I’ve been running this little business of mine solo for 3 years now and it could be a wonder how I managed to keep my sanity. Granted, there were times were I could have easily undressed and went running naked in the streets of Johannesburg because I had temporarily lost my mind (I think I came close on one or two occasions) but so far I have done a great job of preventing that.
Because I do everything from writing blog posts such as these, maintaining my social media, creating free email courses, designing brands and websites for clients, doing the usual living and at the same time, while trying very hard to resurrect my non-existent social life (hehe) to doing the usual living and not becoming a slave to my passion, I do need a ritual of some sort to prevent my brain from spontaneously combusting and have me running naked in the streets with my dignity barely hanging on. Today I’m going to share a bit about my morning ritual:
First things first, drinking a glass of water
The first thing I do when I get out of bed (after contemplating if I truly need to get out of bed) is to drink several glasses of water, because your body gets dehydrated during the night or whatever. Also, dry mouth. Now, I’m really bad with this drinking water thing; my mum is always trying to get us to drink enough glasses of water and before I would only drink water on two occasions:
- When I was unbearably thirsty
- When the water is ice cold
- Best of all, if the water was sparkling
So imagine my horror when I read that you should start each morning by drinking a warm glass of water. No way, no dice. But then I read another article that said you should have a slice of lemon with lukewarm to warm water and that day, my life changed. Lemon makes all the difference!
So every morning I would just saunter sleepily into the kitchen, grab a fresh lemon, cut off a slice, put that in a glass, pour in some warm water, let that sit for a bit then drink it while standing near a window in some sunshine and looking out at everybody trying to get to work. I drink between 2-4 glasses and I always feel more awake after those glasses of water.
Some yoga or as I call it, some vigorous workout
I’m not generally the fittest person within a 5km radius because if it doesn’t involve dancing, swimming or group sports, then I tend to avoid it. I know, I am ashamed but the good news is, because of all the time spent in front of my computer, I began to have a tad bit of back pain and this was enough to kick my butt into gear and take care of my physical health.
I do have a pretty comfy yoga mat (it’s purple too! How’s that for brand consistency? Haha!) that I love spending time on. I live in a third floor apartment and I don’t have a garden so I just lay out the mat either in my bedroom or on the balcony if I don’t mind some sun in my eyes then I do a couple of Asanas that my inflexible body can manage (I’m still a beginner!). My favourite morning poses are as follows:
- Baby pose (I probably hold this post longer than I should because it’s oh-so relaxing)
- Warrior poses
- Camel pose
- Cat pose
- Downward facing dog
To accompany my yoga session I sometimes try a few little non-yoga workouts like planks and some toning with dumb-bells. Result: a feeling that I could kick ass and the tension in my muscles from sleeping is alleviated.
A lot of successful business people include a mediation session in their daily routines and because I too want am a successful business person (ahem), I thought it was only natural that I include a bit of meditation in my day.
Kidding again! I actually love meditation and since a thousand different thoughts are always racing in my brain every minute, sometimes that gets exhausting and I need to just have 10 minutes sitting still, try to clear my mind of thoughts (it’s rather challenging by the way) and just…be.
So after my yoga/little workout session where I sit on my yoga mat and meditate. I don’t try particularly hard to clear my thoughts, sometimes I just focus on how they came to be and this sometimes results in every other thought disappearing.
You can try an app like Headspace that a lot of people are raving about. I tried it a bit but it didn’t get me anywhere as you have to listen to an audio recording that guides you through your meditation and as I’m hearing impaired, it doesn’t really work for me.
Meditation is specifically great for relaxation and the release of mental tension as well. It might be my imagination but I feel a little bit lighter after each session and I can’t recommend meditation enough!
I like writing down a list of 15 things I’m grateful for everyday. This puts me in a mindset which that forces me to focus on my blessings rather than things I do not have or my problems. So basically I cultivate a more positivity in my life and I swear, good things happen when you think of only positive things. You feel much happier, more content and you get even more things to be thankful for because you’re consciously looking out for them.
Don’t let me tell you though, try it for a week or two and see for yourself the changes that happen in your life. It’s like magic!
Bible reading and praying
Somedays when I feel the need to, instead of doing this only at night before I head to bed, I do a little reading of a Bible verse or two, pray and thank God for the day and ask for guidance in my work. I strongly believe in spirituality and whatever you believe in, this is a great way to keep you grounded and keep your worries at bay so you look forward to the day ahead and more than ready you’re ready to take charge.
So there you have it, my secret to keeping my sanity -or what little of it remains.
Now tell me; what does your morning ritual look like? How do you preserve your sanity?