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8 Morning Activities to Keep You Present All Day

8 Morning Activities to Keep You Present All Day

Ever notice that our morning moods tend to set the tone for the rest of the day? If we feel well-rested and inspired, our day tends to unfold far more positively than if we were to wake up sleep-deprived, rushed and cranky. One way to make an investment for a positive, inspiring day is to start our mornings fully aware of the present moment.

Here are seven possible morning activities to create a mindset of present awareness that will give you the mental and spiritual alertness to truly appreciate the beautiful fleeting moments that you will discover on your own for the rest of the day.

1. Meditate in the morning, even if it’s only for five minutes. As soon as you get out of bed, sit in a comfortable position (away from your bed, to avoid the temptation of going back to sleep). Rather than mentally rushing through the daily to-do list or remorse over your poor quality of sleep, allow your mind to soak in the subtle noises that can only come from the start of a brand new day. Do you hear birds chirping, other family members cooking breakfast? Focus on your in breath and out breath, one lungful of air at a time. Do this every morning, and your days will feel sharper, clearer and more full of life.

2. Do a dry brushing cleanse before you hop into the shower. I started doing this several weeks ago, and I am officially hooked. All you need is a long-handle wooden brush with natural bristles (I bought one with cactus bristles from The Body Shop) and about five to ten minutes of your time. Before you shower, use the brush on your dry skin to exfoliate your skin, invigorate your circulation and help your lymphatic system do its job. Doing this in the mornings is not only invigorating, it also helps me become fully aware of my own body and appreciate everything that it does.

3. Massage lotion on your hands and feet. Just like dry-skin brushing before I shower, massaging lotion on my hands and feet is a soothing physical sensation that keeps me rooted in my body and not in my thoughts.

4. Really look at your coffee and tea (and other breakfast drinks). Yes, really. When you are pouring milk into your coffee, pay attention to the swirls the milk makes on the dark liquid surface of your drink. When you drop a tea bag into boiling water, watch the tea ingredients create a mist in the clear water. Smell your coffee. Savor your orange juice. Whatever you drink in the morning, it is just as alive and deserving of attention as everything else you do in your life.

5. Exercise in the morning. So much easier said than done! This is why I paid money to do yoga on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6:45 in the morning. If I know there is a class I have to go to on a specific day, then I will force myself out of bed to do it. Getting your heart beating and your body moving early in the day gives you the natural high to stay focused and present for the rest of your long and busy day.

6. Water your houseplants. I didn’t think much about houseplants until I moved in with a college friend who happens to own a fantastic collection of houseplants, potted herbs and other lovely, green, leafy things. Sharing your breakfast with a potted plant on your kitchen table  really makes you appreciate the minor miracle that exists even in the most commonplace living things. Seeing new leaves uncurl, watching older leaves wilt, noticing the subtle changes the plant undergoes with the changing weather–it really puts things in perspective and helps you stay present.

7. Journal, draw, play an instrument, listen to music. Be creative. I’ve found that being creative in the morning is one of the best ways for me to feel present for the rest of the day. Before I begin the rest of my day, I make a point to spend at least a half hour to drawing in my sketchbook–because making art is my passion and it is the activity I can lose myself in doing. Why wait until I am tired at the end of the day to do what I love?

8. Wake up consistently early. Early is subjective for everyone, depending on the kind of schedule you have. (I tried joining the 5AM club for maybe two weeks before realizing that it is really impractical for my own personal schedule.) For me, “early” is whatever time that is not the easiest to wake up to, but well worth the effort to do all the things in the morning–be it journaling, exercising or cooking a big breakfast– that will help you feel truly alive and focused for the rest of the day.  Here’s to more inspiring mornings that will make you feel present and fully aware of the precious life you are living right this moment.

Read more: Do Good, General Health, Health, Mental Wellness, ,

By Yumi Sakugawa, Intent.com

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Megan, selected from Intent.com

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61 comments

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1:51AM PDT on Apr 12, 2013

Some great ideas, I will try some of them! Not all of them applies to everyone though. I think it's best to find the time that best suit you for exercising or doing creative projects. Some people are most creative in the morning, others are not. I'm not a morning person at all, I play piano, but trying to practice in the morning would just be frustrating. Early evening works a lot better for me. It's important not to assume that the same things works for everyone. I have friends who thinks exerising in the evening is a nightmare, they have to do it in the early morning, while I feel the same about early morning exercise. But some of the other ideas are very good!

12:19PM PDT on May 22, 2012

Great ideas.

10:58AM PDT on Jun 26, 2011

I like the idea of really looking at everything and appreciating it.

4:09AM PDT on Jun 7, 2011

Nice suggestions, but very impractical for people like me who struggle to get up early. Like you said about yourself, I find it easier to wake up when I have somewhere to be, but then I'm in a rush to get there. I certainly don't have time to dry brush myself or write a journal. I do occasionally meditate, but I find it's essential (for me personally) to sit in an uncomfortable position, so that I don't drift back to sleep. It doesn't matter if I'm out of bed, I'm usually so tired in the morning that I could fall back to sleep anywhere if I make myself comfortable. So I spend a couple minutes with my head propped up against the wall, my body at a slight angle, usually tapping something with my hands to keep myself conscious of doing something. I have to be aware of myself, otherwise I'm right back asleep.

1:46PM PDT on Mar 22, 2011

Thanks.

11:10AM PST on Jan 4, 2011

I wish I had time for all these, but sadly I only get sleep for 6 hours/ night as is, lol.

8:25PM PST on Jan 2, 2011

Great ideas to promote mindful awareness. Be here now and now and now. I like to remind myself throughout the day, "This moment is like this."

8:05PM PST on Jan 2, 2011

I have to be up early every day for class this quarter, so I'm going to try doing some of these! I especially like the meditation idea

1:57PM PST on Jan 1, 2011

Lol some I like but some .. ask time, for me it's a bit hard since I get up round 5am .. which is early enough ;)

11:35AM PST on Jan 1, 2011

i'm not an early bird, but some of this sound good, so i'll try getting up a lttle bit earlier to do it! breakfast is some kind of ritual for me already and poor plants will be very happy if i manage to follow ur advise!!

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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