A Guide to Creating a Calming Morning Routine
In the hustle and bustle of modern life, the precious few hours before school/work/everything else on your to-do list can often become a chaotic rush to get out the door. However, taking the time to cultivate a calming morning routine can set a positive tone for the rest of the day, promoting a sense of self and wellbeing. Here are seven simple yet effective steps to help you create a mindful morning routine that nourishes your mind, body, and spirit.
Sit in the Stillness
The foundation of a mindful morning routine begins with waking up early. Use this time to embrace the stillness of the early morning hours when the world is just starting to wake up. This peaceful period allows you to ease into the day without the immediate demands and distractions that come later. Start by setting your alarm just 15 minutes earlier than usual and gradually extend it as you become more accustomed to the routine.
A Breath of Fresh Air
Upon waking, take a few moments for mindful breathing exercises. Deep, intentional breaths can help calm the nervous system, reduce stress, and bring awareness to the present moment. Focus on your breath, inhaling slowly through your nose, allowing your lungs to fill, and exhaling through your mouth. This simple practice can create a sense of serenity and prepare your mind for the day ahead.
Make Gratitude your Attitude
Expressing gratitude has been linked to increased feelings of wellness and happiness. Take a few minutes each morning to jot down three things you’re grateful for in a dedicated journal. These can be small moments or significant aspects of your life. Cultivating a gratitude practice sets a positive tone for the day, helping you approach challenges with a more optimistic mindset.
Incorporate gentle and mindful movement into your morning routine, such as yoga or stretching exercises. These activities not only awaken your body but also encourage a connection between your mind and physical sensations. Engaging in mindful movement helps improve flexibility, posture, and overall physical wellbeing. There are numerous online resources and apps that offer short, guided routines suitable for any fitness level.
In the age of constant connectivity, it’s crucial to unplug and carve out time away from screens. Resist the urge to check your phone or emails immediately upon waking. Instead, use the early morning hours for activities that ground you, such as reading a physical book, enjoying a quiet cup of tea, or taking a leisurely stroll. This digital detox allows you to set the tone for a day focused on intentional living rather than reacting to external stimuli.
A Beautiful Breakfast
Mindful eating is a practice that involves paying full attention to the experience of eating and savouring each bite without distractions. Use breakfast as an opportunity to nourish your body and mind. Choose whole, nutritious foods and eat slowly, savouring the flavours and textures. This not only contributes to your physical wellbeing but also promotes a mindful and present approach to daily activities.
Visualisation, Affirmations and Positive Intentions
Finally, take a moment to visualise your goals for the day ahead. Close your eyes and picture yourself accomplishing tasks with ease and grace. Pair this with positive affirmations that align with your aspirations. These can be simple statements like “I am capable and confident” or “I approach challenges with a calm mind.” Setting positive intentions in the morning can shape your mindset and influence your actions throughout the day.
While the realities of life may make it challenging, a calming morning routine is a powerful tool for cultivating a sense of mindfulness and intention in your daily life. Start small and gradually build upon these practices to tailor a routine that aligns with your unique needs and preferences. By incorporating these simple practices into your morning, you can create a positive and nurturing foundation that resonates throughout the rest of your day.