Linda Blair, a clinical psychologist and mindfulness expert, has this to say:
“As soon as I wake up, I spend around three to five minutes on mindful awareness, which keeps me calm and gives me clarity for the day ahead. I breathe slowly and evenly, in through my nose and out through my mouth, while I go about my morning routine – but I remain silent. Set your alarm five minutes earlier, before the rest of the family can get to you. Breathing calmly and evenly fills our brains with optimal levels of oxygen and makes our neurological system fire at its best. It also levels out our stress hormone cortisol, and boosts endorphins and happy chemicals, such as serotonin and dopamine. It’s time well spent.”
I agree with the techniques offered above, but I think they may be somewhat idealistic! In my experience, very small children are almost always awake before their parents, and impatient to start the day. I once mentioned to my daughter how the Dalai Lama suggests that we sit down calmly and quietly to enjoy our breakfast. Her retort: “He obviously doesn’t have children to dress and feed and get ready for nursery or school, feed the dog, prepare children’s lunchboxes, physically get them into the car and out again, before heading for work!”
Teenagers, on the other hand, are almost impossible to wake up and this requires huge amounts of energy on the part of the mother/father!
Having said all that, spending 3 – 5 minutes consciously acknowledging our surroundings on waking and while still in bed, whenever possible, is an excellent practice, and so is silence, where possible. But don’t accept or reject anything I write – try it out for yourself.
Remember to be kind and gentle with yourself.