I get rather caught up in my mind. So I've found a few things that work for me to help my mind shut down at night and to disperse the morning brain fog when I wake.
This is how I set my mind up for success every day:
First there's my night-time reset ...
I know the morning I have is always a reflection of the night before, so I try to sleep the 8.5 hours my mind needs to wake up fresh and ready for action each morning. And I know my mind works best when I stick to the same* bed time and waking time every day (*well almost - you know, sameish .... and yes, this means even week-ends and holidays).
If my mind is still busy at bedtime I like to simply imagine I'm an empty vessel letting go of my thoughts, layer by layer, until it quietens enough for sleep.
If I really find it hard to shut off my mind, I drink camomile tea or take a 200mg magnesium* supplement (magnesium glycinate or citrate are good options for me) an hour before bed. And I try not to eat 3 hours before bed or else I can wake up in the middle of the night as my blood sugar takes a dive.
I am quite sensitive to the effects of caffeine, so I try not to drink caffeine or eat chocolate after midday (and even then a quarter of the caffeine will still be in my mind at midnight).
*or taking an Epsom salt bath if there's a bath available....
And then there's my morning mind primer ...
1. As soon as I wake, while my eyes are still closed, I take a few deep breaths to calm the lizard mind.
2. Then I do a safety check to calm the monkey mind by asking myself “do I have enough food, shelter, warmth, health to get me through today?” Then I will silently express gratitude for all I have right now, knowing I already have enough.
3. Next (and most importantly for any stress already bubbling up), I calm the human mind by visualising myself feeling good at the end of the day having satisfactorily achieved everything I needed to do.
4. Then I open my eyes, stretch, get out of bed and vow to practice my “now” state throughout the day.
I sometimes add in other rituals to bring even more calm alertness to my mind, such as:
These are the things that work for me right now.
There's no one right way to get yourself fit for action in the morning, because we're all so wonderfully unique and also because our needs change all the time.
So all we can do is test and tweak to find what gives our inner self the best possible start to the day.
And then it's up to us to go make the most of it :)
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