I’m guessing you would like this coming year to be your best yet, right?
If you want to start with excellence, watch this video where I will show you how to develop a mind set of good will yourself (i.e. self-love or self-care). From there, we will explore four ways to give some good will to your body:
- the very first thing to do when you wake up,
- a routine you can do in 10 minutes that will wake up your body and your mind,
- what you need to do every night to optimize your physical and mental performance, and
- the value of sitting still “on purpose” for at least 15 minutes a day.
Don’t worry. You don’t have to do all of these at once. Just try one strategy each week. By the end of a month, you will appreciate the good will and great care you have given yourself and your body will love it too!
Hi, I’m Doyle banks. I’m a coach and I work with people who are ready to make transformations in their lives, whether it’s their personal life as individuals, or their relationships, or in their professional lives.
I want to share with you today, some ideas on how to get in the groove, or get your new year off to a good start. And we’re going to start this week with focusing on your physical being, your body.
Now, if you happened to catch my last video, I talked about how to bring your past year to a close and to do that with what I call a “Celebrations and Mornings Ceremony”. If you didn’t get a chance to watch that, you might want to check that out. It’s not too late to do that for yourself If you would like, and it can help you tie off any loose ends you might have from the past year, let go of whatever needs to be let go and clean the slate for the year ahead.
START WITH YOUR MIND SET
So, let’s turn our attention now to starting out the new year by treating our bodies well. If we back up a little bit, I want to talk about a mindset that has been really helpful for me, and that is to have good will toward myself. Sometimes, in certain spiritual practices, you’ll hear this called something like loving-kindness or self-love.
A way that I like to care for myself is to remind myself on a regular basis that I am worthy of treating myself well. I am worthy of giving myself good will, rather than maybe doing some self-criticism, self-judgment, putting myself down, doubting myself, all those negative kinds of things. So part of the scope of this good will involves treating my body well, and I just encourage you think about this a little bit.
If you haven’t started an exercise program for the year or, if you’ve been out of practice with taking good care of your body, sit down and just think for a few minutes about, if you were going to help somebody else work on treating their bodies well, what would you tell them to do? What attitude would you have toward them? What attitude would you want them to have toward themselves? Then apply those attitudes and ideas to yourself.
FIRST THINGS FIRST – HYDRATE
The first thing that I want to recommend, and you’ve probably heard this a lot, but that’s to drink plenty of water. A practice I’ve started fairly recently that I’m finding just in a couple of week’s time has made a big difference in my ability to wake up well in the morning, rather than sort of groggy and out of it, is to drink 16 ounces or a half liter of good filtered water. It hydrates the brain, hydrates the digestive system, et cetera. And really, for me this has made a huge difference in my being able to wake up more quickly than I used to, and to be able to focus sooner in the day. Before I started practicing this, often it would take me a couple of hours to warm up and get all the cylinders running in the old brain.
I keep that water bottle, or another one like it, right by my bedside. When the alarm goes off, I shut off the alarm, sit on the edge of the bed and drink about half of that before I even get up.Then, I finish that as I’m starting my day.
You do it however it fits for your schedule, but I encourage you do it. Refill that as often throughout your day as you need it. You probably need it more often than you realize. So pay attention to your body, pay attention to your brain. If you notice that in the middle of the day you’re starting to slow down, wear down a bit, try drinking a cup or two of water, and just make a note over the course of a week or so to see if that makes any difference. I’m betting. It will.
So drink plenty of water.
The next encouragement I want to share with you is to do some exercise or stretching, particularly in the morning, if you can. If not, be sure you get in 20 to 30 minutes a day of stretching and maybe mix it up with some aerobic exercise a few times a week.
Now, if you can do an hour, that’s great! You might need to work yourself up to that, both because you might not have the endurance yet and it might take some time to adjust your schedule to get yourself in the habit. That’s okay. Take whatever time you need, but really try to make this a focus, a part of your good will toward yourself and your body.
I’ll share with you now a routine that I do while my tea is brewing in the morning. It only takes a few minutes. You can stretch it into as long of a period of time as you want. I learned this right here on YouTube from a gentleman named Lee Holden. I’ll put a link to his video in my show notes.
If you’re listening to this on the podcast, check out the link that I provide in the show notes for the podcast to see his 10 minute morning routine. That’s Lee Holden.
So we basically start with twisting (from the waist) and eventually try to increase your range of motion. It helps if you turn your head to look back over your shoulder. You can get a little more range. Be careful, especially if you have problems with your back. You don’t want to make those worse. You don’t want to create an injury.
Then bring your hands up, palms turned downward, and I’m going to keep them about here to stay in camera range, but you want to extend your arms all the way up and then bring your palms down and bend down into a squat. You don’t have to go all the way down to touch the floor. Although, if you have that range of motion available, get as much stretch as you can with it. And repeat that. Hands up over your head. Then bring your hands down, go into a squat and back up to standing.
Then we’ll want to do a version of tapping. Start with the backs of your hands, tapping firmly right over the kidneys, but not enough to hurt yourself. Then, with your hands slightly cupped, tap down the outsides of your legs. Then up the insides of your legs. Then you are going to tap your chest with your fists and then tap your arms, down and back up. And again, you’re going to repeat this several times. I’m keeping it short here so we can move along.
Next hands palms down, fingers almost touching about waist high. Bring your hands up and turning the palms upward, reach all the way up. Stretch. Then bring your hands back down, even with your waist.
From there, you bend forward at the waist while extending your arms out to your sides. As you extend, twist your wrists toward the back until your palms face upward. Exhale as you make that motion.
Then stand straight and bring your hands toward the center of your body, almost touching the backs of your hands to each other. In the same motion, soften your wrists, palms facing down and pull your hands and arms up to chest height. Softly flip your wrists and hands up, palms facing away from your body. Push your hands out away from you as you exhale.
Now, raise your hands above your head and make wide arcs, bringing your hands down to waist height, and bring them together, right hand resting on your left hand, palms facing up.
All right. The final motion is to bring your feet close together, placing your hands waist-high, right hand on top of the left hand, palms up. And then you’re just going to make a wide circle by extending your arm out to your side and lifting it above your head. Do this one hand at a time, breathing in as you make the circle and lift the hand. Then bring your hand down the center line of your body as you breathe out. Repeat that with the other hand and arm breathing in on the upswing and breathing out as you lower it.
Again, if you want to see the whole routine just search in YouTube for “Lee Holden morning routine.” That should get you to the video or click the link in the notes provided with this video.
We have talked about drinking plenty of water and exercising. Of course, as I mentioned, add some aerobic exercise. Be kind to yourself. If you haven’t exercised in quite a while, work up to it so that you don’t injure yourself, get discouraged and quit.
Thirdly, get rest. We have all kinds of science backing up the need for rest. And especially this time in humanity with everything going on, particularly, I’m referring to the COVID pandemic with all the disruption that it has brought to our lives. Many of us have experienced tremendous amounts of stress and anxiety and worry. It’s more important than ever to pay attention to and get the best quality of rest that you can.
Now I’m not a doctor, a physician or a psychiatrist or psychologist, so I cannot give medical advice. What I will tell you is to look into the various supplements and so on that are available. Do your research, ask your doctor. Maybe see a nutritionist or a naturopathic doctor, someone who’s really tuned into things like, supplements and whatnot, that can help you get a good quality rest.
Try to get seven to eight hours a night consistently. And do all the usual things that you hear such as get your room as dark as possible. If you need it, get one of those eye shades to help keep the light out. Make your room as quiet as possible. Keep it on the cooler side, temperature wise. We tend to sleep better if the room temperature is a little bit cool.
So, plenty of water, whatever that means for you and your body type, exercise, particularly be sure to do some stretching at least 10 to 20 minutes every day. Then get plenty of rest.
Then, I’m going to recommend that you do some meditation. There are all kinds of different meditation processes that you can find on the internet. Try to do at least 15 minutes a day. You might need to work up to that. One hour a day is ideal to get the full benefit.
By practicing a meditation process, you can reduce your stress, which can help you sleep better. It can help you focus and work better through your day, and it can help you in all the other areas of your life. It enhances every part of your life.
Note that meditation is not about trying to stop your mind from thinking. A lot of people say, “Oh, I can’t meditate because whenever I try to sit quiet, my mind just goes crazy and spins off. And I, I just sit there and jump from thought to thought.”
Well, one of the things that meditation is going to do is to help you realize and work with is how busy your mind is. And just by noticing it, just by paying attention and seeing, “Gosh, my mind is just out of control! It’s going everywhere.”
Seeing it, paying attention to it, is going to help you begin to control it or to ratchet it down, dial it down over time as you practice. And as you increase the amount of time that you practice in each meditation session, you’ll find that your mind will start out busy and want to jump around initially. After a period of time, often about 20 minutes or so, it will naturally start to settle down. It won’t do it every time, but the more consistent you are with practicing and the longer you practice each sit, each session, you’ll find that your mind will calm down and it’ll have a tremendous calming effect on your body.
Sometimes people will use a meditation word. You may have heard the word “mantra”. And that’s what that means. It’s a single word that you repeat over and over to yourself. That is, you give your mind something to do that will help decrease your stress level.
I often like to just use the word “peace”. I’ll just say “Peace,” as I inhale and “Peace,” as I exhale. And just repeat that over and over and over. Other times I like to use the word “joy.” In my mind, I say, “Joy,” as I breathe in, “Joy,” as I breathe out, especially if I’m feeling a little down in the dumps about so something. Doing that can help lift my attitude.
To recap then, let’s drink plenty of water. Drink the water first thing in the morning, by the way. Let’s do some stretching and exercise. Get plenty of good rest, and then practice some type of meditation that will help you reduce the stress in your mind and in your body.
Do those things and your year will be off to a really good solid start by having good will toward your body.
Next time. I’ll talk about things that we can do for our mental and emotional states to get our year off to a good start.
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I look forward to seeing you in the next video. Have a great week!