Updated: Jan 31, 2022
Your alarm goes off. Your eyes slowly blink to adjust to the light. You sit for a second and wonder what day it is. You quickly remember that its Tuesday and the dread creeps in. Work, kids, housework, that project you’ve been putting off, your workout, all the responsibilities hit you like a wave.
To distract yourself or delay, you mindlessly reach for your phone. You start scrolling through your notifications, and are immediately inundated by your newsfeed: doomsday headlines, someone trying to show you how to make that friggin’ viral cabbage chopped salad AGAIN, someone’s vacation photos or maybe emails from your boss that came in the night before.
So, you put your phone down already feeling overwhelmed and weary, head to the bathroom to splash water on your face, and rush to try to sneak in the kitchen to get a moments peace with your coffee before the onslaught of endless obligations for the many hats you wear set in.
If this sounds painfully familiar, you are not alone. Many of us start our mornings in less than mindful ways, on auto-pilot, just going through the motions.
But mindfulness begins with intentionality.
Being intentional about the way you approach your mornings is what is going to set you up for more intentional, mindful and grounded actions throughout your day.
Maybe you’re thinking… duhh, seems obvious. The real question is HOW?! How do I start my day more mindfully when I wake up being pulled in a million different directions?
Firstly, GET UP EARLIER. (EYE-ROLL, I know) but hear me out. Getting up early will ensure that you feel you have time to yourself, for yourself, to make you a priority before any of the day’s obligations set in to distract you. Its your little time for you before the rest of the world wakes up.
Great, now that we've got that out of the way, below is a list with some ideas to help you create your own mindful, morning rituals to create a sense of balance, harmony and ease to carry with you throughout your day:
#1 Don’t Leave Your Phone On Your Nightstand
Most of us sleep with our phone by our sides on our nightstands. If you tend to reach for your phone before you’ve even fully adjusted to the light, maybe its time to put your phone in a new place before you drift off to sleep. Putting your phone on the other side of your bedroom, not only encourages you to put off scrolling until after you’ve had a chance to adjust to the morning (and perhaps partake in suggestion #2 below), but it also will help you from hitting that snooze button.
Before you do ANYTHING else. Count 3 things you’re grateful for. It might sound cheesy but starting out your day with gratitude will help you to call in more things to feel grateful for throughout your day. And it might even make you smile (take that alarm clock).
"Each morning we are born again, what we do today is what matters most" – Buddha
#3 Make Morning Meditation Tea
Even if you aren’t going to dive into mediation, you can reap the benefits of this simultaneously calming and stimulating tea blend. Making the tea itself can be its own meditation. It spicy, sweet and mentally invigorating but it’s the ritual of making this tea as the sunrises that makes it profoundly grounding. Find the link to the tea recipe here.
#4 While You're At It, Meditate
Sip the tea above (or any hot beverage, really) for a few minutes and then set a timer for a few minutes and sit with yourself. Try asking yourself a question as you meditate. Let the answers float to you. You’ll be amazed at the experience.
Why not buy yourself a beautiful journal that brings you joy and try your hand at some morning pages? It doesn’t have to make sense, it doesn’t have to be organized, just write whatever comes to mind. It could be a dream, a mantra for the day ahead, an idea, a song, something you wish you could tell someone, anything.
#6 Light Candles or Incense
Is it any secret that a candle lit room evokes a certain sense of magic? Well, no. Scent and lighting are some of the quickest ways to change the energy of your space and candles and incense check both of those boxes. Also, lighting a candle or an incense stick can soothe a very primal urge to light a hearth or make a fire first thing in the AM, making it an extra soothing experience.
#7 Add In Some Movement
Making the time to move your body first thing in the morning is going to help increase your body’s endorphin production to improve your mood and help to sustain even energy levels throughout your day. Something soft like a gentle yoga flow, or a walk or something more strenuous like a long run or a hike. Any movement that speaks to you will do.
Keeping a book of poetry, an autobiography of someone you admire or really just any book your find inspirational and uplifting should be kept by your bed. It will be the first thing you see in the AM and starting your day diving into inspiration is always a great place to begin.
#9 Prep Fresh Fruits and Veggies
Starting your day prepping your favorite fresh fruits and veggies not only keeps your mind fresh and present but it also will also help to make snacking and mealtimes healthier throughout your day.
#10 Hot Towel Scrub or Gua Sha
The skin is your largest organ, starting your morning with practices that help to nourish, detoxify and stimulate the skin will help to increase lymphatic drainage and decrease any puffiness from your nights sleep, making you feel more refreshed, alert and awake. Try one (or both of these) every other day for a week and see how things start to shift.
Mornings are a sacred time. How we spend our mornings can have a profound effect on the way we go out into the world.
But these are just suggestions, the truth is there are no set rules to follow when it comes to creating balancing morning practices. Just being intentional about how you spend your time in the morning, and prioritizing things that make you feel good, will help you to create more mindful feel -good habits throughout your day.
If none of these ideas speak to you, I encourage you to find ones that do.
Try something new. You know the way.