The old saying goes… How you start your day is how you’re going to spend it.

Needless to say, if you wake up grumpy, stressed or irritated, the day isn’t likely to improve from there. Once you unknowingly set the negative tone, it tends to stick.

How you start your day matters. I won’t lie to you, it takes a lot of work disciplining yourself to wake up on time to give yourself that extra time to prepare your mind and body for the day ahead. That, of course, also starts with getting a good night of sleep, so you can wake up feeling refreshed. If you’re still struggling with getting the right amount of sleep, check out the Sleep On It blog I wrote last summer.

The good news? Even when you start your day on the wrong side of the bed there are plenty of things you can do to lighten your mood and the load so you still feel ready to tackle whatever lies ahead. Or to put it simply, here are my proven ways of how you can avoid being an emotional wreck all day long.

Emotional outbursts, overreacting to the people around us, self-loathing, and being hard on ourselves are all symptoms of not being set up for success straight out of the gate. Dump the emotional baggage before you get out the door in the morning and with practice, over time, the sum of every moment and interaction will level you up as a human in all ways.

I knew that my high-performance personality couldn’t handle blowing through the day, no matter how busy I got. I had a need to really engage and connect with my body. I discovered that practicing my morning rituals got me positive results faster because it forces me to be aware of how I was feeling mentally and physically.

Here are my 7 daily practices (or as I also like to call them “EPIC Rituals”) that will help you optimize not just your day but your life before you even leave your house:

1: EPIC Cocktail

This is a mixture of lemon, sea salt, and room temperature water. This cocktail is known for boosting metabolism but that isn’t the only reason we recommend it. Not only is lemon a solid source of vitamin C, but it also helps to fight infections and strengthens the immune system. The sea salt helps your body’s overall mineral balance which aids food and water absorption so the essential nutrients you consume throughout the day don’t go to waste. This cocktail combo also maintains your body’s pH balance which is essential as it affects so many other systems in the body like the digestive, circulatory, and respiratory systems, just to name a few. Why room temp water? It’s easiest on the stomach and digestive system.

2: 30 State-Changing Breaths

Wim Hof’s way. This scientific breakthrough is such a game changer. This gives you an opportunity to really reset your mindset and increase your mindfulness. While you inhale and exhale, focus on what you’re grateful for, set an intention for the day or simply recognize what it means to be human and connect with yourself. This is made possible through breathing because these breaths actually change the cellular structure of the body, implementing more oxygen into the system. This triggers neurons in your brain to bring about a sense of calm or relaxation. Re-oxygenating the system also revitalizes your organs providing you with more energy and vigour.

3: 20-minute Walk

You can change so much by simply putting one foot in front of the other. In a lot of ways, walking isn’t given the credit it deserves- it provides the body with AMAZING health benefits! Walking creates endorphins which improve mood. It increases circulation to provide more oxygen and nutrients to your cells, decreasing the creation of stress hormones. Walking helps to calm the nerves and relax the brain sparking creativity and productivity. Going for morning walks consistently will help with weight loss, strengthening muscles, and promoting your heart health. Not to mention the added benefit of connecting to nature if you’re able to take your morning walk outdoors.

4: Light Movement

Simple fluid movement in the morning wakes up the body. This kick-starts brain activity and energy levels by increasing circulation. So many of us go from sleeping in the fetal position to then sitting in a similar position in your car to get to sitting at work. It’s important to break the monotony and get your body moving through yoga poses or activation exercises. In addition to the more-or-less immediate mental relief stretching provides, this can improve posture, and decrease the chronic aches and pains you may feel every day. 

5: Cold Shower

If you’re not a morning person, 100% this is the cure. Many of us don’t really consider how our bodies are feeling unless they are in pain. This is not ideal. Cold showers force you to become instantly aware of the stress your body is in. This heightened awareness promotes deeper breathing, improving your concentration and focus and regularly putting your body through this kind of stress leads to “hardening.” This means that your nervous system gets used to handling moderate amounts of stress which helps you keep calm when you encounter stress otherwise.

The cold water also moves our blood toward the middle of our body where it can protect our vital organs and moves the fluids in the lymph system, improving the immune system and metabolic rate. What’s even better? The post-cold-shower-bliss you’ll feel immediately after. Experience a level of calm that allows you to walk into the day relaxed and grounded no matter what’s on the schedule.

6: Dry Brush

This is great for your skin, aka your largest organ, getting rid of dead cells but it does even more than exfoliating. The idea is to start at your feet and brush your skin toward the heart, bringing blood flow to the top of your skin, increasing circulation, and flushing out the lymphatic system to detoxify your body. Similar to the cold shower, this also builds tolerance or resilience to pain (you can get brushes with varying degrees of stiffness) and stress on the body.

7: Meditation

This can include a 10-minute meditation practice, reading, journaling, or anything that clears your head and puts your mind at ease. Meditation in and of itself is important self-care that can bring you peace of mind and a sense of balance. Similar to the State-Changing Breaths, this is an opportunity to give thanks, set an intention for the day and really feel refreshed going into a new day.

Is there anything else you do in the morning to set yourself up for success? The EPIC staff practice and preach a number of daily rituals that energize their body and refresh your mindset. #NoMoreBadDays. We may not have complete control over the things that are going on around us but we do have control over how we handle those things, how we go about our day, and how we prepare to be the best version of ourselves.

Want to learn more about practices and rituals that can change your life? Join me for The EPIC Life Retreat this June. The EPIC Life Retreat is hippie meets high-performance. This kind of retreat helps you reach your goals faster. There’s really nothing else like it. It’s not just yoga, it’s not just a boot camp, it’s 360° of what you need. When you embrace and try to level up your health and wellness it will, in turn, level up every single part of your life. Everything becomes easier when you are living your healthiest, most EPIC Life.

To learn more about and register for The EPIC Life Retreat, use the link below!