What is your morning routine like? Can you even describe what you’re doing without just the “drinking coffee” sentence? Most of us go through our morning like robots, doing the same repeated moves over and over again.
It’s not easy waking up to the sound of the alarm, knowing it’s time to get the day started, and do all the things we need to do, but what if we could change the narrative and find ways to turn it all around? Here are three ways to incorporate mindfulness into your morning routine and find some joy, productivity, self-care, and purpose in the early hours.
Phones Are Off Limits
Make your bedroom a no-phone zone. Seriously, just do it. And if you’re out there thinking, “but what about my alarm?” Get an old-school alarm and put your phone in another room. It will stop you from late-night scrolling and improve your sleep quality. It will also prevent you from procrastinating in the morning and mindlessly checking e-mails, social media, the news, and all the funny animal memes (we all do it).
Sometimes it’s hard to picture what we even used to do before gadgets, and mobile phones took over our world, but tapping into that pre-tech era will help us be more present in our lives and start our mornings on the right note. Once you open your eyes and hit the alarm, begin by taking a couple of deep breaths and stretching out in your bed. This is a great way of waking up all the muscles and sending signals to our brain; it’s time to get the body moving. Once you’re up, resist the urge to walk to the next room and grab your phone. Instead, go about your usual morning routine – bathroom, kitchen, dressing room…whatever it is you do. Once you’re ready, grab your phone.
It’s incredible how much more aware of our morning routine we get once we remove the phone from the picture. Our food may taste different, we might notice how we don’t like that new brand of toothpaste, and we could even have some fun in our closet deciding what outfit we’re going to wear that day. At first, this change will be HUGE, and it may take some time getting used to. That’s ok, so baby steps – start with removing the phone from your bedroom and slowly postpone the time of taking it into your hands. In the beginning, you’ll probably grab it the moment you get out from your room, but in a few days, you might be taking it right before you exit your front door.
Observe With All Senses
You must have heard the “stop and smell the roses” saying a thousand times already, but have you ever implemented it into your life? What about your morning routine? Chances are, you haven’t, and the biggest reason for it is the fact you’ve never even thought about it. When we hear that clichè saying, we usually think about being present when we travel in order to soak in all the new experiences, or when we’re so busy with work we stop taking care of ourselves and spending time with friends, so we use it as a good reminder to take a day off and enjoy life every once in a while.
Stopping to smell the flowers (or coffee in this case) is a fantastic way to say, “enjoy your morning!”; every single little piece of it. Start by taking in all the sights, everything your eyes set on from the moment they open – your bedroom, hallway, bathroom, kitchen, window to the outside world, mirror to the inside world. Whatever you see, take a second to make a mental screenshot. You might see some things in a completely new light, notice what you want to change, or fall in love with something you’ve completely forgotten about.
Next, use your sense of smell. Let the aroma of your freshly brewed coffee fill out your nostrils, and the delicious breakfast smells fuel you for the day ahead. Immerse yourself while you’re recharging your energy, as this might be a great time to set your intentions for the day (or even week).
Sound. If you’re moved by sound, make it a habit to put on a song, radio station, or playlist that will uplift your mood and not only put a smile on your face, but also keep it there. Sing along if that’s your thing, and enjoy being mindful in everything you do. Taste your food, coffee or tea, and savor every bite, taking the time to chew and digest.
And finally, touch. Enjoy your skincare routine, picking out your clothes, neatly packing everything you need for the day into your bag, don’t just throw things in just to notice 10 min after you’ve forgotten your sunglasses or car keys. Take your time with each item by being mindful of when and why you’re taking it with you. Most of the time, our minds are racing with thoughts and to-do lists. We mindlessly pack our stuff without even paying attention to the weather, necessities, and even the bag we’re throwing things into. Let this be a lesson to use all your senses and observe your morning actions with more awareness and mindful thoughts.
Take Your Time
We’re all guilty of rushing through our morning, snoozing our alarm a bunch of times before we realize we HAVE to get out of bed because there’s no way we’ll be able to get ready on time. That’s why we do everything on the go, from grabbing that piece of toast and devouring it in two bites while packing our bag to putting mascara in the car or brushing the teeth while ironing our shirt. Next thing we know, we’re at our work station, and we haven’t even paid attention to one single minute from the moment we woke up.
What if instead, we decide to get up when our first alarm beeps start blaring through our room? We’d have so much time to do everything, step by step. I know it’s easy to say this now while we’re awake because all we really want to do in the morning is cancel the day and go back to bed, but once you start doing it, you’ll feel so much more aware and mindful of all of your actions, and you won’t feel like you’re trying to win the race against the clock. Give yourself enough time to do all you need to do and stay present through every step of your morning routine.
All in all, mornings can be pretty hard; we all know that. Especially now, when they’re getting colder and darker as days go by. But they are our mornings nevertheless; mornings we’ll never get to relive and re-do. Incorporate some mindfulness into your morning routine with these tips and start appreciating every single minute of your life.