One thing about me is that I do not play when it comes to my morning routine. I take it very seriously and take my sweet time. But it hasn’t always been that way. I used to rush through the mornings and just go through the day carrying that same rushing energy. Ever since I’ve learned how much of an impact a mindful morning can have on your day as well as your mental health, I decided to change things up. And here are the 7 mindful steps I take in my morning routine.
Now, I do want to point out. I am single and have no kids, nor pets. I can imagine that as a parent, a partner or as a fur-parent this might seem unrealistic. However, I built this routine while I was in a relationship and it has helped me getting myself back on track when my entire life was in shambles. Anyway, on with it.
Waking up at 5.15am
I know 5.15 might seem ridiculously early. I used to think the same, especially if you go to sleep at 11pm or later. However, after reading that one of the habits the wealthy and successful swear by I gave it a shot and have been loving the extra early mornings. Waking up at 5.15 might not have gotten me on the 30 under 30 list as I dreamed of being, but it has brought me peace in the morning as I was able to start my day in peace. Read: waking up before the world the world starts running and having much more time to get ready ergo less stressful mornings, which can lead to a much more relaxing day.
Drink a glass of water
Raise your hand if you’re reading this and you had 1 glass of water or none.
Uhuh. I see you.
As someone who constantly has to remind her best friend to drink some water con-stan-tly, I know how easy it is to go through the day without having at least one glass of water. It’s not like you don’t get thirsty, but when you do you’re most likely to go for coffee, tea, juice or any liquid that is better tasting than water. And I’m not here to convince you to do otherwise.
However, the way my body has become grateful with that one glass of water as soon as I wake up…Phew. I might still be sitting in the dark, with my eyes half closed; that one glass of water will make me feel much more awake and -dare I say it- somewhat accomplished.
The way I make sure to drink water every morning is by taking a glass of water to bed with me the night before, so I don’t have to get up as soon as I wake up to get a glass of water. It is one obstacle less and allows me to stay in the warmth of my bed just a few more minutes. Afraid to throw the glass over? Put a bottle of water next to the bed. As someone who will not drink water any warmer than freezing cold, I can recommend Chilly’s bottles. The water will stay icey cold for 24 hours sans exaggerating.
Blocking apps has to have been the toughest step. Even tougher than getting up early. But definitely the best decision I have made for my mindful morning routine. You know how it goes: your alarm goes off. You snooze once, pick your phone up, check your messages, check your socials, scroll for a bit…And before you know it, you’ve lost 15 minutes (or more) of your precious morning just by checking your phone. Now you’ve lost time, your brain is probably already overstimulated from all the info that was forced upon it before it could even properly register that the day has begun and you gotta rush to get ready. Oh, and as if you haven’t lost enough time already. While you’re getting ready, you’re receiving multiple notifications that you immediately give your attention.
Chile, just writing this got me stressed.
Lemme tell you, between 5.15 am and 7.30am the world has no access to me, and I have no access to the world. That is my time to get ready. There could be nothing so important that requires my immediate attention. Family emergencies? They can call me. I have made the necessary people my favorites, so they can get through my DND. Otherwise, it can wait.
I remember my dad saying: “People love to use “But what if someone’s dying?” as an excuse.” His answer: “Then you should be calling 112 (the Dutch 911 number), not me!” And he’s right, what do you want me to do?! I can’t do shit for you, other than tell you to call 112. But those are valuable minutes wasted from equally the dying person as well as mine.
So, block the apps. Android allows you to block apps between certain apps by the use of Modes and Routines. Please don’t ask me the difference. All I can tell you is that I use the ‘Focus’ mode that I have set up to automatically start at 5.15am and finish at 7.30am, and give me access to apps that are in alignment to my mindful morning such as Spotify, Storytel, Insight timer etc. Apple users can do the same with their ‘Focus’ .
As someone who has been struggling with racing thoughts and anxiety, journaling for 5-10 minutes allows me to just to let out all that is on my mind. All the thoughts that I can’t say out loud or don’t feel safe expressing, I write down. My journal is a safe space. A judge-free zone. It allows me to vent all my intrusive thoughts, which allows room for focus and more positive thoughts. Not to mention after a while, it’s always amazing to look back and see where you were. Or absolutely cringe. Either way: journal! Oh, and mind you…I’m still in bed doing this.
This part is absolutely my favorite part of my morning routine. And where I truly wake up. When I go and take my shower. Just being in that hot shower and letting the sleep wash off. Now, I will admit that I won’t be standing there in absolute silence. Either, I’m listening to one of my playlists for high energy or I put my phone up so I can watch my shows while taking a shower. Either way, I am taking my sweet baby Jesus time showering. Might even do a little dancy dance.
Once done and dried off, I will proceed to wrap myself up in my bathrobe that has been preheated thanks to my heater. So, no standing in the cold after that hot shower. Then we take our time for our multiple-step skin care. Because, we’re drinking our water and taking care of our skin…Right? Right!
Just doing all of this, feels like a little spa experience. Even tho, it’s only 6am (or earlier) and you’re getting ready for work or any form of engagement that requires your presence. I love it!
I put this step as ‘meditate/read’, because I don’t have the patience to meditate. I will admit. Sometimes I’m just not in the mood to sit back and actually meditate. So I’ll opt for putting on an audiobook instead, while I continue to get ready in all ease. Nonetheless, I do try to meditate on a daily base for at least 10 minutes. If I’m in a truly inspirational mood, I might even go for 25 minutes. Because why not? It’s not like I’m in a rush, since I got up early.
I was always one to try and eat breakfast, but didn’t always have time and would opt for just getting through the morning solely on caffeine. I would skip breakfast, but wouldn’t skip putting on my make-up. There I’d go…High on caffeine, dehydrated and hangry on a crowded bus.
Now, I’ll go out barefaced if it means that I get to enjoy my breakfast. And I love me some eggs. I’ll take my time to fix whatever egg sandwich I feel like having that morning, fix myself some coffee or tea and indulge in eating. Okay, that last part is a lie. I usually inhale my food in about 5 minutes, even when I have all the time…Don’t judge me. Still, I will make sure I leave home on a full tank!