Start Your Morning Off Right
Tibetan Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hahn once said, “Waking up this morning, I smile. 24 brand new hours are before me. I vow to live fully in each moment.” “When you arise in the morning,” Marcus Aurelius once penned, “think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive- to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.” What if, instead of waking up each day in dread or anxiety of the whole day before you, you woke up in gratitude, celebration, and joy?
During the earliest months of recovery from drug and alcohol addiction, waking up is with little celebration. Surely it is good to be alive, but considering the symptoms of withdrawal, the appeal is debateable. We are grateful to be sober, but putting an on entirely sun shining face is hard to do. These morning practices will help you start the day off on the right foot to set the tone and intention for the whole rest of the day.
- Rise with the sun. Keeping your blinds and curtains open to wake with natural sunlight actually produces better sleep and sets your circadian rhythm to a more natural pattern. Your body will intuitively know when to wake up.
- Set your alarm clock early so you can snooze later. If the sunlight doesn’t cut it, try setting your alarm at least fifteen minutes before your optimal wake up time. You can give yourself fifteen minutes to snooze, however, research shows snoozing actually makes you more tired. Instead, try to wake up and dedicate those fifteen minutes to some of the following practices.
- Drink a full 8 ounces of fresh water. After sleeping for 6-10 hours of recommended sleep time per night, your body is dehydrated. Unless you’ve woken up and taken a sip or two during the night, that means its been 6-10 hours since the last time you drank any water. Starting the morning off with a full glass of water helps the body rehydrate and kickstart metabolism.
- Stretch in bed. After reaching for your bedside water and drinking a glass, spend some time stretching between the sheets. Stretch your limbs, flex your fingers, and your toes, and move from side to side. Your body needs extra help getting the blood flowing before jumping out of bed and into activities.
- Write down your dreams. We can spend all day ruminating on what happened in our sleep. Psychology proves that the more we try to access a memory the more dull it becomes. If you remember your dream when you wake up, write it down. You’ll spend less time stressed wishing you had.
- Write down your gratitudes. After writing about your dream you might be inspired by its events. Take a moment to start your day off with gratitude. Write down at least ten things you can be grateful for upon waking. You woke up- there’s one!
- Meditate- Morning meditation sets the tone of the day. Meditate with a specific intention or mantra for what needs to be accomplished that day. After rehydrating, stretching, and emptying the mind you’ll be in ripe condition for meditation.
Refuge Recovery offers a spiritual path to recovery. Combining Buddhist principle with evidence based practices, Refuge offers men and women a deeply personal experience in treatment. We offer multiple services from detox to sober living. For more information, call or text 323-207-0276.