Gökotta is the new wellness trend that will make you a morning person. Here’s how to try this wellbeing trend and upgrade your self care.
Are you a morning person? If you are, you’re not in the majority! Only 1 in 10 people in the UK
feel their best and brightest upon waking, while others feel they take a while to get going or only really come alive at night. But an old Swedish tradition turned new well-being trend, might be able to change all that.
Gökotta (which, according to Google, translates directly to ‘cuckoo. So take that how you will!), is the rather wholesome act of rising (very) early in the morning to hear the first birdsong of the day.
This dawn chorus usually occurs around an hour before sunrise (which during UK summertime is around 5 am), which might make this seem like more an act of self-punishment than self-care. But once you get into the swing of going to bed early enough to be able to wake up with the birds, it might just change your life.
Birdsong aside (we’ll come to that shortly), the act of Gökotta puts you into a routine that many experts say is wonderfully beneficial, for your mental and physical health.
According to one of the world’s most ancient medicine systems, Ayurveda, the best time to wake up is before sunrise. This is supported by science we have now, which has determined that simply sticking to your body’s natural biological clock (waking as it gets light, sleeping when it gets dark) can help maintain a healthy weight, blood sugar, cholesterol levels and hormone cycles.
We are hardwired to rise and set with the sun, and it’s only modern culture which revolves around contemporary work lives that has pushed us away from this natural habit. When the sky lights up,
so too does our body - blood sugar, cortisol and vitamin D levels rise, digestive enzymes get up and running, and melatonin drops. By staying asleep past the point when this happens, we’re setting the body up for distress.
There’s also evidence to suggest that early risers feel a greater sense of achievement, productivity and happiness throughout the day. You also have the opportunity to give yourself some well- deserved and completely essential ‘me time’, to deeply refuel before the day has even fully begun.
Many people who make the move to rise at dawn say that the trick is to make sure you’re getting up
with the intention to do something. Waking to hear the first bird song, as is the case with Gökotta, is a beautiful intention that is not possible to do at any other time. Watching the sunrise as well (which, on average, we only have the opportunity to do 30,000 times in our lives) is of course another.
Now, more on that birdsong. You may have noticed that many tracks created to soothe, relax and focus include bird song. Recent research has found that listening to birds singing, even recorded (so
it’s not ‘just’ being in nature), can immediately alleviate negative emotions and improve mental well-being.
One study found that listening to birdsong for 6 minutes reduced feelings of anxiety, depression and paranoia in healthy participants. Fascinatingly, the more diverse the birdsong (8 species vs 2 species in the research), the greater the decrease in anxiety.
Other studies have found that listening to birdsong can have positive physical effects, too, lowering blood pressure and cortisol.
Keen to try the well-being practice of Gökotta? We’ve got some tips to help getting into the habit easier than you might expect.
Create a morning routine: You only need to stand outside, taking in that beautiful birdsong, for about 10 minutes to reap the benefits. So what do you do with the rest of your morning? Keep that time just for you. Practice yoga and meditation, do some journalling, make a balanced and healthy breakfast with love and care. This is your opportunity to set a joyous, calm and positive tone for the whole day.
Give yourself some support: If you find yourself struggling to get up and running, let the power of plants help support you at this time. The Lady A Daily Fix capsules are the perfect supplement to pair with Gökotta, filled with CBD, matcha, rosehip and lemon oil to gently start your day.
Work up to it: There’s no need to dive straight in. If you find the idea of waking up at 4 am
daunting (who doesn’t?), ease yourself in. Go to bed 15 minutes earlier each night, and wake
up 15 minutes earlier. You’ll reach your goal soon enough.
Reward yourself for your early start: Although it may seem gruelling at first, waking early should be a pleasure - so make sure you treat yourself well for such an achievement. This time is just for you, to have peace and space to do things you might ordinarily not get around to. Read a book, enjoy a hot cup of cacao, take a long bath. Luxuriate in the hours you’ve added to your life.