If you’re not a morning lark by nature, you may struggle with getting motivated to start your day with a sense of calm, groundedness, and ease. Introducing some mindful touches into your daily routine is a simple and surprisingly effective way to practice self-care. With these tips and a little practice, you may even start enjoying waking up when the day is young. 😊
Get a good night sleep
The secret here is to start even before your day actually starts. The success in cultivating mindfulness in the morning rests on a foundation of having enough sleep and a nourishing nightly ritual. Waking up rested and refreshed allows you to have the mental clarity, physical energy, and motivation to incorporate mindful moments as you get ready for your day.
According to experts at Google, technology is designed to hijack our minds. Yikes! When we reach for our phones first thing in the morning, what do we see? A list of notifications. Emails and calendar reminders. Missed calls. Suddenly, our morning is plagued by seemingly urgent tasks. We frame the first moments of our day around what experts call ‘a menu’ of missed experiences. If you prefer not turning off your phone for the night, you can change the setting to ‘Do Not Disturb’ and create a list of emergency contacts who are allowed to call you in case of need.
Stretch and move your body
We can practice mindfulness through movement too. Find a type of exercise that you enjoy, whether that’s running, yoga, cycling, walking, or any other type of movement. Try to fit exercise in during the morning hours, before you fully start your day. This may require waking up quite a bit earlier, but it can have great physical and mental benefits. Such as producing endorphins, or the happy hormones, to boost your energy throughout the day.
Do something slowly with your full attention.
The quickest and easiest way to add some mindfulness to your morning is to hack your existing routine. You can practice mindful awareness as you make your bed, brush your teeth, drink a cup of coffee or tea, or eat your breakfast. Whatever task you choose, work on slowing down, focusing all of your attention on your breath, body movements and other senses as you do this task. Which can help to rewire the brain to find new and better coping skills, also helping to increase your focus.
Spend a little time on something you enjoy
While you may not have a ton of time in the morning to do activities you love, even just 20 minutes of uninterrupted reading, listening to audiobook or podcast, or putting on your favourite music could get you in a good mood. All of these activities are mindful because they require us to be present to fully absorb them. So sit back, sip your morning coffee or tea, and indulge in an activity you enjoy, even only for a short bit.
For me, the central appeal of having a mindful morning routine is to take the first few minutes of the day just for myself. According to the amount of time I have, I like to expand/restrict the range of potential activities to include anything calm, peaceful and pleasurable that appeal to me on that particular day. The goal is not to comply with a given set of steps or parameters, but to establish healthy patterns that work and can be enjoyed in the long run.