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.
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:
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- Read. Open an inspirational book and page through early in the morning. This will help you feel inspired and get those creative juices flowing.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?