I have to admit, I go to bed early and I tend to wake up early. When I wake up, I often start by thinking of all the things I need to do that day; sort of making lists in my head. It’s not the most peaceful way to wake up, but I just find that it’s what I “do.”
Well, yesterday I was listening to a podcast about the importance of how we wake up. I am already aware of the advice to start the day with some meditation, and I do meditate regularly. I just generally don’t do it when I wake up, despite knowing the advice. Old habits die hard, I suppose.
This morning, however, since it was at the front of my mind, I decided to use the time in between when I woke up and when I needed to get up to do some mindfulness meditation. I decided to do a body scan, having practiced Jon Kabat Zinn’s guided body scans for many years. I started with my feet and scanned slowly up to my head. And this morning was then different from most mornings. Rather than lie in bed and think about what I needed to do, I found myself drifting back to sleep, relaxed. I then woke up later, with the alarm. The differences didn’t end there – I didn’t want to open my laptop when I woke up, which I often do. This morning, instead, I wanted to read a book.
I think this is powerful. Not just because we know that how we wake up matters, but because despite knowing this, I usually don’t do it. Like I said earlier, old habits die hard. So this experience today will hopefully be the beginning of me trying something new and developing new habits.
In our most current course, the Certificate in International School Counseling, we have a module that covers wellbeing and how wellness practices can impact schools. We also cover types of breathing and meditation that help and that can be easily taught to children, teachers, and members of the school community.
I aim to write another couple of courses which incorporate powerful wellness research, one on wellbeing, and one for counselors/therapists on incorporating neuroscience in your practice.
Change doesn’t require drastic action or grand gestures; it just takes for us to wake up well in the morning. I hope reading this inspires you to look at your morning routine, and to incorporate some wellbeing practices when you wake up!