How To Create A Mindful Morning Routine

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There are all kinds of books, guides and recommendations out there about how to design a morning routine to help you maximise your productivity. Now – that’s totally cool if that is your thing – but it just REALLY is not mine. I believe our time is precious, but that does not mean we should be filling it full of mindless activities (usually for the benefit of someone’s pocket… thanks capitalism…). I believe our mornings should focus on a routine that will be flexible and adaptable to our needs and to the ebbs and flows of life. This is where a mindful morning routine comes in.

I always describe a freedom lifestyle as being entirely on your terms. What I mean by this is that your freedom lifestyle is unique. It is yours. Yours will look very different to mine, because you have different needs and different obligations. One example is kids – I don’t have any small humans to look after. This affords me (I imagine) the privilege of greater space and time to focus on myself or to take those extra 5 minutes to do something I desire to do. But what it doesn’t mean is that a freedom lifestyle or indeed a mindful morning is beyond your reach. Your mindful morning should reflect your life and be able to bend with it as needed. So let’s find out how to create YOUR mindful morning routine.

How To Create A Mindful Morning Routine HappyIs HappyIs.co Pin

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What is mindfulness?

Mindfulness is a tool to centre and ground you to the current moment. By designing a mindful morning routine, you are shaking off those expectations that you need to be filling every single second with all of the things! A mindful morning can be transformative not only for your day but for how you approach and live your life.

Why do I need a mindful morning routine?

A mindful morning routine is a way for you to acknowledge your needs. It doesn’t need to be a long list of things that must be done every morning. It just needs to be an intention to do something for you to start your day. You are a human. No day will be the same.

Some days you will wake up feeling groggy and need a few extra minutes in bed. Other days you might be woken up early by a small human needing a drink of juice or asking questions like how do dragons blow out candles? (How do dragons blow out candles btw?!) Some days you might wake up feeling all of the energy and want to practice a few mindful activities. Other days you might be in a rush because you stayed up late to finish that book you just couldn’t put down and you slept in. The best mindful morning routines are the ones that can be shaped around your daily life. This is not a rigid tick-box exercise. This is a way for you to check-in with yourself and start your day the way YOU want to.

My mindful morning practices

My mindful morning routine is different every morning. I have a weekly routine for working – I work three long days on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. I start at 6:30am and work until 5:30pm. Anyone who knows me will know that I am NOT in any way a morning person. I am just not an early riser, which is not respected or understood in our society. We are expected to be up early, hustling and working immediately, otherwise we are seen as lazy (which I also don’t believe is a real thing, but that’s a post for another time).

However, I also know that I am able to live a healthier life when I have more than two days off in row. So that’s why I design my routine in this way. I am privileged to be able to do this and it comes from my ability to work online and from home.

But on these early mornings, I am literally hauling my exhausted ass out of bed. I am not in the mood for any activity of any kind. I can hardly move let alone do anything else. But I always have work scheduled immediately for 3 hours before I take a break for an hour. These 3 hours fly by because I am waking up, I don’t need to think to hard on the work I schedule for this time period and by the time I am having my break I am hungry and ready to do something for myself.

When I’m not working early it looks like this…

On the days I am not working early, I don’t set alarms unless I have something in the diary early (which I tend to avoid). This means I am going to bed the night before completely stress-free and not anxious about getting up. I get very bad sleep anxiety and it is a vicious cycle because while I am lying there worrying about waking up, I am losing out on more time for sleep. No alarms is a major part of my mindful morning routine.

My mindful morning routine is centred around the language “at some point this morning I will” and I choose what I will do to focus on my needs. BUT one that I will always do is to wash my face with my activated charcoal soap (this soap saved my skin and it is ALL I will use to cleanse my face now!) Then I brush my teeth in silence, alone and sitting down. Then I have a cup of tea which I savour again in silence. (When I am working early, the tea comes at the break and I start with a glass of water instead).

This routine is all about me. It is all about my needs. I prioritise sleep and waking up slowly and intentionally. I don’t force myself to write a gratitude journal or read my affirmations because that just is not what I need at that time of the day. Some days I won’t have time to do things I would like to get done in the morning, other days I have it all done in no time. It just depends on the day. But the main thing is that the intention to have a mindful morning is there and it guides the beginning of my day with grace, love and care.

How to create a mindful morning routine

Our routines will not look the same. It is unlikely that your routine will even be the same every day. That is the first and most important thing to remember when you are beginning to create a mindful morning routine.

The next thing to do is to think about how you want to feel in the morning, and what simple and intentional things you could do to help create that feeling. Perhaps you want to feel more in control or less rushed? Maybe you want to feel like you have achieved something before you leave for work or on the school run? Perhaps you want to feel peaceful and serene? Maybe you want to feel energised? Whatever way you believe you need to feel in the morning is the basis for your routine design. (Remember, some days might need a different approach so try not to make this too rigid.)

From here you can decide if a meditation practice would be useful, or maybe eating breakfast. Perhaps you want to take a few minutes to have a coffee outside? Maybe you would like to exercise? This is your routine and your space to meet your own needs. Only you can know what you desire to feel when you wake up, and what support your mind and body are craving.

Some ideas for mindful morning habits

I want to share a few ideas for some mindful morning practices that I find beneficial. These are not a list of things for you to do every morning, rather they are some inspiration and guidance on things that I sometimes find useful to incorporate depending upon how I feel and what the morning has brought.

  1. Prepare your AM space: I always prepare my bedroom for my wake up. It is important for me to tidy my space so that there isn’t any clutter in view. I set out clothes if I am working early. I set out notes and resources if I will need them first thing. If I am going to need devices in the morning, then I charge them overnight.
  2. Take it slow: You don’t need to be running around in the morning like a headless chicken. Instead of adding things to your morning routine to be done first thing, why not remove a few things? Try doing some things the night before, or adding things to a “to be done before lunch” list. It will ease the morning pressure and create some space for you to breathe.
  3. Don’t start with technology: These days we use our mobile phones for everything, including our alarm clocks. But what that means is that as soon as we wake up we are checking notifications and reading emails. Things that can wait until you have started your day properly and mindfully. I recommend switching your phone to airplane mode during the night and only using it for guided meditations. Having a separate alarm clock means that you are less likely to reach for that phone first thing because it won’t be drawing your attention immediately. My favourite alarm clock is this wake up light which wakes you up with a gradual sunrise, but it also has back up radio, regular alarm or nature sounds options in case you are worried that the light alone won’t wake you. I recommend you test this alarm using only the light over a weekend. It is incredible! This clock is so great for supporting our natural circadian rhythms which are deeply challenged in our daily lives by the sheer amount of blue and artificial light we are subjected to.
  4. Remember not to kick yourself if it doesn’t go to plan or if you don’t manage to complete everything that you wanted to. This isn’t about a race to the finish line or about feeling guilty or unaccomplished. A mindful morning routine is about a healthier, happier and ultimately freer you! A way of living and being that you have control over that places the greatest importance on how you feel and what you need. If you remember that, then your mindful morning practice will be a complete success every single day.

Are you ready to practice mindful mornings? Why not start your day with a new mindful habit? Do you already have a mindful morning practice? I would love to hear your tips and experiences.

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