If you’re like me, sometimes it can be a little tough to actually get the ball rolling in the morning. When I have days like this, I find that it is really good to have a few go-to energy boosters and tools of inspiration that I can rely on to help get me moving and get me through the day. Here are some of my favorite ways to wake up and feel inspired by 10 a.m.\
Studies show that regular exercise can improve your muscle strength and endurance. When you exercise this delivers oxygen and nutrients to your muscles and tissues and help your cardiovascular system to work more efficiently. When these work more efficiently, you have more energy to last throughout the day. Exercising not only energizes your body by improving circulation, but when you exercise your body produces endorphins that make your feel happy and energized! A few ways you could exercise would be walking/running, Pilates, Dancing, or Yoga.
Here are a few Yoga poses that are both energizing and uplifting:
Breath of Fire with Raised Thumbs
1. Sit comfortably with legs crossed.
2. Raise both arms up in a V position. Palms face forward; fingers curled, and the thumbs pointing in.
3. Inhale and exhale completely.
4. When all the air is exhaled, pull in your abdomen by snapping the abdominal muscle. This causes a short, forceful expulsion of air with emphasis on the exhalation, not the inhalation. One caution: If dizziness occurs, stop.
5. Repeat with a steady, quick series of exhalations.
6. Start with 20 consecutive breaths; increase to 3 sets of 20. Lower your arms and breathe normally between sets.
Benefits: This pose purifies and aerates the entire system, recharges and warms the body, increases the flow of oxygen, improves concentration, and defines a sense of personal boundaries.
1. Stand with your legs hip-width apart, and your feet parallel.
2. Tighten and lift the muscles above your kneecaps; tuck in your tailbone. Lift your head up and out from your shoulders.
3. Inhale deeply, filling your lungs. Raise your arms overhead, palms facing each other. Relax your shoulders, and stretch from the armpits. Exhale.
4. Gaze straight ahead; breathe slowly and deeply. Hold position for 10 counts.
5. Release your arms and let them float slowly down to your sides.
Benefits: This pose aligns the spine, corrects posture problems, and restores balance to the body and the mind.
I’m sure you’ve heard many people say “Get outside, it’s good for you!” and there are many reasons why that is very true! Being outside even for as little as 20 minutes has many physical and mental health benefits. The sun produces natural vitamin D that give our bodies energy that we need. What happens if we are Vitamin-D deficient? Fatigue and depression happens. Although you can always take a vitamin D supplement for this boost, getting it from it’s natural source, the sun, is healthier and easier to come by. Plus studies show that participants who are outdoors vs. inside feel revitalized, have increased energy levels, and feel more satisfied. At the same time they decrease their levels of tension, depression and anger. Observe the sights, smells, and sounds around you which can result in inspiring ideas and creative thoughts.
Get inspired while you are outside:
- Tend to your garden- All of those colors and smells, plus the added exercise and sun equals a perfect mix of inspiration and getting energy for the day! If you don’t have a garden, set up a few potted plants or swing by a community garden.
- Read a book or magazine- Grab a good magazine that that inspires you or grab a good photography book to study new techniques.
- Bring your laptop/smartphone outside- Check those emails while getting fresh air and soaking in the Vitamin D.
- Go on a photo walk- Grab your camera and go for a walk. Take pictures of all the sights and colors in your neighborhood that inspire you!
- Take your exercise routine outdoors- Practice your Yoga or Pilate poses outdoors instead of indoors for extra mind and body positivity.
Take a shower (or wash your face)
The opening of pores allows oxygen into your pores and the water falling on your skin stimulates nerves that improve circulation throughout your body thus energizing you. If you want an extra boost, you can add the use of energizing aromatherapy washes and hair products to your daily routine. With essential oils/scents you can use candles, soaps, diffusers, and plants (such as Eucalyptus plants) and keep them with you to stay alert for long car trips to location sessions or on your desk while you study to grow your business. My use of the citrus oil definitely increases during these colder mornings of fall and winter because they are so energizing and they help to uplift the spirits. They are the perfect thing fight off the “cold weather blues”, cabin fever, and depression.
Add aromatherapy to your morning routine:
Wet a washcloth with really hot water (not burning hot) and ring out the cloth so it’s damp but not dripping wet. Put ONE drop of essential oil on the center of the cloth. If the scent is too strong for you, run a little hot water over the cloth and ring it out again.
A few oils you can try are:
- Lemon Essential Oil: This oil has a powerfully fresh traditional lemon fragrance that is quite energizing and uplifting
- Lime Essential Oil: This oil is well known in folklore for its ability to cleanse, purify and renew the spirit and the mind. It is also said to be effective in cleansing the aura.
- Grapefruit Essential Oil: This oil is sweet-smelling, bright and uplifting. It is quite an energizing and uplifting oil and is wonderful to diffuse in the mornings or while working out to help awaken and energize your mind and body.
- Eucalyptus Oil- The scent of this oil increases brain wave activity and counters physical and mental fatigue.
Flip through a magazine (or look at the work of your favorite artist)
This is one of my favorites for if you’re looking for a little extra “creative inspiration” when you may have those brain dead moments. Sometimes just observing work that you find inspiring is enough to ACTUALLY inspire you! You can even look at some of your favorite photos and work that you’ve done in the past. Sometimes when I need a little ego boost and/or some inspiration, I look at some of my favorite pictures that I’ve taken and just “ooh and ahh” at them for a few minutes. Gain inspiration from your favoritest artist of them all, you!
Ask yourself these questions:
- What do I love about this photo so much?
- What was added to this photo to make it unique and special? What first caught my eye?
- Studying the technical side of the image, ask yourself questions such as “Was the rule of thirds applied?” and “Was this shot with the aperture wide open?“.
- How can this image be improved and how can I apply this to my next shoot?
Pinterest is one of the best tools out there when it comes to inspiration (hence the term “Pinspiration”!). If you like to check the web before you head out for your day, be sure to stop by your favorite Pinterest boards! Do not replicate any images you may find, but rather be inspired by creative concepts, color schemes, poses, or other desired elements of the photo you may observe. A good point someone made to me once is that the images you come across on there are not just pictures, but complete packaged works of art. There are many variables and elements that play into the image: the weather, the blowing of the models hair, the way the sun is peeking through the trees, the shocked candid expression on a child’s face, etc. These are all things that make up a unique image that came from another photographers heart and hard work. So when you see something on Pinterest and think “I want to take a picture JUST like that”… keep these things in mind and use that image for just that, inspiration. Aim to create something completely new and unique!
Check out these Inspiration boards from Summerana’s Pinterest page:
Just do it!
Last but not least…one of the things I find most useful when I need inspiration is to just get out there and do it! Experience is one of the best tools of knowledge, and you’ll never gain that just sitting on your computer brain stumped. So if you have a little extra time and you’re searching for ideas and inspiration, go ahead and just do it. Grab your camera, observe the world around you, and start clicking away!
I have shared my favorite routine for being awake and inspired by 10 a.m. What do YOU do to get started on your amazing day to awesomeness? Will you be adding any of these to your morning routine? Tell us in the comments!