alcohol free, mental health, sobriety, wellbeing

Good Morning

Are you one of those annoying morning people?

I am.

I never used to be though.

When you decide that waking up with a pounding head, a mouth as dry as the Gobi desert (Sahara is so overrated) and eyes that resemble those of Ren from Ren and Stimpy, is no longer fun; it changes things.

Sobriety gives you many things in life. But for me one of the most precious, was time.

Now obviously we all have the same amount of time. But drinking stole so much of mine that now I have a full 24 hours back I try not to waste it.

Which means….I’m now an annoying morning person.

What does that mean? Well, for starters I (try and) wake up by 7am. I think the key here is I try and wake up at least half an hour before my normal daily life starts to give myself the time to do the following things…

1. Meditation. Yeah that thing where you try to be all zen but are already thinking about what you’re having for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It comes with practice, it doesn’t have to be perfect and you need to find what works for you. But when you do that even just 5mins in the morning to calm and still your mind is a game changer. Trust me!

2. Gratitude – being grateful for a roof over your head, varying temperatures of clean water and money in your bank account is a good start. But go deep, get detailed. Find something to be grateful for even when it looks shit at surface level. Louis (my dog) is currently waking me every night between 12 and 2 to go out for a garden adventure disguised as a midnight wee. Not ideal. But I’m grateful he barks to wake me instead of me being greeted with a puddle in the kitchen every morning.

3. Affirm your awesomeness – affirmations for the non converted sound like the biggest piss take but they’re not. They’re basically ways to trick your mind and they’ve been proven to work. So try them. Tell yourself things you might not believe fully but want to be true. Rinse and repeat daily and see your positivity bloom. My nonnegotiable ones are ‘I am worthy, I am capable, I am deserving and I am enough.’

4. Move – whether it be stretching, yoga, a Mr Motivater style workout or going out for a run (weirdo). In the words of Marshall Jefferson…Move your body!

5. Read – this is my favourite part. Not just because I love to read but also because first thing in the morning you really absorb the words on the page. This is why a good personal development or something you can learn from is a great thing to read. I’m currently reading the Bhagavad Gita which is a Hindu scripture. The Hindu version of the bible so to speak. I’m not a very religious person but this has some really incredible spiritual learnings so I’m fascinated by it and a few pages every morning sets me up for the day.

I was in a clubhouse chat room the other day and the topic was morning rituals for optimal well-being. People were sharing lots of tips and advice. What works for them etc. And someone mentioned ‘awakening your senses’ and I loved the idea of that.

After what is hopefully a good nights sleep, waking up with a bang is probably not what you need. I’m not sure shocking you’re system into being awake is a good idea. Be kind and gentle and allow your body to wake up with a sense of calm.

Think of the times when you oversleep and then you bound out of bed, running around trying to play catch up. Your day tends to follow a frantic and chaotic pattern.

When you wake up calmly and slowly and allow your body to stir gently and awaken the senses, the day that follows will have a better chance of being productive, organised and aligned.

This is not to say you can’t have a high energy and excitable day. If I need this I opt for 80s style aerobics over yoga stretches. And I sing my affirmations to myself. Seriously…I do! My day then unfolds as a slightly more upbeat affair and I have a little spring in my step.

I don’t think being a morning person has to mean you get up at the crack of dawn. But I do think it means giving yourself time to prepare yourself for the day ahead.

Much like tuning an instrument before the big concert. Or warming yourself up before a big run. Giving yourself half an hour first thing in the morning to set the tone for your day and you’ll soon know what it’s like to be a morning person.

And then you can annoy the fuck out of everyone else!

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