6 Ways to Find Balance Before Breakfast

12/03/2012

 

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Thinkstock

The way you start your day sets the tone for the rest of it. If you wake up with a huge cup of coffee and a donut, you can expect to feel a sugary high and then a depressing low. If you wake up just before it’s time to go to work, you can count on feeling groggy the whole day through.

Take advantage of your morning time—the part of the day that’s still pure and full of potential. No matter what time you have to get up to find time, it’s worth it if you use that time effectively.

1. Daily Meditation

Before I do anything else in the morning I sit down on a meditation pillow in my closet and meditate for 30 minutes. I start off by counting backward from 100 to 0. Then, I follow my breath for the rest of the time. When thoughts come into my head I notice what's there without becoming attached to my thoughts. Meditation helps me to find focus even when I feel overwhelmed.

2. Morning Yoga

You can go to a yoga class, but the easiest way to ensure you do yoga regularly, especially in the morning, is to roll out a mat at your house. I do five sun salutations, standing poses, twists, seated poses, inversions, and back bends. The best way to establish a practice at home is to go to classes or take a private lesson first so you can learn the basic poses.

3. Chi Running

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Thinkstock

Chi Running combines the inner focus of T'ai Chi with running. While you're running, rather than allowing your mind to run through thoughts and plan your day ahead, begin to follow your breath. You can watch your thoughts as they go in and out of your head, but don't judge them. Pick a running tempo that allows you to keep a clear mind without straining. Feel the subtle parts of your body as it begins to respond to the run and adjust yourself accordingly. Listen to the almost rhythmic sound of your feet hitting the pavement without zoning out. 

4. Yerba Mate

Americans collectively drink more than 400 million cups of coffee each day. Fifty percent of the population drinks at least two cups a day and twenty-five percent of coffee drinkers consume about five cups daily. But coffee can also make us anxious, especially if you overdo it. This is why I love yerba maté. I wrote that yerba maté is a tea that promotes a non-jittery heightened sense of awareness that quickly makes you feel great. If you don't like yerba maté, there are a host of other teas to consider

5. An Olive Oil Wash

This is especially helpful in the winter time when your skin gets dry. Olive oil is also soothing to the body and mind. Coat your skin generously with organic olive oil. Massage oil into your skin before you bathe in the morning, using long strokes on your limbs and circular movements around your joints. Include your face, hair, and even your ears. 

6. Neti Pot Maintenance 

Cleansing your sinuses with a neti pot can relieve symptoms associated with colds, flu, sinus infections, nasal dryness, allergies, and other sinus irritations. But it's also good maintenance before the fact to keep your sinuses running smoothly--this is especially helpful during allergy and cold seasons. 

 

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Sara Novak writes about health and wellness for Discovery Health. Her work is also regularly featured in Breathe Magazine and on SereneKitchen.com. She has written extensively on food policy, food politics, and food safety.


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