Part of the so called Zen lifestyle, or simple living, it is to energize our present self already from the very start of the day. The reason behind is that the start of our day sets the tone for the rest of the hours ahead of us.
And Mondays specially, they set the tone for the rest of the week. Even more important, to have a ritual that stimulates your mind and body, while creating space in your head.
The following sentence may come automatically to your mind: "I am busy, I don't have time". And I get it, we live in a fast-paced society, being connect all the time to gadgets and the Internet. Our mind jumps from one topic to another; it goes from the past to the future, completely forgetting about the present. However, if we don't make time for space and slow down our lives, no one else will do it for us.
Start by making subtle shifts in your Monday morning habits - see what activities, routine, could energize our mind, body and soul. If you work on corporate, block your calendar on Monday morning to take time for yourself. Don't rush into the new week if you don't have to. Rushing can increase the mental stress and have negative effects on the long run in our mental wellbeing.
At the same time, it is essential for your mental wellbeing to make time for emptiness during this ritual. Don't thinking about anything, don't be distracted by anything. Savour the morning air - Zen monks believe that we nourish our mind and body by breathing in the beautiful morning air. Haven't you felt an improvement in your mood, if you start your day by having a walk in the fresh air?
Morning ritual doesn't necessarily mean to be long, it could only last only 10 minutes. Just make sure you are fully present and centered during that time. Without rushing into the future, and without letting yourself get dragged by the past.
Example of a morning ritual
Wake up 10 minutes earlier
Open the windows and let the fresh air come into the bedroom
Brush the teeth, clean up your face
Go for a walk, run or exercise - and afterwards sit to meditate and practice Pranayama; or practice yoga starting with meditation to center your mind, followed by Pranayama and asana practice. End up with meditation aiming to completely clear your mind.
Prepare a hot cup of tea or coffee, and enjoy it while staring through the window. Enjoy each sip, take your time.. and stay with an empty mind.
Shower, focusing on how the water feels on your skin.
Nourish yourself with a nutritious breakfast. I personally love having a piece of fruit when stomach is empty, followed by oats, nuts and sometimes scrambled eggs.
...and start working / head to the workplace
Start by taking a pen and paper, and writing down what works best for you in the mornings. Draft your own Morning Ritual - focusing on ways that energize your body, mind and soul.
If you have young kids, see if they could even join you in your ritual or try to split responsibilities with your partner. Maybe they could even create their own ritual in a playful way?
We all get energizes in different ways - dig deep inside you, try the drafted ritual, and if you feel that it doesn't work, see what could be improved.
Remember: It should help you energizing and creating space in your head. Or in other words, setting the tone for the rest of the day in a positive way!
And last but not least, keep in mind that there is happiness to be found in taking your time to do things.
If you try it out, let me know how it felt!