Whether you count yourself as a morning person, or love a lie in, a morning routine can be really beneficial to bring structure, positivity, and productivity to your day. And as a lot of us have learnt, in the days of working from home, zoom calls and sweatpants, a morning routine is more important than ever.
For me, back at the beginning of the pandemic, the novelty of hitting the snooze, late mornings with no plans and staying in my pjs swiftly wore off. It got me thinking, what effect is this having on my day? I found myself less motivated, unproductive, and feeling downright sluggish. So, I made an easy and enjoyable morning routine for myself, that would give me motivation to start my day. The initial early alarm and dragging myself out of bed was a little bit of a shock to the system, but after a few days back on track, I really felt the benefits. It improved my mood, my energy levels, and my productivity.
Finding a morning routine that really worked for me was a game of trial and error. It’s really important that you find activities that are enjoyable and make you want to get out of bed but are also beneficial to your mind and body. So, I’m going to share with you a couple of morning practices I’ve learnt along the way that I found really helpful. Try picking one or two you like the sound of to start with and getting up 30 minutes earlier than usual to practice them before your day. This small change could make a big impact, and not leave you feeling too rudely awoken 😉
Simple yet effective… doing a bit of stretching and even jumping around if you are so inclined is a great way to wake your body up and connect with your senses. It’s so easy to jump out of bed, and rush around, without taking time to connect with our body. This can leave us experiencing our day purely through our mind. In this state, we can so easily go about our day, walking, eating, talking, breathing, and be disconnected from the experience. So, breathe, stretch it out, and pay attention to those subtle feelings in your body. This can only take a couple of minutes, and if you don’t want to, you don’t even need to get out of bed for it!
If you’ve never meditated before, a really simple place to start is by taking a few deep breaths, to the count of 3. This helps bring awareness to your body and regulates your thoughts. For me, I find meditation in the morning is a great way to centre myself and quieten my mind, otherwise, I have a million things whizzing around in there with no rhyme or reason.
For some people, this might sound a bit far-fetched… maybe you haven’t written in a diary since you were a teenager, or maybe never at all. But hear me out. There are many different ways to journal, but the simplest and my favourite by far is gratitude journaling, and once more, there’s loads of science to back it up! Studies suggest that what you focus on creates a bias throughout your day, if you started your day off on a negative note, you’re more likely to notice the little inconveniences throughout the day. Whereas if you start your day noting things you are grateful for, you will naturally go about your day noticing the positive. If you don’t have the time, or a pen and paper at hand, maybe just mentally note 3-5 things you are grateful for. This could be things such as your health, breath, family, and your abundance.
- Have a mindful brew
We English people often can’t start our day on the right foot without a good old brew. Since ditching coffee, my go to morning drink has been a nourishing mug of hot chocolate. It gives me all the positive boosting effects of coffee, without the jitters and the crash, as well as the added bonus of being packed full of nutrients. My favourite thing to do, is take my drink outside, and enjoy it whilst taking a moment to listen to the sound of birds and breathe in the fresh air. Ahhhh…
- Avoid your phone
By far one of the best things I have done, is stop using my phone on a morning. Setting myself a goal of not checking my phone for at least 1 hour after I wake up has changed my day. Phones can be a minefield of stress and distraction. It’s so easy to just hop on Facebook or Instagram to quickly message back a friend and get bombarded with negative news and drama, or get sucked into the black hole of scrolling, no thank you... I realised that no message is so important that it can’t wait a couple more hours, and voila! Without the distraction of a phone, it’s so much easier to get up and find time to do other things, read a book, have a chat, or just sit and do nothing…mindfully 😉
There you go, 5 morning mindfulness practices to brighten your day! Let us know which ones you have tried, and how they have changed your day, or if you have any practices of your own you’d like to share, over at our Instagram @80noir_ultra