Your alarm buzzes. You snooze the alarm a few times, feeling your face on the pillow, your neck aching a bit from sleeping in a strange position. You see the notifications on your phone just after you silence the alarm. All the messages, emails, and tasks take you off-guard. After all: You. Just. Woke. Up. You’re already tired and irritated in the morning on your way to wash up and brush your teeth. And for the rest of the day, you just get by doing what you need to do.
This might be your morning routine some days. If it is, you’re not alone. Mornings are the perfect time for you to set daily intentions, finding the will and motivation to live out the day ahead through mindfulness. You don’t need much time or energy to establish a nice, fresh morning routine. Actually, you can just choose one activity that helps you ground yourself and build upon that as needed.
Many days may look the same for those of us who have repetitive tasks to do at work or around the house. Our daily lives can become monotonous as we get used to a routine and we sometimes go through the motions without noticing. There will be days that are more exciting just as there will also be those more stressful and challenging. We don’t always wake up in the same mood and with the same energy each day, so each day deserves a fresh beginning in order to welcome all it brings. Taking a few minutes each morning to center yourself in the here and now can make a huge difference.
Here are a few tips that can help you establish the perfect morning routine. You’re the one who has the last word, of course, these are just suggestions based on scientific evidence and ancient traditions.
The first thing you can do is keep all your technological devices away and out of sight, including your phone. Your mind is well-rested and tranquil in the morning and allowing it to wake up before the rush of technological stimuli can be very helpful as you warm up to a busy, fast-paced day.
The power and motivation to achieve all your goals resides within you, but sometimes that inner strength doesn’t feel accessible. Creating a fresh space in the morning can invite this power to manifest throughout your day. All the tips listed below are designed to be helpful, easy, and ideally don’t require much effort.
- Take a few deep breaths and identify how you’re feeling. You might need to go to the bathroom, maybe you’re thirsty, or a bit stressed about an important event happening today.
- Ask yourself what your needs are and see what you can do to address them. While you’re observing your mind and body, you can also do some small stretches for your neck, shoulders, or back.
- Hydrate to refresh your body after making sure that you’ve brushed your teeth.
- Open your window to let in some fresh air.
- Have some coffee or a nice breakfast in line with your eating habits. Explore how your body reacts to different types of breakfast and choose the one that works best for you.
- Follow these hygiene steps: Use the bathroom, take a shower, put on clean clothes.
Maybe those activities seem super easy to you and you find yourself wondering whether or not kindergarteners are the more appropriate audience here. We tend to ignore the simplest and basic needs most, but they can make a huge difference when we attend to them. So, make sure your morning routine doesn't include complicated steps that require extra materials. You should be able to repeat it whenever and wherever you are.
The shining light of your morning routine can be meditating. Tomorrow, can you try to stay with yourself, taking a couple of centering breaths instead of checking your phone or jumping directly into the tasks of the day?
- It sets the intention for the day and motivates you to start your morning with purpose.
- It prepares your mind for the day’s tasks, giving you a few minutes of peace to let your mind warm up to the fast pace of the world.
- It creates space to ensure that you take care of yourself, enabling you to make better decisions and to listen to your needs.
- It helps you be more mindful about your actions toward yourself and others.
- It allows you to stay calm during stressful moments and that strength and peace found within your meditation practice will spread throughout the rest of your day.
We can sometimes neglect ourselves in the daily rush of things. Morning meditation can help you to listen to yourself, tuning into your own needs first. Making meditation a part of your morning routine may not seem easy at this point, but you can always start with baby steps. For beginners, only a few minutes is all you need to get started.
You can follow these steps:
- Find a comfortable seated position in bed.
- Gently wake your body up with small stretches such as shoulder rolls or gentle neck movements.
- Bring your attention to the room you’re in, observing your body, the weather, and more. It may sound something like: “Okay, I’m in bed, it’s Tuesday. I’m a bit sleepy and wondering why I’m doing this. I don’t know if this will have any impact on me. I’m breathing.”
- Take deep consecutive breaths and then allow your breath to resume its natural flow.
- Notice the air as it enters your nose, travels through your body, and flows from your mouth without trying to change or alter your breath.
- With each deep breath, observe what’s happening in that moment.
- Ask yourself these questions and see if any answers appear:
- How am I feeling today?
- What do I need?
- What are my intentions for today?
Sometimes it’s difficult for us to meditate on our own just after we wake up. Guided meditations are there for you when you need that extra boost. The guide will lead you for 5-10 minutes and you don’t have to do anything but listen and follow along.
You may want to check out Meditopia for a broad variety of content for your morning meditation. Choose the meditation that aligns with your mood and needs for the day.