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May 2020 Photo Challenge: Day 1

May 2020 Photo Challenge: Day 1

Today marks Day 1 of the May 2020 photo challenge! I was invited by a fellow photographer and am excited to see how creative I can get with a new topic to post about every day. #CreateToInspire #InspireEachOther. Today’s post is all about ROUTINE and I am SO EXCITED to share with you mine. I’ve been working on a good morning routine for the past year now and really feel like this isolation during quarantine has helped me solidify it. In all it takes me about an hour to and hour and a half and I am absolutely obsessed with how perfectly it sets my day up I can tell a huge difference in my mood and productivity levels when I don’t follow it.

Immediately after I wake up and use the restroom I brush my teeth, wash my face, and meditate using my Yoga mala in a corner of my office for about 10-20 minutes. When meditating I focus on a character trait I want to grow into and repeat a mantra to myself out-loud. Then, I stretch on my yoga mat for about 10-20 minutes. The sticky notes you see on the wall are notes of encouragement I write to myself in case I ever need it.

The term ‘mala’ is a Sanskrit word for “meditation garland” and is a string of 108 beads with the 109th bead as the head bead. Malas are used as a tool to help the mind focus on meditation, or count mantras in sets of 108 repetitions. The mala’s beads that can be made of seeds, sandalwood or rosewood, or gemstones. I bought this mala that represents the 7 Chakras from my Yoga studio about a year ago and love it! I can significantly tell a positive difference in my life when I practice daily meditation.

Drinking water first thing in the morning can hydrate your organs, rid your body of toxins, and improve skin health. I fill this glass at night so it’s ready for me to drink in the morning right after I brush my teeth and wash my face.

After I drink my water, meditate, and stretch I ride my bike for about 10 minutes. The key is NO HEADPHONES! Trust me, silence is where it’s at in the morning so unplug the audiobook, turn off the tunes, and practice gratitude through nature on your morning bike ride.

After I ride my bike I take my dog for a 10 minute walk. Again, the trick is NO HEADPHONES! Treat yourself to silence in the morning and I promise you’re going to feel so much more calm when you’re planning your work schedule for the day.

Hands up if you’re a fan of the 1996 classic movie, Matilda. Reading for at least 20 minutes a day has brought me so much joy and happens generally when I’m eating lunch or taking a work break throughout the day. I’ve also found that having a comfy spot to read is half the battle. These zero gravity chairs are game changer!

What are some of your favorite morning routines?

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