“Lose an hour in the morning, and you will spend all day looking for it.”
Let’s face it, mornings are tough. The jolt of an alarm, the struggle to wriggle yourself outta those comfy sheets, the grouchy “don’t you dare talk to me before I have coffee” attitude… it’s the worst. Am I right? If you’re saying no then this post is probably not for you, because you my friend are probably a morning person. And what’s worse than mornings? Morning people. They’re just so damn chipper.
Ok, I kid. 😉 Mostly.
Honestly I think it’s pretty awesome when I encounter people, like my boyfriend, who truly have a love for the early morning grind. While I groggily test out how many minutes of extra snooze time to sneak in before I rush off to work, they’ve already been up for several hours. They’ve probably already drank a cup or two of coffee, read through their emails, watched the news, walked their dog, solved world hunger, or whatever else it is that morning people do.
So at this point you’re probably wondering how I, as a very “non-morning person” can possibly have tips on how to have a more mindful morning. Well, it’s simple. I finally got tired of scrambling around like a mad woman before rushing to work every morning and thought to myself – “ya know Mel, it doesn’t have to be this way.” After all, the times when I give myself a minute to breathe, do a little yoga, drink a cup of tea before heading to work are always SO much more blissful.
The early morning allows you to be still, collect your thoughts and enter the day with intention. There is a reason why most of the world’s most successful people are early risers.
“Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.”
I can attribute the sudden desire to become one of those annoying morning people I spoke of earlier, to my yoga teacher training back in June. If there’s one thing that remains true in life, it’s that doing something for 30 days straight will make it much easier for a new habit to stick. So, after YTT was over, I decided to kick the “snooze” habit to the curb and continue my newfound habit of waking up by or before 7AM every day.
And I’m delighted to say – I’ve never felt better.
In a way I wrote all these out to help me stay accountable and in hopes that, over time, my urge to hit snooze will completely dissapear. 😉 If you wanna join me in this endeavor or are just interested in a few ways to bring more mindfulness into your morning routine, read on and enjoy!
Savor a cup of coffee (or tea)
There’s nothing like the aroma of freshly brewed coffee to invigorate your senses in the morning. I always strive to drink a large cup of water first — and then it’s coffee, cold brew or tea time (depending on my mood and the season). If you have a timer on your coffee maker that’s a great way to ensure that every morning the smell of coffee is the first thing you wake up to. I unfortunately don’t have that option, however I do have a very nice S.O. who tends to bring me coffee right when I wake up… and I adore him for it.
Stretch it out
There’s no denying that our muscles are stiff AF when we first roll out of bed. Even though getting on my mat can be a struggle and sometimes down right impossible, I always try to incorporate a few simple stretches on or next to my bed. It’s a great way to get the blood flowing and loosen up your muscles to prep them for your day’s activity. A few of my favs? Child’s pose, cat/cow, head rolls, easy pose (sitting cross-legged), and rag doll (forward fold with bent knees).
Keep a journal
I used to journal all the time. In fact, I have about 20 journals that are filled with my thoughts and daily accounts since 2nd grade. I’ve always found writing to be therapeutic, which is probably why I enjoy blogging so much. Sadly in the past two years of living here I’ve greatly neglected my personal journal, which is why I’m excited to spend time every morning writing a small entry. Journaling is such a beautiful way to express yourself and to practice mindfulness. It requires deep introspection and I love having a written account of my emotions, memories, and dreams to reflect back on.
Sign up for an early yoga or meditation class
During yoga teacher training I had to be at the studio every day at 8am to practice asana. Although I found this to be difficult the first two weeks, I ended up really looking forward to my morning practice by the end of the program. Last month I made an effort to sign up for more morning classes and events. You not only feel so much better kicking off your day with a workout or meditation, but it’s also a huge motivation to get out of bed right when your alarm goes off.
Take a walk
I really enjoy my daily morning walk with Bay and Nina. Having a dog obviously helps in making this a habit, so I guess in a way I’ve always done this. In an effort to make my walks more mindful, I’ve been doing my best to leave my cell phone at home while walking together. (Don’t worry, Bay still has his in case of emergency). By leaving my phone behind, it’s easier to truly connect with my partner and my surroundings. If you work at an office like me, you know that you’ll be on your phone/computer all day long… so why not give yourself some time in the AM to unplug and just be?
There are so many ways to create a more mindful morning routine, but it all starts with a willingness to get out of bed earlier. It’ll be really difficult at first, but trust me, it all gets easier with time.
And it’s so worth it.