A guide to help you create a morning routine you will stick to.
Much of what I do throughout the day is predictable, but I can't control most other things like the weather, mother nature, or other people's behaviors.
This is why I love my morning routine because it makes me feel like I have a sense of control and balance in my life.
It wasn't always this way though because, in the past, I would start a routine in the morning, but abandon it after a few weeks because I was bored, tired, lazy, or it just felt too hard.
It all changed when I decided to create a morning routine by simply meditating each morning for a minute. Over time, I built on each exercise until I was satisfied with my routine.
Now I have a routine that gets me started with focus and energy. Here are my 12 tips to create a mindful morning routine that you will stick to and get your day off to a great start.
12 blissful ways to create a mindful morning routine.
I will share 12 tips from my own morning routine to help you get started. Some of the practices use mindfulness principles and are meant to give you ideas as well as help you incorporate exercises that you've always wanted to try but couldn't.
1. Start with a good night's rest.
Your morning routine actually starts the night before. Make sure you get at least 7-8 hours of sleep every night. Keep your phone, laptop, or tablet out of reach so the blue light does not affect the release of melatonin in your body.
Melatonin is a hormone that helps you fall asleep and can be suppressed by the light emitted from your electronic devices.
2. Don't get up right away.
Try not to get up right after you awaken. Take a minute or two to get your head out of the fog of sleep. Then take another minute to stretch. If you try to sit up from supine position right away, you could become light headed.
You’ve just spent over 6 hours unconscious and flat, so take a couple extra minutes to lie awake in bed before getting up.
3. Express gratitude.
Before getting out of bed, I express gratitude from within, to a Higher Power (God, the Creator, the Universe). You can even thank your bed, your pillow and your linens for keeping you warm, cozy and comfortable through the night.
Or extend your gratitude to your loved ones, pets, your community, etc. If you can't think of anything, give thanks for the first thing that comes into your mind. Gratitude not only has health benefits, it is also a humbling and loving act that brings your attention to the present moment.
Helpful article: Gratitude journal | my 30 days of gratitude.
4. Stay away from social media.
I am guilty of doing this first thing in the morning. For longer than I dare to admit, this was my part of my morning routine. I would get lost inside endless Facebook feeds and photos and before I knew it, 30 minutes of my precious time had gone by.
My mind would envy things I did not possess and I daydream about having them one day. Do yourself a favor and place your phone out of reach before you go to bed to prevent temptation.
5. Don't check your email.
Once upon a time, I would check my email first thing in the morning so that I wouldn't miss out on anything important. Then more email would trickle in and I would have to check those, too.
Then I would click on an unrelated link in the email and get sucked into a rabbit hole and wonder where my time went. Not anymore. Nowadays, I set aside a time block at a more convenient hour, such as late in the morning or early afternoon.
This way, I can check anything pertinent that can be addressed during school or office hours, without disrupting my morning routine.
6. Do a meditation.
My favorite meditations right now are the ones on loving-kindness, based on mindfulness practices. Meditations not only help to deepen my awareness, but they also set my mood for the rest of the day.
Morning meditation will help you gain clarity by gently bringing your attention back to the present moment. It can also reduce stress and improve overall well-being.
You don't have to spend an hour in meditation. If you've never done one, start with 5 minutes and just focus on your breath, inward and then outward. Simply become aware of your thoughts and emotions and gently let them go.
7. Say a morning prayer.
Praying brings your awareness to the present and sends your intentions and inquiries to a Higher Power. It is an act of surrender which is not about giving up, but rather, having faith in things that you have no control over.
Prayer cultivates compassion within ourselves and for others. It sets a good example for the children and sets positive vibes for the rest of the day.
8. Do a light morning exercise.
Morning exercises do not have to be endurance marathons. A quick, light exercise will help get your blood pumping without strain. It stimulates the lymphatic system, which filters and cleans toxins from your body. I like to do simple yoga poses, light chigong exercises or easy bounces on my trampoline for at least 5 minutes. These exercises require focus without exerting too much brain power. They upstart my energy while bringing my attention gently to the present.
9. Drink a cup of warm water.
Do this right before breakfast or having your coffee. According to Ayurveda principles, drinking a cup of hot water before you have anything else gets the large intestine ready for the process of elimination. Hydrating before eating or drinking anything also helps to replenish your body with water and aids in eliminating wastes.
10. Don't watch the news.
Okay, you should know what's going on in the world, but you don't have to let it affect you all day. I once made the mistake of watching a news clip online first thing in the morning and for the rest of the day, I couldn't remove the images from my head or concentrate. It was even difficult to get settled into my night routine.
You can stay informed but you don’t have to be consumed by the latest breaking news. Stick to the facts, avoid learning about information that will make you really upset, and choose a source of news that is trustworthy.
11. Eat your breakfast without distraction.
If you can help it, eat your breakfast without distraction. This means putting the electronic devices away and putting the radio and television to rest. I used to distract myself with news, shows and the internet while I ate and could not truly enjoy my food.
Now, I make it a habit to keep anything distracting beyond reach so my morning meal becomes the center of attention and I can consume it in sweet silence. Breakfast becomes nourishment for the body, mind and spirit. They don’t call it the most important meal of the day for nothing.
12. Enjoy your coffee or tea like it's the only thing in the world.
No matter what your beverage preference is, make sure you’re not multi-tasking while you’re drinking it. If you need to, get up a little earlier in the morning so you don’t have to rush through this.
It really is an act of love for yourself and an extension of gratitude for the myriad of industries that orchestrated together to bring it to your table. You remind yourself of how important and valuable you are. This simple act is the power of bringing awareness to the present moment.
A mindful morning routine not only fosters awareness but gives you a sense of balance and control in your life. Doing the same thing each day that feels calming, joyful, fulfilling, or even invigorating gives you a sense of security and can even keep you healthy.
I hope you found these morning routine tips helpful so you can start your day off right.
I would love to hear about your morning routine. Please share any helpful tips down in the comments!