daily routine will either cultivate balance and build up your resistance to disease, or it will break down and leave you vulnerable to illness.
For example, some morning practices you might commit to include: waking up before the sunrise; drinking warm lemon water first thing; scraping your tongue to stimulate your organs, waken your taste buds, and to scrape off the ama that accumulates there overnight; using a neti-pot to wash your nasal passages; pranayama (breathing exercises) and meditation; setting clear intentions for your day; using no electronics until you are done with your morning ritual.
The perfect morning routine might look different for everyone. From a health and peace of mind perspective, linking together just a few healthy practices are key as you create one that is healthful and meaningful for you. With a little self-discipline, your meaningful morning ritual is not only proven to keep you well, but it will help you be grounded, better organized, and thinking with more clarity and precision through your day.
So where do you begin? Start out simple. When I was just beginning to create my morning ritual, I would wake up before sunrise (whenever possible without snoozing); take a moment to sit on my bed with my two feet on the ground (not picking up my phone to check messages or anything else); get up to brush my teeth; and then ritually open all the blinds in my loft to welcome in the day. Then I would drink a cup of warm lemon water, do a few yoga poses, and sit down for 20 minutes to meditate. Sometimes I would fit in a workout before showering and breakfast/tea, then off to work.
Although it was pretty simple, I could not believe how it changed my day. In fact, it changed my life. Adding just a little bit of mindfulness and intention to my morning with these routines made me actually look forward to waking up the next day. Immediately, the practice became something I enjoyed and not something I felt I had to check off my list.
My morning routine has evolved and now I include more from the suggested list I mentioned above, in addition to a longer yoga practice and/or morning walk.
Nothing will wipe away the sweet calm and delight in your vacation-state-of-mind more quickly than the alarm blasting for the third time after snoozing and you dragging yourself out of bed, feeling as if vacation never happened. Creating and sticking to a morning ritual creates an energy of space from where you begin the rest of your day. You start the morning with a steadiness and clarity that leaves room for inspiration, purpose, and success, making you feel better all-around, even after the sweet summer vacation fades away.
Sandy Kingsley is the founder/owner of Inspired Exploration Travel, Travel to Delight the Heart and the Senses. She is an experiential travel enthusiast. Trip & retreat designer. Bowspringer. Yoga instructor. Mountain girl. Suburban dweller. And grant writer for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Cincinnati. Check out what people are saying about her small group travels to India www.inspiredexplorationtravel.com. The 2017 Illuminate Your Soul — Journey to India and Nepal still has a limited number of spots open. Check out the itinerary: Illuminate Your Soul and register consider joining us.
Originally published at www.inspiredexplorationtravel.com on June 2, 2017.
Originally published at medium.com