Okay. I must preface this with letting you know I’m not perfect (duhh) and not every single morning do I have a perfect morning ritual. I am simply focusing on being more mindful about how I begin my day. Some days are better than others. That’s life. That’s realistic. So please don’t read this thinking I’m some superior human who drinks warm lemon water and does a bullet journal every morning. Learning to be mindful about how you begin your day is so so important. I notice a lot of people living in auto-pilot or just complete chaos from the moment they wake up. Research has shown however, that establishing a healthy morning routine can determine your mindset and productivity for the day.
The number one rule that I’ve tried to put into practice is to not reach for my phone first thing in the morning. Most people use phones for an alarm, but I would strongly encourage you to invest in an old school alarm clock. They are like $5 at IKEA (find one here). Put your phone on the other side of the room on airplane mode or better yet in a completely different room at night. I now leave my phone in the kitchen. There’s no reason to have it next to you at night. Nothing is that pressing that it cannot wait until the next day. The reason it’s detrimental to look at your phone first thing in the morning is the immediate stimulation of the outside world that bombards you as you start to scroll Instagram and check emails. We subconsciously begin our day with stress, anxiety, and comparison. Our focus is projected outward instead of tuning into our needs first and foremost.
The second thing I do is drink water. After sleeping, your body is naturally dehydrated. I fill up a 1 liter jar of water, sometimes adding lemon for added detoxification, and sip on it before I even think about coffee or food. I used to be a complete coffee addict. I needed it the second I opened my eyes in the morning. But as I’ve implemented this habit, I’ve noticed my need for coffee has gone away and I view coffee as a treat once in awhile. Once again, this is the mindfulness I’m hoping to inspire within you. To learn to be in tune with your body and pausing to assess your reliance on outside stimuli and substances. The benefits of drinking water first thing in the morning includes: detoxification which results in glowing skin, stimulates internal organs and digestion, stimulates brain function, aids in weight loss, balances your lymphatic system resulting in decreased infections and sickness.
While I’m drinking my water, I start to bring movement into my body. I do some Vinyasa Sun Salutations and light stretching. This wakes up your muscles, gets blood flowing, and stimulates your brain. You can look up simple morning yoga routines on Youtube. I am a huge lover of Yoga with Adrienne— check out her morning yoga video here. You can also do your own stretching, whatever feels good to you. The whole point is to move your body. And this doesn’t have to take long. Even if you set aside fifteen minutes, it’s better than no movement. Like I said at the beginning, I don’t do these routines every single day, but on the days that I start with Vinyasa, I notice a huge difference in not only my energy levels but my brain function and ability to focus. Try to make time for it this week and see how you feel. You will absolutely notice a difference in the tone of your day!
After my yoga sequence, I like to take about ten minutes to meditate. I know, I know, it sounds so spiritual and guru-like. But meditation looks different for everyone. Some people like to connect with God and pray. Some may write in a journal to organize their thoughts. Others seek complete nothingness and clear their minds. I like to take deep breaths and focus my mind on how I will face my day and create some intentions. I repeat positive Mantras like: “I am grounded. I am focused. I am abundant. I am at peace with myself.” These affirmations begin my day with positive thoughts about myself and the world around me. This practice has truly revolutionized my life. Not only am I more positive and at peace, but I’ve actually noticed the intentions I’ve set have manifested in my life. Take abundance, for instance. As I started to focus on abundance, I’ve had more opportunities and friendships come into my life. Meditation has helped me become a more peaceful, confident, and mindful person. I’m not as affected by outside negativity, which we all inevitably face daily. I’m able to stay grounded. And of course re-orienting myself every morning is what sets the tone for my day.
Alright. We’ve accomplished so much with our morning already and haven’t picked up our phone or mug of coffee yet! Woo!
5. fresh air
After water, movement, and meditation I like to go outside for a walk or run. It love being out in nature, breathing fresh air. It gives me a boost of energy from the sun and wind. Again, even if you go outside for a few minutes before getting ready for work, it will make a difference. Being outside is great for elevating your mood.
Finally, I go about preparing my breakfast, which usually consists of a smoothie bowl, avocado toast, or a bowl of oatmeal and some green tea. I love setting aside time to make a yummy breakfast. It brings me joy that I leave time for myself. Its an act of self care for me.
Everyone’s morning routine will look differently. You may not have the luxury of quietness in the morning if you have kiddos running around. But I hope you can take time to evaluate what’s working and what areas of your day you could set aside some time for yourself. When you invest time in self care and introspection, you are not only creating a more peaceful environment for yourself and those around you, but you are establishing balance and health that will affect every area of your life.