BY: Camila Loew
What is the beginning of your day like: do you wake up to a strident alarm, and push yourself sluggishly out of bed to check your emails before your eyes are even fully open? Or do you often oversleep, hitting the snooze button enough times to allow for a mere face splash and sip of strong coffee before running out the door on an empty stomach?
How we start out can set the tone for the rest of our day. No longer prompted by the cues of natural light, in our contemporary world, many people go to bed too late, and get poor sleep (often due to excessive screen time), and are not rested by the time the morning arrives. If you are one of the lucky few who are early birds, it's also a good idea to revise just how you spend the energy you wake up with, in preparation for the day ahead.
We don't have anything per se against coffee -at Cokare, though we love tea, many of our team members are coffee fans as well- but we try to combine the boost of caffeine with other gentle forms of self-care, adopted and adapted from the ancient wisdom of East Asia. Taking a few minutes for one or more of these morning rituals can create a more solid foundation for your energy levels and well-being throughout the days. If you regard these small forms of self-care as rituals, they can create harmony, order, and grounding in your life.
In traditional Chinese medicine, it's the Earth element, in the Spleen and Stomach organs, which requires balance to maintain energy levels. It thrives on being constant and regular. A morning ritual can strengthen and favor the Earth element and the organs comprised in it, helping us maintain our energy levels by properly assimilating the nutrients we consume.
Hydration: we wake up after many hours of not drinking, while the body has been doing its repair functions. Drinking a warm glass of water first thing is a great way to rehydrate, boost your metabolism and kick start digestion and cleansing functions. Add the juice of ½ a lemon and you are giving your liver some love.
Movement: In Asian cities, it's very common to see people doing gentle stretches like tai chi and qi gong in the parks early in the morning. There is wisdom in this: the body has been inactive overnight and coaxing the stiffness away gently releases tension and activates the muscles as well as the organs and brain.
Warmth: in addition to the warm water described above, eating a warm breakfast of something wet, such as a porridge, is a wonderful way to nourish your body and give you energy to last until lunchtime.
Adaptogens: a natural supplement with your morning beverage, Cokare’s mushroom supplements are a great way to boost and enhance the functions of the brain. Adaptogens work by helping the body self-regulate, they stimulate and relax the nervous system, without over exciting it.