Mindfulness was a big part in my recovery. I still practise this mindfulness morning routine now because the more you do it, the more you get used to a mindful way of life and the more it can maintain your mood.
For me, it all starts with a mindfulness morning routine and it’s not just about meditation techniques, it’s also about healthy daily habits, habits that build on themselves over time to the point where they become natural and easy to do.
A morning mindfulness routine can sometimes be the difference between a rubbish day and a more relaxed morning that allows a peaceful mood to stretch throughout your day.
A morning mindfulness routine is essentially allowing yourself the space to understand that each morning is a new beginning. Every morning we have a new chance to do something we love and appreciate what we have.
We get so caught up in daily life that we end up never stopping to really look at how we’re behaving. The morning is usually when we’re most motivated and so grabbing the opportunity to mindful in the right way is a great way to set your day up.
As many of my followers know, I’m a dad, boyfriend and I work. This doesn’t leave a lot of time to get into a peaceful state in the morning! However, the great thing about mindfulness is you don’t need to sit cross legged for an hour to get the benefits of it.
Creating a mindfulness morning routine can consists of five or ten minutes after you wake up. To be to the point, a mindfulness morning routine is basically a way for you to map out your morning so you don’t rush out the door like a head-less chicken. It’s also a great way to ease any early morning anxiety that you might be feeling.
This early morning anxiety can follow you throughout the day and your negative thoughts and fears can stack on top of each other quickly. That’s why I think it’s important (and I’ve seen the benefits) of creating a mindful morning plan.
So if you’re ready to be a lot more mindful in the AM, let’s get to it!…
1. Plan Your Morning The Night Before
Hey, I get it, you don’t want to be planning for tomorrow after you’ve had a long day at work and I often don’t! However if you know you need to do something before you head out to work, why not jot yourself a note or two?
Jotting down your morning or day plan can be a great way to keep a clear mind when you wake up. When I wake up, I know exactly when and by what time I need to do everything so I don’t fall behind. If I know I want to write a blog post before I rush out the door, I’ll jot it down and let myself know it needs to be done by 7am.
A typical note will say something like;
- Start writing at 6am, finish by 7am even if it’s not complete
- Pack school bag and have clothes ironed by 8am
These are obvious and small things that we all might try and do but in our morning rush we can get in a muddle and fall behind. Giving yourself clear timescales can kick your butt into action. It also helps to stop you being late for work!
2. Don’t Hit The Snooze Button
Okay, so you know what you wanna write down no matter how small the task may be. Now it’s time to talk about that snooze button. We all have good weeks and bad weeks. Luckily for me, most of my weeks are good now when it comes to getting up in the morning.
I only have one alarm. That alarm is put at the other end of the room so I have to get up and turn it off. That way I have to get up, and when I’m up, I can’t go back to bed!
It’s Important to get up when you wake up because otherwise you find yourself falling into negative thoughts about the day. For example;
‘I have to go to work but I don’t want to’
‘I’d love to stay in bed all day’
‘I should call in sick’
Most importantly, if you wake up early you can…
3. Think About Your Goals
A good mindfulness morning routine continues with your thinking about your goals.
What goals do you have for the day? Forget work and family responsibilities. What do you want to achieve in that day for you? What do you need to do to make today successful.
Opening up your mind to the days potential can give you a clear view on what your day needs to look like. This way, the day is not one long, mundane typical experience.
The minute you can give it some meaning is the minute you can appreciate it more as unique.
I love doing this because it gives you something to strive for and get done.
For me, nothing is better than having the satisfaction that I’ve completed a task I love like writing an article or reading one I know will benefit me in some way.
4. Complete A Body Scan
You don’t have to complete a full body scan but even spending a couple of minutes to realign your mind in your morning can be beneficial.
Completing a body scan is something typical in the world of mindfulness. I like to do this in the morning as it’s usually the time of day when I’m most all over the place. It’s a great way to link up your tired mind with your body to give it that bit of energy it needs.
Here’s how it works;
Find somewhere comfortable to sit. Now relax your body. Take a breath and notice how it feels and sounds. Close your eyes if it helps!
Use your breathing as an anchor throughout the process to keep yourself focused.
Now start at the top of your head. How does it feel? Tired? Achey?
Allow yourself to notice how it feels without trying to attach emotion to it even if it’s annoying you or it’s making you feel low or rubbish. Just notice how it feels.
Focusing on your breath again. Now go down to your neck, then your shoulders and keep going until you reach your toes. There’s no right amount of time this should take you. And, if you feel uncomfortable doing this, that’s fine.
Most people feel like they’re doing it wrong. I just keep going. I allow my thoughts on how my body feels to flow through me without trying to judge them and give them names. When I’m listening to how my body feels, I just allow it to ‘be’.
You’ll be surprised how calm this can make you feel.
5. Practise Mindful Eating
Sometimes I eat toast as I’m getting into my car. Luckily, and most of the time, I take the time to mindfully eat. Look, I know what a freaking apple looks and tastes like after 28 years but I try and eat breakfast mindfully in my morning routine.
The idea here is to eat your breakfast slowly and basically without rushing. Run out of time easily? Go back to step one to plan your morning better!
Yes, this technique may not have the same effect if you eat the same thing for breakfast every morning but it’ll sure slow your ‘autopilot’ mind down and get you into the mindfulness spirit.
Mindful eating starts by observing your food. What does it look like? What is it’s purpose? What does it smell like?
The idea here is to question the meaning of it as if you’re looking at it for the first time ever. Yes you may feel silly at first but keep going. Your breakfast is the energy you need to fuel your body and organs for the day. Easy to forget right? I know! We take things like this for granted everyday of our lives.
We don’t think about these things unless we’re on a short lived diet where we think we’re health gurus. Most of the time we forget about food helps our bodies and minds.
Mindful eating isn’t just about being mindful of how something tastes and looks but how it helps us.
When you can eat mindfully, you can make better decisions about what to put into your body, especially in the morning.
So, take the time notice what you put in your body in the morning and try and see it as important to your overall day.
6. Do Something For Someone Else
This is totally underrated. Doing something nice for something else can be a great way to give yourself a kick and add to your mindful morning. Being ‘mindful’ means thinking of others and consequences so doing something nice can have a big impact on the way your day starts.
You don’t have to do anything major though. Simply making someone a drink in the morning can be enough to boost your own mood.
You should try and make this part of your mindfulness morning routine consistently. Try and do one small thing in the morning for someone else. You’ll be surprised how rewarding it can make you feel!
7. Do Something Productive
Our morning are usually spent sitting on the couch yawning before we have to get dressed for work. Many of us use that time to watch the TV and do nothing.
Why not spend that time doing something productive? This is similar to setting a goal for the day but you’re actually taking action. Taking action before you even get dressed puts your mind into a productive state for the day.
Sometimes I’ll get up and finish that article or I’ll reply to an email from someone I’m trying to build a relationship with. It’s always something productive and long term.
I try and stay away from the short term activities and instead use my morning routine to reach out to people or to work on something that is going to build up over time.
One of those things is this blog. I know that by working around it and taking small actions I’ll be making productive steps. Once I’ve ticked off that activity, I feel better when I go out the door.
Being mindful of the bigger picture and treating everyday as a chance to get better and push forward can bring you a lot of excitement and joy.
Integrating Mindfulness Into Your Existing Morning Routine
You can integrate mindfulness into your existing morning routine. It’s the small things that count here but the difference is you’re being mindful of what you’re doing.
Brushing your teeth – Take the time here to notice how the toothbrush feels. Instead of rushing, notice how it glides over each of your teeth to clean them.
Making your lunch – Make your lunch with care are understand how it’s going to benefit you later. Even if you only have junk food to pack, understand how it might make you feel later.
Getting dressed – Slow it down. Take pride by ironing your shirt and trousers. Notice how they feel on your skin and be thankful that you can afford these types of nice clothes that perhaps many others can’t
As I said above, I truly believe that we have to see each and every morning, and day, as a whole new chance and beginning.
Everything that happened yesterday is irrelevant. If we’ve done wrong, we have the chance to fix it. If we’ve done some good, we have the chance to keep those good vibes going.
Whatever order you decide to do your morning mindfulness routine, make sure you remember this…You have the chance to change everything with a new morning.
You don’t even have to incorporate everything I’ve listed above. I normally focus on two or three of the above each day so I know I’m primed for the whole day.
Wake up. Be mindful that today is a new chance and kick some butt.
Here’s to your success – Sean
P.s – How do you feel in the morning usually and how do you try and set your day up to be productive and mindful?
Here’s to your success – Sean
This post was previously published on ProjectEnergise.com and is republished here with permission from the author.
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