Primal Action is a three tiered approach to health and wellness. The three pillars are: fuel- what you consume, fitness- your movement and mobility, and focus- mental clarity and habits1. The concept of Primal Action came about through years of study of health and nutrition literature to try to solve the problem of gut issues and how to maintain physical and mental well being as we get older in an age of technology. It culminated through completion of the Primal Health Coach course2. There seems to be a dichotomy in the world that separates the natural from the technological. More and more people are relying on technology as a way to improve their lives. But it can be at the expense of personal well being3. Primal Action seeks to solve these issues by demonstrating that you can have a primal baed life in a world of technology. You just have to be aware, plan, and educate yourself in the primal behaviour methodology. Positive habits can be formed. And negative habits can be deterred. It is possible to be in tech and be primal.
Often times in the corporate world you are in a constant state of rush. Career is a synonym of rush. So in its essence, working on your career, you are working on being rushed. And that can be a positive thing. Small bouts of stress on the body can cause the body to apply developmental pressures to adapt to the stress. However, keeping the stress activated for too long or in too many formats- stress on the body from being sedentary; stress on the body from eating improper food; and stress on the body from the intellectual tasks at hand or being tied up emotionally into the work, can start to cause health issues4. Luckily, there are solutions.
Let’s first organize your day into five sections: Waking, working, after work, home-time.
Waking will refer to the morning ritual before going to work. Working will refer to the billable hours you are at work. After work will refer to any after work activity, that may include things as: actually going to there gym, drinks or chats with co-workers, an after work function, dates, family activity before going home, errands, etc. Home-time will refer to being at home, and not planning to leave, until bedtime. And there are many activities that may be included there, such as: watching tv, reading, family activities, exercise, hobbies, making dinner, research, etc.
Today, we will review waking up or the morning routine to best set you up for a day of productivity5.
When you wake up, how often is it a rush to get ready and go straight to work? Do you aver trouble waking up? How much of your morning routine is dependent on the night (and day) before?
The morning can become complicated because waking up fully rested is surely dependent on the previous day’s stressors and how well you slept. Getting a proper night’s sleep is essential to functioning the next day. Let’s discuss two scenarios: getting enough sleep and waking up properly, and not getting enough sleep and waking up poorly.
The first scenario is the ideal. You were able to fall asleep easily. There was no mental rumination keep you awake. You went to sleep at a consistent and reasonable hour. You woke up when your alarm clock went off, or even better, you are so habit formed to going to sleep at certain time and waking up at a certain time, that you actually awake a few minutes before the alarm goes off.
The other scenario is not so ideal. You cannot fall asleep. You have been ruminating all night. You haven’t gone to bed at a reasonable hour in ages. Not have you been consistent, sometimes crashing straight after work from being so burnt out6.
Which scenario is more likely to set you up for success? The first scenario, of course. Now, it may seem slightly cyclical to determine your morning routine on your previous night, and we will discuss nighttime habits in the another post. But it was important to set the stage on how you may be waking up to determine how to go about your morning routine7.
The key is to wake up at the same time as much as possible. Losing some sleep but keeping the same wake up time is almost preferential. In fact, when travelling time zones, it is best to stay awake as long as possible upon arrival and then go to sleep and wake up at your regular numerical time (rather than the time that would match to your circadian rhythm).
What should you include in your morning routine? Jumping out off bed and quickly showering and rushing to work can create a lot of undue stress. Ensuring you have enough time in the morning for self care is ideal for well being. As much as ours life may appear to be centred around work, and as important as your career is, taking the time to prepare for your day will set you off on the right foot.
Do hit the snooze button on your alarm. If you are concerned about not waking up to your alarm, set two alarms, but place your alarm far out of your reach, where you are required to get up to go turn it off. Some alarms have tasks that you need to perform to be able to turn the alarm off. Just get out of bed. Even if your eyes are half closed or you do not feel awake, that will change. Allow yourself the sense of uncertainty upon waking, whether you are still in state of almost half dreaming. If you are accident prone, ensure your physical environment is safetied.
I recommend an alarm independent of your phone. There is a chance you may automatically start to use your phone instead of just turning the alarm off. Even though the apps that provide an action to be done to turn off the alarm may seem fun, they may cause you to become distracted8.
The next thing to do is meditate9. Meditation is a broad word that may refer to several different types of practices. It may include the more common known sitting in silence, chanting or prayer, writing intentions or gratuities. Or perhaps it is more of a moving meditation. A blog on different types of meditations, their practices and benefits will come at a later time. For the time being, I recommend the Waking Up app, that you can try here for a month for free10. After that, I recommend a movement practice. Here is link11 to the Primal Action YouTube video as an example of a morning routine. There is a one hour sequence broken into 8 part, or shorter 15 minute sequences available on the channel, as well. To get details on the sequences of for one on one coaching, check out the Primal Action programs listed here.
After mediation and fitness, you may wish to break your fast. Depending on how strenuous the fitness regime was, it may be important to include some protein. Collagen powder, mixed with warm water and lemon is an excellent morning energy drink 12.
If you are practicing intermittent fasting, which is highly recommended in a primal lifestyle for its health benefits, waiting until your first work break or even lunch works well.
The final thing to look at before leaving home, is your overall day. Instead of looking at emails, check your calendar. What did you have scheduled for the day? If there is an important email you had to respond to or a phone call to make, schedule that. Otherwise leave your emails off until you get to work. This is still your time. Being the boss, having the most shares, being a manager on duty, can all seem like reasons to be on call 24/7, but that burn out potential can cause everything to come crashing down.
The morning is your time to prepare for your day. If you are just jumping out of bed and going straight to work, you’ll end up have to spend time during working hours to get yourself ready for your day. This is not a productive use of time, as it wastes your time, the company’s time and sets you up to cause a blunder.