Do you rush through your morning to make it to work on time? Do you check your email first thing in the morning? If you feel stressed BEFORE you hit the office, then these 10 ways to make your morning more mindful are for you my friend.

Do you rush through your morning to make it to work on time? Do you check your email first thing in the morning? If you feel stressed BEFORE you hit the office, then these 10 ways to make your morning more mindful are for you my friend. #mindfulmonday | The Foodie Dietitian @karalydon

Since I started posting on this blog M-F, my schedule and routine has been shaken up a bit. I often find myself writing, processing images, or editing first thing in the morning so that I can post on time. And that would be all well and good if I wasn’t sacrificing something that’s very important to me. Something that’s almost sacred. Something that sets the tone for the entire rest of the day. My mindful mornings.

So I’ve made a vow to take back the mindful morning. In order to pull this off, I’ll be writing blog posts a day in advance so that I don’t have to scramble when the sun rises. So, what does a mindful morning consist of, you ask? How does one pull it off? Here are my 10 tips:

  1. Wake up an hour earlier. Give yourself extra time so that you don’t have to rush out the door. Make time for breakfast. Make time for a quiet cup of tea and intention setting. Successful entrepreneurs will tell you they wake up extra early – this gives them an opportunity to set a positive tone for the day. Research shows that early risers are happier and more productive. #riseandgrind
  2. Meditate. Sitting down to meditate in the morning helps to set a focus and intention for the day. Perhaps you focus on a mantra – a word that describes how you want to feel during the day ahead. If you struggle with meditation, read about my secret to meditation or a few meditation apps you can download to get you started.
  3. Journal. Write down 5 things you’re grateful for so that you start your day off on a positive note. No matter what the day throws at you, you can come back to those 5 things you’re grateful for to help put things into perspective. Or, try stream of consciousness journaling where you put a pen to paper and see what comes out. It’s a meditative activity that I actually found to be pretty powerful when I was on a yoga retreat in Costa Rica. It’s particularly effective if you’re trying to work through a problem.
  4. Read. Open an inspirational book and page through early in the morning. This will help you feel inspired and get those creative juices flowing.
  5. Drink a cup of warm water or herbal tea. Before you rush to caffeinate, hydrate first. Hold the warm mug between both hands and sit by a window and watch the sunrise. It’s a beautiful way to create some quiet and stillness before the busy day unfolds.
  6. Exercise. The morning is a perfect time to squeeze in your physical activity. Go for a run, hit the gym, ride your bike. Exercising in the morning releases endorphins aka happy hormones to take with you the rest of the day.
  7. Practice yoga. 5 sun salutations. Gentle stretching. Savasana. Child’s pose. Practicing yoga doesn’t mean an intense 90 minute flow. You can make it whatever your body needs. The act of moving your body to your breath will help calm down your nervous system and make you feel more relaxed as you approach the day.
  8. Leave the laptop and the cell phone for the office. Checking that “one email” or Instagram for just “one second” turns into 50 emails and 5 minutes later. Getting sucked into technology first thing in the morning is a sure fire way to make your morning NOT mindful. Set a designated time to start work and don’t open your phone or computer until that time. Your mind will thank you for the space you’ve created in the morning for more creativity and inspiration.
  9. Eat a healthy breakfast. Ever try to drive somewhere without any gas in the car? Of course not (well I hope not anyways). Because we know that a car needs fuel in order to run. Well, our bodies work the same way. Our bodies need fuel (energy) in the morning to operate efficiently. No fuel in the morning? You’re probably stalling and you don’t even realize it. Grab a Greek yogurt and some fruit, make oatmeal the night before, or whip up a smoothie. Mornings shouldn’t be complicated and your breakfast doesn’t have to be either.
  10. Get outside. Go for a walk or a run outside early in the morning. Not only will the fresh air help to wake you up, but being immersed in nature helps to clear the mind, thus cultivating inspiration, creativity, and new ideas.

Tell me, how do you keep your mornings mindful? What’s the biggest challenge you face?

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  1. This is EXACTLY what I needed. This is a real struggle for me! Thank you!

  2. Great post – glad I found you through Lindsey’s Bean Bytes this week!

  3. Yes! A few months ago I started doing yoga first thing in the morning instead of night and it has completely flipped my productivity and energy around! It’s worth it for me to get up early and practice because I know I am going to have a much better day because of it! Great tips! Have an awesome week 🙂

    • Love that, Alex! I’ve gone back and forth between practicing in the morning and the evenings. I’ve found that meditation and some gentle movement in the morning and yoga in the evening works best for me. It’s a nice transition for me to officially end the workday. 🙂

  4. I love all of these tips! I end each day by writing what I’m grateful for in my journal and it really helps me focus on all the positivity in my life. I also find that waking up earlier, like you suggested, really helps me tick off small tasks at the start of each day. Hope you had a great weekend!

    • That’s awesome, Genevieve. I love that you journal in the evening. What a nice way to wind down and and on a positive note. We could probably write another post about how to have a mindful evening 😉

  5. Always need the reminder to not look at my phone first thing in the morning (that’s my biggest challenge – I always end up browsing Instagram. Definitely skip the email thought). I love a little movement (usually some yoga or a walk outside), meditation, and maybe some journaling in the morning…but weekends when I can do most of these are the best. I’ve been trying to get in my afternoon yoga break too 🙂

    • Not looking at my phone first thing in the morning is a non-negotiable for me. I’ve recognized that I so easily get sucked into social so I know once I start, I won’t be able to pull myself away. So happy to hear you skip email and make time for some movement. Yes, and I love the weekends to spend more time on all these things!

  6. I love all of these ideas! I try to journal regularly and I find that it helps me focus on my blessings instead of things I think I’m lacking. I also love starting the day off with exercise. I never regret a workout, especially in the morning! Thanks for these wonderful reminders!!

    • Love that you journal regularly, Elizabeth! It’s so nice to put things into perspective and set a positive tone for the rest of the day.

  7. I loved this! A lot of mornings I get so caught up in my “to-do” list for the day that I just end up running in circles and not getting much done! This was such a good reminder that my mornings can set the tone for the rest of my day, so I should make them count.

    • Spot on, Melanie! A dear friend and coach once told me to focus on your values and how you want to feel during the day and then creating a to-do list that reflects those two things. If something goes against a value or against how you want to feel, it doesn’t make it on the list. Create a to-do list that’s going to energize you and make you feel your best! This is coming from a chronic to-do lister, btw. I can totally relate.

  8. seriously Kara, did you write this for me. I’ve been struggling with the same thing and prioritizing my work over my quiet time and stillness. Need to start working down this list and putting some new boundaries in place so that I can take back that mindful morning.

    • We’re always on the same page. This is why we’re besties :). It’s so easy to let work priorities take over self-care but mornings are the most impressionable time of the day so I think it’s so important that mornings remain sacred. The AM sets the tone for the rest of the day.

  9. Waking up super early and ALWAYS breakfast is a must for me to start my days right!

  10. This is spot on! People think I’m crazy for waking up so early but it’s my sacred time. I need to take my time eating breakfast, drink tea, go on my computer and somewhat “settle” before work. Work is beyond stressful lately and your Mindful Monday posts are a good reminder to not let anything get in the way of your health. Thanks Kara!

  11. Every single Monday your post hits home with me. every. single. time.
    These are great tips!! Hope your week is fab 🙂