Mornings Done Right - Empowering Beauty, Work Out and Meditation

by Rayna van Aalst January 21, 2017

Mornings Done Right - Empowering Beauty, Work Out and Meditation

Do you prefer to watch, instead of read? Here you go.

I am often asked about my morning skincare routine – products, recommendations and tips, etc. and although I will be writing about all these soon, there’s something else morning-wise which I believe is just as important as beauty routine, if not of even greater importance.

“Either you run your day or your day runs you” – Jim Rohn

Mornings Done Right - Empowering Beauty, Work Out and MeditationA year ago my mornings used to start at 6:30 when my husband would start waking me up and since I couldn’t snooze him, I would just turn the other way and try to sleep a few more minutes. After several attempts, he would get noticeably irritated and I would get up. A wonderful start of the morning… not. Dragging myself to shower, getting dressed, making breakfast, trying to get my daughter ready for school, who of course more often than not has different plans for the mornings than me, and finally bring her to school before 8:30. Hurry, hurry, hurry and some stress in between for flavor.How you start your day determines how you will feel and look throughout the day.

Nowadays I get up at 5:05 (I somehow like it better than getting up at 5 so I set the alarm for 5:05) and start my day with non-negotiable time for me, myself and I.

There’s something incredibly empowering in starting my day on my own terms. Making time for myself and taking care of myself is a liberating practice which gave such a boost in my confidence, energy, focus and determination.

Nothing is more beautiful than a woman with confidence and inner strength.

So here I am, a former couch potato who has most likely been a sloth in her previous life (I need between 9 and 10 hours of sleep per night to be well rested), getting up at 5:05, at least five days a week, if not every day. The point here however is not getting up earlier but making time to take care of your body and soul first thing in the morning. On the few days that I am lucky to get up later, I make sure that I work out and mediate too.

“If you care about your appearance, care about your heart and soul first, otherwise not cosmetics would help” – Coco Chanel

I like to move it, move it

Pretty much all my life I have been relying on my genes to stay in shape, hardly ever setting foot in a gym, let alone jogging.

When I was pregnant, I slept through most of the 9 months becoming a literal couch addict. I also gained 22 kg. With no diet or workouts, I was back to my pre-pregnancy weight within just 4 months.

That’s why when I realized I needed more active lifestyle, I had to make sure I had reduced the possible reasons to skip a workout to a minimum. I had to choose the time carefully so no appointments could become an excuse for my laziness and the most logical option were the mornings. So I started getting up half an hour earlier, put some nice songs on and dance like nobody was watching.

Before I knew I started looking forward to my morning dance performances which was a first in my life. I noticed a significant change in my energy throughout the day and on the mornings when I chose to stay in my warm bed, I felt sluggish and moody.

I then discovered the Tracy Anderson method which I have been following sever since. I guess the fact that she incorporates a lot of dancing in her method got me hooked. I was blown away by the results from 30 mins a day with her and I absolutely love Tracy’s personality.

You only have one body, you might as well take care of it.

And that from the mouth of a life-long couch potato. How’s that for a change?

Cold Showers

I hear ya, you love warm showers. Me too.

I am warm only when the temperatures go above 25oC and as I live in a country where this happens on max 10 days of the year, it’s safe to say I’m cold all year long.

Yet, when I heard several people I have great respect for talk about taking a cold shower every day, I decided to give it a try. Cold showers have numerous clinically-proven benefits such are reducing body acidity, increased fat burning, reduce muscle soreness, etc.

I highly recommend you watch this interview with Wim Hof also known as "the Iceman" in which he talks about the benefits of cold (water) and gives helpful tips of handling cold. Standing under cold water is much more of a mental exercise rather than physical.

If you decide to give cold showers a try, check out his Cold Shower Challenge too. In the course of 4 weeks, you take a shower as usual and finish with cold water, at least 5 times a week. The first week – 15 seconds, then 30 seconds and so on.

You will LOVE it, as unbelievable as it may sound to you now. Do watch the interview first though.

Connect with myself

Mornings Done Right - Empowering Beauty, Work Out and MeditationAfter I was totally hooked on working out in the mornings, I decided to try something else I had been wanting to do for a while – meditation. Just like working out I had tried meditating from time to time but never regularly and always at the wrong time, right before starting work which made it easy for me to find excuses to drop it.Connecting with myself was one of my big A-ha moments of 2016 and meditation played a key role in it.

So I decided to get up 15 mins earlier, at 5:45. I would drink water, workout and do my meditation. The difference was almost immediate. My focus improved drastically, I am much calmer and most of all it is much easier for me to be aware of how I feel and I can easily catch myself feeling anxious, sad, stressed or whatever negative emotion it is and act to get out of it.

Depending on my state, I choose between two guided mediation or I would simply play nature sounds on Spotify (or Youtube) while meditating. If you’re new to meditating, I would suggest you check out the two guided meditations and see which one works best for you. You can find them here and here.

I’d love to hear how you take charge of your day and what morning rituals you have.

xo Rayna

P.S. I’m not an affiliate of any of the programs mentioned, nor do I receive any incentives. I’m sharing what I believe in and I trust would be of great benefit for you.

Rayna van Aalst
Rayna van Aalst


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