Burnout · Nursing · RN · Self-care

The Importance of a Morning Ritual

Person Doing Ok Hand Sign during Sunset

I have always been a morning person. There is something very inspiring about waking up right before sunrise and being apart of the quiet, slow rising and renewal that a new day brings. When I worked nights, the 500 am rush of patient tests, assessments and physician rounds gave me a sense of peace and fulfillment that I made it through another day. In my most difficult times, that sunrise moment provided stability and encouragement that left me feeling grateful to see another day. Morning rituals can add a calm and presence as you prepare for the challenges that come with busy living, even if you are not a morning person.

I have talked about meditation in my previous blogs and provided references to the benefits. In truth, meditation doesn’t require effort, just presence. It doesn’t require an alter, beads or a cushion and it certainly doesn’t have to be hours long. I didn’t start consistently meditating until around 1 year ago. Meditation will, over time, change your brain and allow a more present, more organized processing of thoughts. Attention span increases, concentration improves, anxiety lifts, mindfulness is allowed. While meditation can be done at any time of the day, adding in meditation to your morning routine, I have found, is a tool that just creates a more productive and rewarding day.

My morning ritual consists of lots of self-care. Hot water with lemon, decaf coffee (I know, what’s the point), a few moments to journal, 10 minutes of meditation and of course, ESPN. I consider myself lucky to have these solo moments to gather and prepare for a day of providing space, teaching and meeting other’s needs. What I have come to realize is that when I do not have my ritual, I am off-center, off-balance and consistently trying to get back on track throughout the day with lists, lots of heavy sighs and re-organizing in ways that do not make sense or make me more productive. Additionally, if you are caring for others, allow it to be a sacred time that you do the absolute best to set yourself up for patience, kindness and the ability to shower love as needed.

If you want to make changes in your life, it starts with your routine. Everyone has 5 minutes. Make it simple….meditate, journal one thing you are grateful for and one point of focus for your day. Then hit the ground running and see if it makes a difference.

I have included a seated, grounding meditation for you to try out. Feel free to email me if you would like a copy of this that you can download to your devices. The meditation is 4 minutes long and can easily be done anytime, anywhere. There are apps like Headspace and Calm that are easy to download and use. I believe in this practice so much that I am also more than happy to provide a private guided meditation for you.

Self care is for the diligent. It is a practice that is not only acquired, but required for filling your energy reserves. Part of this practice is fine tuning your routine is finding out what works and when it works. The practice that provides the most benefits, truly, is meditation. If you still are skeptical, I have included one more article for reference.

Forbes–Meditation & the Brain

P.S. I would like to thank my talented badass of an aunt Lauren for helping me with this audio track. You can find her work at Cat Ranch Studios/Scorpion Sound Design.

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