Life continues to be chaotic for many of us and the more ways we can find to recenter ourselves and find restoration, the better. Below I share five ways you can find daily nourishment of mind, body and spirit and the best thing is, they don’t need to cost anything at all!
I call them my “happy habits”, daily upgrades I try and include into my morning routine every single day (usually before I look at my phone or turn on a screen). Slowly start to incorporate some of these ideas into your daily routine and see the impact they make to your day and overall health after just a few weeks.
Meditation can seem really intimidating but it doesn’t need to be. Firstly, remember that it is normal to find it hard and your mind will wonder. Just like working at a new sport or yoga pose, it takes practice.
There are tonnes of free meditations on YouTube, including one I recorded here:
Or you can simply sit in a comfortable seated position with a straight spine and the eyes gently closed. Set a timer for 5-20 minutes and take a few deep breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth. Feel the earth beneath your sit bones and under your feet and notice how this provides a sense of feeling grounded and supported.
Now release control of the breath and simply start to watch it. Notice how each breath looks different, any sounds the breath makes and how different parts of your body move as you breathe. Notice the slight pause between each inhale and exhale, exhale and inhale and notice every sensation that each breath brings.
Each time your mind starts to wander, gently bring your awareness back to your breath. When the timer finishes, take a moment with the eyes still closed to sit and notice how you feel and any thoughts or feelings that arose.
Yoga is incredible for your overall health and not only will it bring you strength, flexibility, mobility and balance but is a holistic practice that encompasses the mind-body-spirit connection. A simple mindful, morning sequence can feel wonderful and set you up for the day ahead. The flow I recorded below can even be done in bed.
Think of five things you are grateful for at that moment, you can write them down or say them to yourself. It can be anything from the roof over your head to the cuddle your daughter gave you first thing to the delicious breakfast you eat. It doesn’t need to be “big” things. This is a perfect opportunity to realise that the things we mistake of as the “small” things in life really are the big things and make life worth living big things really are the small things in life. Better still, research has shown the power of gratitude with benefits like improved self-esteem, stress relief and strengthening social relationships.
Get outside & breathe
Before you plough head first into your day, can you get outside, even just for ten minutes. Sit down with your feet in the grass and take a moment to appreciate this wonderful world that we live in.
As you take this pause, can you stop and take ten slow and mindful breaths. Inhaling through the nose and creating space within the body, feeling the belly and ribs expanding in all directions. Then exhaling slowly through the mouth, feeling everything melt back in and leaving you a little more centred and grounded.
Can you start the day with a glass of water and let it be your reminder to make sure you stay hydrated throughout the day. I find carrying a reusable water bottle around with me helps as a reminder to drink. Keeping hydrated helps to regulate body temperature and keeps your organs functioning properly but also improves sleep quality, brain function and mood.