2017 has seen some changes to my morning routine, and I have to say they have definitely been for the better. We all start the year trying to be a little healthier and I am no different. Don’t by any means think I’m jumping out of bed and completing an exercise circuit (I love my bed and I am slow to wake up) but it’s small, simple changes that have made a big difference.

I am the type of person that is rushing from the minute I wake up – usually because I woke up late – and fell into the habit last year of grabbing breakfast as I ran out of the door and not taking time to properly wake up before I got outside leaving me grumpy and frazzled. So in new year style I decided to change all that…

Breakfast at a table

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For the first time since I lived at home with my mum I am making a conscious effort to sit down and eat breakfast at the table. Not only does it mean that I don’t get indigestion, it slows me down enough to focus on what I’m eating and whether I feel full.

It has surprised me just how much affect the way you start your day can have on the rest of it. Taking time to focus on what I’m eating and eating well has meant that I have been less hungry throughout the day. Probably because each time I eat I stop and pay attention to it rather than grabbing something while running around like a headless chicken.

10 Minutes of mindfulness

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After reading A mindfulness guide for the frazzled I have been trying to set aside a little time each day to pay attention to the now. The best time I have found for this is directly after breakfast, it sets me up nicely for the day and gives me time to digest my food and finish my coffee.

I use 10 minute guided meditations from AWARE. As you can see I’m on day 11 of a 21 day course. It’s not always easy and some days I spend more time refocusing away from the to-do list running in my head, but trying to spend some time each morning paying attention to myself has also meant that I pay more attention to the things I’m doing throughout the day.

Daylight face time

It’s still winter (which I’m pretty annoyed about) which means there isn’t much daylight. Without daylight I tend to get rather down so I invested in a daylight lamp. The idea is to spend 10 – 20 minutes a day with the lamp in your peripheral vision to help improve your mood, especially useful for those who struggle with depression and seasonal affective disorder. I tuck mine at the end of my dining table while I eat my breakfast and complete my meditation. I do have more energy and a lift in my mood after using it, but more than anything else it helps me wake up, which is great on dark mornings.

None of these things have caused a big upheaval in my life but they have definitely improved it – I just hope I can keep it up. Is there a small change you can make to your morning routine that will make a difference?

P.s. – Oscar just wanted to get in on the action

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