In a world of turbulence, constant change, unexpected demands and natural disasters. It’s chaos out there!
Boosting your resilience is a necessity. Bouncing back from adversity has always been essential. In the Fourth Industrial Revolution of AI (Artificial Intelligence) and VR (Virtual Reality), it is now also a necessity to have a resilience skills set to enable you to bounce forward with agility. We are all trying to ‘thrive’. However, in reality we feel like we are walking through ‘thick, energy sapping mud’ on most days. Of course there are some days where we are ‘lighter on our feet’ and the ‘thrive goals’ are (vaguely) in sight!
Let’s cut to the chase: here is a ‘game changer resilience tip. Choose how to ‘automate’ aspects of this tip, which is all about a ‘power generating’ morning routine. What does this mean? A Routine is a ritual / set of habits. If you automate this – you can do this daily without having to plan it, think about it, or write it on a post-it note in order to remember it.
These ideas aren’t ‘rocket-science’, but I guarantee that some of these good habits are what you ‘used to do’! You may need a reminder / nudge or maybe even a jolt!
Your ‘power-generating’ morning routine.
This is the ONLY part of your day that you can 100% control. (That’s of course applicable to those of you that get up before your family gets up.)
As you read this, please think about tailoring the ideas in order to craft a morning routine that gets you onto the ‘sunny side of the street’
Hand on heart: this is what do I do…with a few options thrown in.
1. Each night my alarm is set, and placed on a table on the other side of my bedroom.
2. When it goes off at 04h25, I jump out of bed and dash to switch it off before it drives my Hubbie crazy. I have to admit that for the last 3 years I have focused on having enough sleep (+/- 7 ½ hours night), and good quality sleep (see our other ‘Sleep’ blogs on www.resilientpeople.co.za ). As a result, I am normally already stirring before my alarm goes off.
Here’s are some notes- that show that I am far from that proverbial Superwoman: A: I am NOT the wake up ‘bright eyed and breezy type’. I can’t formulate words, talk or think straight for the first 10 mins of my day. In South Africa we call it ‘waking up dof’.
B: Be realistic about ‘the exact time’ that your alarm should go off. Kill the habit of allowing yourself to use the snooze button. This is not at all beneficial! It affects your morning REM (rapid eye movement) sleep and you do NOT benefit from those few extra mins of shuteye!
2. I creep out of our bedroom, and head straight to the kitchen to put the kettle on. I dash back to the bathroom, and then without thinking (not difficult for me, as my brain hasn't yet kick-started) I put on my running / gym clothes. This tip is essential- make it a habit EVERY night to walk back to your bedroom while you are brushing your teeth to get your gym clothes out of your cupboard. Your exercise clothes (& shoes) need to be in the bathroom in the morning. It sounds trivial, but this is key to a streamlined morning routine and part of your ‘automated’ process. Many of us complain about ‘decision fatigue’. Automate some of your morning decisions … to keep the ‘Executive function areas’ of your brain fresh. This is needed for other problems to be solved during the day.
4. I then go back to the kitchen and before I make my ‘beloved’ coffee. I have a glass of water with my probiotics for the day. Why water before coffee? Your brain dehydrates over night and caffeine (tea or coffee) will further dehydrate your brain. Your brain is 75% water: plumb it up from that ‘raisin’ back to a grape as you wake up.
5. I then take my coffee back to bed and snuggle quietly under the covers. Most ‘purists’ would say that this is completely the wrong thing to do. ‘Never go back to bed’. Well, it works for me. I don't lie down. I invariably pick up my Yorkie from the end of me bed, and cuddle him. At the same time I do deep breathing exercises (while tickling his tummy). Or meditate for 10 or 20 mins.
6. Straight after that delicious, hot cup of coffee is finished – I get out of bed and onto the floor to use my ‘roller’ (the hard, plastic one). It’s absolutely therapeutic to roll out the clicks and creaks in your my upper and lower back. Having invested in a roller… I find that I seldom need to visit the Physio. After rolling, I do a variety of stretches … all the while mindfully ‘being in my body’. It’s so easy to start worrying about the day and the ‘juggling-act’ that you may be facing. Each time my mind races (the coffee has kicked in now), I breathe in for 4 counts and out for 4 counts.
I have ‘automated’ a few morning ‘exercise’ options:
A: If I am at home, I mostly join my mates for a run. This is scheduled. There are many of us in our informal running school. We leave at the same time every day of the week. This is ‘automated’. I have to admit on the cold, dark and icy winter Johannesburg mornings I say a gratitude prayer for these mates BEFORE I open my front door. Without them (& the fun banter that EVERY morning provides) I doubt whether I would get out there to run.
B: If it’s raining, I go to gym for 45mins.
C: If I am travelling: I do a routine on my hotel room floor for 10-15 mins. I have simple, free exercise & yoga Mobile Phone Apps
D: If I feel grim and / or a dreaded ‘lurgy’ coming on … I wont exercise: I will take 2000mg of Vit C and make a large mug of hot water and ginger and just do a few low key stretches on my bedroom floor.
E: If I am catching a ‘red eye’ flight. I hop onto my Rebounder (see these on our site: www.resilientpeople.co.za) and rebound for 5 mins. This quick ‘micro- burst’ activity not only wakes me up … but also sends a dose of dopamine to my brain … and I invariably walk back to my shower smiling. Seriously. Try it. The Rebounder is my ‘bestie’. I listen to a good Podcast as I bounce and find it invigorating.
7. I will end on no.7 with a daily MUST-DO! As I hop into the shower and turn on the hot tap (my mental trigger for this daily ritual) … I say (out loud) anything that pops to mind that I am truly grateful for! Yes, start your day by re-orientating your ‘lens on life’ towards gratitude. One of my personal ‘mantras’ is ‘change, your words & change your world’. Most often, I am grateful for my ‘health’ and ‘energy’… but often for an interesting conversation / insight or interaction with someone. Or maybe something new that I learned in the 5 mins that I listened to a Podcast on my Rebounder.
Your power generating morning routine will ‘inject energy into your system’. I realise that many people are still in the ‘children at school’ phase – so the above needs to be tweaked to suit you. But please remember that if you set your alarm to go off earlier than the family wakes up: you ‘own that time’. You ‘control that time’. Own your morning and harness your day!