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How to Design the Perfect Morning Routine

morning

The idea of the perfect day is nothing new and as many self-help gurus and authors will tell you, it all starts with your morning. You’ve probably heard the saying, ‘Got out of bed on the wrong side today’, so there is some truth to the idea that the morning can help set you up for a good day. However, if mismanaged, it can also set you up for a bad day.

 

If you’re looking to give your routine a facelift, we recommend starting with small changes. Steve Corona, known for his 30-day self-experiments, recommends you build your routine with a number of habits. On his blog, he outlines his method by having readers choose four habits to make up their routine and start them the following day.

 

Corona says to pick four habits from the following list:

  • Wake up at 5AM
  • Drink a tall glass of water as soon as you get out of bed
  • Make your bed immediately
  • Do 20 pushups as soon as you get out of bed
  • Eat a protein and fat rich breakfast within 30 minutes of getting up
  • Run a mile every single morning
  • Take your multivitamins everyday
  • Floss after breakfast
  • Do Blue Light Therapy to wake yourself up
  • Take a bath in the morning
  • Take a cold shower in the morning (it sucks but you feel AWESOME after)
  • Write a blog post every single morning
  • Write down 10 ideas
  • Write a journal entry
  • Write 250-1000 words on any topic
  • Keep a daily gratitude journal
  • Plan your entire day in 15-60 minute increments
  • Lay out your clothes for the day
  • Dress your absolute best for the day (EVEN if you work from home)

 

From here, you should take these four habits and do them for 30 days straight, no matter what. If you forget or miss a day, do 31 days of the routine instead.

After this experiment, you’ll have a better idea of what your morning needs. Maybe you loved the exercise aspect, but you do your best writing in the afternoon. Pivot the routine so it makes sense for you and what you need out of your day.

 

Developing productive morning habits is easier than you think! For more lifestyle design tips follow our blog.

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How To Optimize Your Bedroom For Better Sleep

bedroom night time

A lot of us struggle to get enough sleep and having a busy schedule doesn’t help. Thankfully, changing your bedtime habits and bedroom décor can make a world of difference.

Keep reading to find out how to optimize your bedroom and get a better night’s rest.

Unplug from Your Personal & Business Life

Powering down your cell phone, closing your laptop, and turning off your TV will help you relax and put your mind at ease. Not paying attention to your work and personal technology will help your mind drift away when it’s time for bed.

Blue light emitted from electronic devices suppresses the release of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin, making it more difficult to sleep. It also delays and decreases REM sleep, which can make you feel tired the next day.

Set Up Your Bedroom
bedroom setup

There are numerous factors to consider when trying to optimize your bedroom for sleep. Temperature plays an important role, and it’s actually easier to fall asleep in a room that’s on the cooler side. Much like blue light, a warm room can suppress the release of melatonin.

Adding plant life will help with air quality and breathing and can help create a tranquil space for you to doze off. You can also fill the room with scents you love to help you relax. Grab your favourite scent warmers or oil diffusers and place them on your nightstand or dresser.

Another more obvious tip is to make sure your room is dark. Now is the time to turn off your TV (or don’t have one in the bedroom at all) and get rid of all other electronic devices. Switch off all lights and close any blinds or drapes that could let natural light in to disrupt your sleep.

Unwanted sounds can also irritate you as you try to rest. For people in particularly noisy homes or areas, earplugs can be useful. Another great option is a sleep aid such as a sound machine or white noise device with a built-in alarm clock. These great inventions can help block out street noise, barking dogs, loud neighbours, and plenty of other sleep irritants.

Creating a relaxing sanctuary can help revive your body for another busy day. Follow our blog for more great tips!

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The Benefits of Meditation for Better Sleep

bedroom sunrise

Attaining a truly restful night of sleep may be harder than you think. When we settle down and prepare for bedtime, our wandering minds can make it difficult to drift off. Luckily, there are practices like sleep meditation that can help you get the rest you need.

What Is Sleep Meditation?

Sleep meditation is the state between being awake and asleep. Yoga Nidra or yogic sleep is a state of consciousness like the “going-to-sleep” stage but is typically induced by a guided meditation. During yogic sleep, your body is completely relaxed, but you remain mentally aware.

The practice has been gaining popularity lately thanks to contributions from influential figures such as Deepak Chopra.

Techniques

Guided sleep meditations include many different techniques you can practice. Retracing your day is a great way to start your bedtime meditation. Review your day in detail in your head, focusing on each important event for 20-30 seconds.

Gratitude meditation is another useful technique to try. It focuses on expressing gratitude for the things in your life, whether they are personal or spiritual. Retracing your day can also help you think of things to be grateful for.

Counting can help slow your mind down and filter out negative thoughts. Silently count your breaths down to ten and then start over again. Repeat until you are relaxed.

Visualizations can help shift your mental state, similar to hypnosis. With this technique, you choose something or someone as an object of focus instead of your breath. When your mind wanders just come back to the mental image.

Apps to Use

To effectively practice sleep meditation, there are a variety of apps to assist you.

Headspace is a great app for beginners that offers bedtime stories in addition to guided meditation courses.

Sleep Cycle is another handy tool you can use to track sleeping patterns and it also includes plenty of other insightful statistics.

Last but not least is Reflectly, which features a journal that can be used to help you remember ideas for gratitude meditation.

Getting a good night’s sleep is important for us all. Prepare your mind and body and achieve restfulness with meditation and follow our blog for more great content!

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The COVE™ Guide to The Best Spas in Toronto

ritz carlton spa

Toronto is Canada’s largest metropolitan city and the hustle and bustle is never-ending. The city is known for its energy and culture and is home to the most luxurious spas around. Today we’ve compiled a list of the best spas Toronto has to offer.


Spa My Blend by Clarins – Ritz-Carlton Toronto

Spa My Blend is in the Ritz-Carlton hotel situated on King Street near the TIFF lightbox. It offers an exclusive line of Clarins (the French-based skincare line) products that are used in the spa – and there is only one other Spa My Blend – which is in Paris. Offering luxurious treatments like a champagne nail bar, couples’ treatments in private suites, and packages fit for royalty. Spa My Blend is at the top of our list for a reason.

Four Seasons Spa Toronto – Four Seasons Hotel

Most agree that the best way to enjoy the spa at the Four Seasons is to go for the entire day. There are two great restaurants in the hotel which allows you to follow your treatments with a great lunch or dinner. Inside, the spa has a massive pool, hot tub, and a steam room. They offer relaxing massages and treatments galore, depending on how much time you have.
Looking for a stay-cation? Book a room to follow your treatments.

Elmwood Spa

Elmwood Spa is an urban retreat that is nestled in the downtown core. Despite its historic-looking exterior, the building is surprisingly modern in design. There are 34 treatment rooms, two restaurants, a juice bar, and even a space for functions. The treatments at Elmwood can fit into any hectic schedule – you could even pop in here on your lunch break!
There are culturally diverse treatments exclusive to Elmwood integrating indigenous Australian traditions to take you out of the city for a short period of time.

Miraj Hammam Spa by Caudalie – Shangri-La Hotel Toronto

Located in one of the most luxurious hotels in the city, it recently went under renovations to accommodate its high volume of guests. Each treatment is touched by ancient rituals and traditions that are inspired from the middle east. Together with Caudalie Paris (another luxurious beauty brand out of France) and Vinotherapie Spas, you can enjoy worldly treatments like the Crushed Cabernet Scrub or the Honey and Wine Body Wrap – some even include services with fresh grapes.
Enjoy your voyage to the Middle East while in the city and introduce yourself to old-world traditions.

Old Mill Inn and Spa – Old Mill Inn

Treat yourself like British royalty at this west-end spa located in a Tudor-style atmosphere. The historic-looking building was converted into a high-end hotel and spa complete with an eye-catching furnishing and amenities. They even boast British-inspired treatments like the Tudor Calming Facial. Brimming with history and British culture, the Old Mill will make you feel like you went across the pond.
Toronto’s credibility for swanky hotels and spas rings true. We hope your stay in Canada’s most bustling city was a great and relaxing one!

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