Mindful morning routine for positivity and success
We all have been affected by current shelter in place orders in varying degrees. Whether you are working from home or an essential employee, a morning routine is crucial to maintain a sense of normalcy and positive mindset.
You may have a morning routine already in place. However, if your body is doing one thing and your mind is off somewhere else, you lose the freedom of being in the present moment; the experience that liberates you from the chains of the past and unknown future. Distractions, whether in the mind or from external sources, can easily steer your focus and affect your mood.
A mindful morning routine will prevent you from drifting aimlessly from one thing to the next. I remember when I used to begin my day by dragging myself out of bed and rushing to get the kids out the door. Suddenly, I would find myself at work, unaware of how I got there.
These days, I get up a little earlier than the rest of my family before I start my day. The precious minutes I have to myself enable me to go within and increase my awareness. It strengthens my inner peace and slows down my pace so I can truly enjoy what is in front of me.
12 simple ways to create a mindful morning routine
I will share 12 tips from my mindful morning routine to help you get started. These practices are simple and won’t cost you anything but a few minutes of your time. You don’t have to do all 12. Just pick and choose from the following list below that resonate with you. Later on, you can experiment and formulate your own, or create a new one to add to the mix.
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, through the Positivity Resonance website. These free meditations not only help to deepen my awareness, they also set my mood for the rest of the day. A 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.
Helpful article: Positivity Resonance 2.0 meditations.
7. SAY A MORNING PRAYER.
You can pray alone or with your family. Since the start of our "shelter-in-place", my older kids and I have been praying before school and before I have anything to eat or drink. 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.
Helpful exercise: 7-minute meditation to start your day | Yoga with Adriene
9. DRINK A CUP OF WARM WATER.
Do this right before breakfast or having your coffee. According to TCM, drinking a cup of warm 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.
Lately, I have dreaded watching the news. A couple of weeks ago, I made the mistake of watching a news clip online first thing in the morning. For the rest of the day, I was full of anxiety and could not remove the images or thoughts from my head. I couldn’t enjoy my food, activities or the people around me. It was difficult to get settled into my night routine as well. You can stay informed but you don’t have to be consumed by the latest breaking news. Stick to the facts and avoid being innundated with information. Choose a source of news that is trustworthy. Don’t get caught in a riptide of disasters and hypothetical calamities.
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.
I hope you found these tips helpful. A mindful morning routine fosters awareness and is the pilot switch that fuels the rest of your day. It is gratifying for the mind, body and spirit to receive a healthy dose of the present moment.
I would love to hear about your morning routine. Please share any helpful tips and techniques.