Is it just me, or are mornings sometimes *a little* hard to handle? Even if I don’t have to go to class or work until 9 or 10 o’clock, I find myself staying in bed until the last possible moment, until I eventually roll out, brush my teeth, grab a granola bar, and head out the door. In my mind, I reason that staying in bed as long as possible will help me be nice and rested for the day ahead. But unfortunately—as I’m sure we have all figured out at some point—this is not the case.
During some of the greatest, most productive times of my life, I stick to a mindful morning routine that prepares me for peace, happiness, and success throughout my days. I’m determined to start my routine again because, to put it simply, it makes me feel good! If you are someone who struggles to wake up in the morning, or if you are just looking for a new way to experience joy in your life, I invite you to start a mindful morning routine of your own. Remember…the key is MINDFULNESS (read more about mindfulness in this article)!
Here are a few ideas to get you started, along with some must-dos and must-don’ts:
1. Wake up early.
This may be difficult at first, but if you want to actually have a morning routine, you need to have time during the morning to do it! Wake up at least half an hour before you need to start getting ready for your day (i.e. take a shower), and when you do wake up, make sure you DON’T immediately check your phone. You know as well as I do that scrolling through social media feeds can end up distracting you for way longer than you think it’s going to, and plus, when you fill your morning with the words and energies of other people, it makes it more difficult to center yourself. And centering yourself in the morning is CRUCIAL for a happy and productive day. When you first wake up, DO notice how you are feeling. Check in with yourself—mentally, emotionally, and physically. Stretch your sleepy body, open the blinds, and make your bed (which brings me to my next point).
2. Make your bed.
Not everybody likes to make their bed, but if you want to start your day on the right foot, you should definitely do it. When you make your bed in the morning, even if you have a hectic day ahead of you, you’ll be able to rest assured that at least one thing in your life is put together. Also, when you come home at the end of the day and walk into your room, you will feel SO MUCH BETTER than you would walking into a crumpled mess. I make my bed every morning because, energetically, it feels good and peaceful to me. This is why I recommend you do the same. DO take your time with this, and think of it as your first creative and productive project of the day.
3. Drink a glass of lemon water.
I suppose normal water would work here if there’s absolutely NO WAY for you to get your hands on some lemons. BUT I strongly recommend starting each day with a glass of lemon water. There are so many benefits! It detoxifies your body, gets your organs working, wakes you up, and helps you feel refreshed. Over time, it can even improve your skin condition and help you shed unwanted pounds. Some people prefer to drink coffee or tea in the morning, but if your stomach is sensitive to caffeine like mine is (a cup of coffee in the morning makes me feel like death), a glass of lemon water is an excellent substitute that will work wonders for your physical and mental health. As you are drinking it, DO pay attention to how it tastes, how it smells, and how it makes you feel as you sip it. Take your time with this and really enjoy it.
Even a few minutes of meditation in the morning can set a peaceful and happy tone for your entire day. If you’re a beginner, start with about ten minutes each morning. Sit or lie down comfortably, close your eyes, and focus on your breathing. Make sure you DON’T criticize yourself or become impatient if thoughts creep into your mind. This is normal (We’re human beings! We think a lot!). Simply acknowledge your thought, and bring your awareness back to your breath. If you are a seasoned meditator, try to make sure you spend about half an hour each morning meditating and centering yourself.
5. Read something.
Not everybody likes to read, and that’s okay. But even reading something small (such as a favorite poem or an inspirational quote) can help awaken your mind and soul. DO read something you enjoy; however, I would caution you to NOT read the news right away, as many times, the news is filled with stories of tragedy that are not good for the soul. Aim to read something each morning that inspires you, and let that energy carry you through your day.
So there you have it. That’s the morning routine I’m striving to bring back into my life (because let’s face it, I feel way better when I do those things), and I’m challenging you to do something similar. A mindful morning will prepare you for a wonderful day.
Enjoy your morning!
Do you have your own special morning routine? Tell me about it in the comments!