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Four Morning Practices to Support Your Sobriety

Do you have a morning routine?

Up until recently, I thought I didn’t have the discipline for that type of ritual in the morning.

About 2 months ago, my naturopathic doctor prescribed to me to sleep with my phone outside my room. I did that - and found I was getting a deeper night’s sleep, because I wasn’t rolling over to check my notifications when I woke up in the middle of the night. About a month ago, I met someone who shared with me that she doesn’t turn on her phone from 10pm - 10am - and already with the momentum of the phone outside the room, I decided I would try it.

And what I found? Was in the free time with my phone off in the morning - it was easy for me to practice a morning routine. Now I get up around 6am naturally every day, practice a 21 minute self healing reiki meditation, go for a 20 minute walk, and journal for 20 minutes. Then I go to spin or yoga before starting work.

This is a picture of me on my morning walk this morning - I live in a suburb of Ubud, Bali which is isolated and quiet - filled with local farmers, warungs (restaurants) and market stalls. I absolutely love walking out here by the ricefields each morning. Typically I don’t bring my phone with me, but I brought it today (turned on airplane mode!) so I could snap this photo of myself to show you!

If making lifestyle changes seem overwhelming to you, start with habit stacking. As you can see here it was habit 1: phone outside the bedroom. Habit 2: phone not turned on until 10am. Habit 3: implement the morning routine.

My biggest challenge is that I work odd hours, working online with an international sober yoga community - and that means on Saturday & Sunday I have to work until midnight - and that means the consistent sleep and wakeup time can be hard. There are also moments sometimes when I must turn on my phone to contact someone on my team or take a call before 10am.

However, the best skill I’ve applied to this is to remind myself that even if I miss a day of the morning routine - it’s not over. Same thing with sobriety. If you’ve had a drink, it’s not over. Just remember what works for you and come back to that.

Do you have or want to have a morning routine?

If you want to implement a morning are some things I would recommend!

  1. Keep your phone off. When you first wake up in the morning, your brain switches from delta waves (which occur in a deep sleep) to theta waves (which occur in a daydream state). Your brain then switches to alpha waves, where you are relaxed and not processing much information. By grabbing your phone first thing, you skip the theta and alpha stages and go straight to beta stage, being wide awake and alert. this can trigger your stress response and put you on edge for the rest of the day. Try keeping your phone off for the first hour in which you are awake.

  2. Get Moving. The second morning ritual is to move your body! Early exercise in the day can help your motivation, optimism and focus. You don't need to hit the gym - even something as simple as a short walk in the morning can do the trick (that's what I do!) Some people prefer to go straight into their yoga practice. Choose a ritual that you enjoy, so you begin to look forward to it each day.

  3. Journal. Spend 10-15 minutes writing whatever comes to mind. You might find that you end up writing for even longer. This can help clear your mind, cultivate gratitude, and start your day with a positive mindset.

  4. Meditation. Meditation triggers your parasympathetic nervous system, which can prevent stress and anxiety. We have tons of free meditations with Alex, The Mindful Life Practice Founder, on YouTube and on our App, The Mindful Life Practice.

What's your morning routine? Do you have a morning routine? Comment and let me know!

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