Sleep hygiene is so important, from the process of winding down before bed time up until the time spent after awakening.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not perfect – some days I fall asleep on the sofa, wake in the middle of the night and find myself having a right ol’ lie in the morning after. But other days, I’m better, I sleep better and wake better and I feel noticeably better for it throughout the day .. It’s all about balance, hey?
So here are the habits I try (and sometimes fail at) incorporating into my morning routine:
1. Do not look at your phone immediately after you wake – I used to be guilty of this myself. Every. Single. Morning. I’d awaken and browse my phone like the morning newspaper. Your brain is particularly sensitive in the morning, so not only is the unnatural blue light of your phone not the best way to start the day, but the information that you’re consuming can often subconsciously have a negative impact on your upcoming day. Rid of reading posts on social media, and switch to picking up a book, writing in a journal or just appreciating the process of waking naturally and let your inner creative run wild. If you use your phone as an alarm clock, either change this up for a bedside table clock, or simply use your phone as an alarm clock and choose to put it down once snoozing/turning off the alarm. This is likely an automatic habit, and it’s so easy to do – scrolling down your phone is aimless, it keeps you awake and involves very little brain activity – but put down your phone, just for a little (30 minutes-ish).
2. Move your body – If you’re into a full workout in the morning, then good for you! But you don’t need to get a good sweat on, whether it be a gentle stretch in bed, or a ten minute workout to just get your heart racing and blood pumping, it’s great to get moving your body. Get those good endorphins pumping, your body moving and your mind set for the day ahead.
3. Have a tea or coffee – I’m sure this already has its rightful place in your morning routine. However allocating some time to actually enjoy your morning tea or coffee, rather than gulping it down in a mad rush to be out the door, is a simple yet effective way to have a happier more relaxed morning.
4. Slow it right down – If this means getting up 15+ minutes earlier, then so be it. I know how precious those last few minutes in bed can be, but getting up in good time to get ready (not against the clock) is worth it. Rushing your morning routine 100% seems worth it when you’re tucked up in bed, constantly tapping the snooze button, but it’s no fun once you’re actually up and in the midst of the morning madness. Taking some extra time to get ready, slowly, puts you in a much better frame of mind for the day .. and you’re much less likely to forget things (like lunch!).
5. Eat breakfast – always: I’m sure you’ll have heard this one a million times, but that’s because there’s a lot of sense behind the ‘old wife’s tale’ “breakfast is the most important meal of the day”, and we all ~secretly~ know it. Your body has been fasting for 8(ish) hour’s, so give it a break and eat something.. Get your digestive system working. If you’re someone that struggles to eat when you first wake, just eat something small, or take breakfast with you.
6. Open the blinds/curtains straight away: this is such a simple one, but as soon as you wake open the blinds/curtains and let the natural light in. This, admittedly, feels much better on a blue-sky-sunny day, but if you live in the UK like myself, this certainly can’t always be guaranteed, so we’ve just gotta suck it up and appreciate the weather for what it is.
7. Feel grateful: whatever form this comes in, whether you make a conscious effort to write a gratitude list every morning, which I try and make a habit of but realistically doesn’t always happen, or mentally making a form of a gratitude list. As you take your morning shower, or as you apply your makeup, focus your mind on a selection of things that you’re grateful for. Whether that be something simple yet often overlooked like the ability of sight, to the bed you slept in last night or the cup of tea you’re enjoying, the list is honestly endless. This sets you up with good intentions for the day, and hopefully creates a habit of looking for the good in the day continues.
So there we have it, my top 7 morning tips/habits for a more mindful morning.
Are you a morning person, or do you dread getting up when your alarm goes off?
Let me know!