My 7-Step Mindful Morning Routine to Set Up a Productive Day
Do you have a hard time getting up and getting going in the morning? I definitely used to! I heard time and time again that “productive people are morning people.” Well, I partially agree. Define morning, and we’ll talk.
Keep reading to find out what sets me up for a productive day!
1. Wake up early for me.
I know, I know. Everyone under the sun has told you that you need to wake up early to have a productive day. HOWEVER, notice I didn’t say a specific time, like before the sun is up (no, thanks).
I have tried to wake up super early many times before and, honestly, I’m just not that type of person. If I am awake before 6AM I will not be a happy camper for at least the first half of the day, therefore I will not be productive in the slightest.
I’ve decided waking up early for me still makes me feel like I’m on top of things! I set my alarm for 7:30AM and let myself hit snooze once. This way I am still awake before 8AM and can get the day going. I find that waking up at a time that I set for myself, rather than comparing myself to other people’s “ideal time” gets rid of the stress and guilt that comes when I’m not able to meet this early morning goal.
Sometimes you just need to hit snooze a few extra times!
2. Allow 30 minutes of silence and disengagement
This is pretty self explanatory, but the reason behind it may surprise you.
For a lot of us, it is almost instinctual to wake up, hit snooze, and grab our phone to start scrolling through our feeds to see what we missed overnight. All that does is start to add stress as soon as we wake up. We need time to fully rise from sleep and reconnect with the world immediately around us.
Silence has been shown to have numerous benefits for the body and mind. At yoga centers around the world it is common to have the morning yoga practice followed by a silent morning meal. Silence helps us to get in touch with our inner truths, as our minds are not yet clouded by conversation or technology. We are able to really think about what we are feeling and needing inside.
This version of you that exists first thing in the morning is one of the most natural versions of yourself that exists.
Beginning the day in a calm, quiet way always helps me to feel ready to be more productive. I allow myself time to sit in stillness and get in tune with myself before I begin on any task that is required of me that day.
3. Change your clothes
I cannot emphasize this enough! Time and time again I try to tell myself I’ll be productive even if I stay in my PJ’s all day. Wrong wrong wrong!
Putting on different clothes, even if it is just leggings and a tank top, shifts my mindset from comfy and cozy to comfy and productive. Changing our clothes gives our brain the nudge to change gears and start thinking about the day.
If I am just lounging around in my PJ’s all day my brain is going to think we are still hanging out and relaxing rather than getting ready to do work.
4. Get moving
One of my favorite parts of my morning routine recently has been my morning yoga routine.
I’ve been following a 30-Day yoga journey and have loved it. I originally was doing it in the evening, but after a few days I shifted to doing it first thing in the morning. I made this change because I noticed that after I did my practice I felt this surge of energy and creativity. This didn’t do me much good right before bed, it just stimulated me to stay up later than I needed to.
Going through a yoga flow loosens the energy in the body and sends it to the areas of our body that may have become a little stiff. I find that I feel super creative and artistic after moving my body in this way. But any physical activity is great in the morning! Anything that wakes up your mind and your body simultaneously will set you up to keep this momentum through the day.
5. Warm Beverage & Affirmation & Healthy Breakfast
I love starting my day with a warm beverage. I alternate between warm water with lemon, coffee, and tea. Sometimes I want caffeine and other times I don’t.
I typically fast in the morning until my morning routine is complete, therefore I don’t eat breakfast for a couple of hours. However, if you are someone who does eat as soon as they wake up, I would recommend trying to eat as healthy as possible. You’ll be starting your day off on a healthy foot, which will prime you to make healthier choices throughout the day.
I have created an affirmations jar that I pull from each morning. I simply pull out one slip (that either has a word or a sentence) and try to think about how I can apply this motivation to where I am currently. I don’t mean physically. I think about how a word applies to my mental state and my current situation and think about how I can view it in a positive light.
For example, my word today was “nurture”. I thought about how I have been feeling immensely overwhelmed by life and how I need to take extra steps to nurture my heart and my soul. I thought about how I can make slight changes in my day-to-day to bring more nurturance to me. How can I nurture myself and feel that I am wrapped in comfort and support? And this brings me to my next step..
Reading my daily affirmation really gets me thinking. Journaling has been shown to have great benefits for mental clarity and wellbeing. This is especially true when journaling about our thoughts and feelings.
I try to journal each morning to try to organize my thoughts and make sense of whatever has been flowing through my mind up until this point. Writing my thoughts out has been so therapeutic in relieving stress. For some reason, when thoughts are flying through my head I always get worried that I’m going to forget something important. I try to write out whatever is bothering me that day or whatever is heavy on my mind.
I try to bring my daily affirmation into my journaling by using it to think of a positive spin, or a healthy solution. To go off today’s example, I thought about how I can be more nurturing to myself. How can I be more gentle with myself in my current situation and be more understanding? How can I bring support and comfort to myself, where I am now?
7. Plan the day
I love all things planning and organization! I enjoy writing my day out in my planner so I can see it and work through it in my head before I begin.
My planner has the day broken down into hour increments, starting at 6AM and going through 9PM. I searched for this set up because I like being able to visualize the day and see how much time each task/appointment/to-do item will fill.
This is the final step of my daily routine because once I see my daily to-do’s I get the urge to immediately start working. If I were to look at my planner at any point before this, I would skip over any remaining steps in order to start on the list.
It is so important to be gentle and slow in the mornings, to be kind to ourselves and allow our mind and body to awaken softly. Jarring ourselves awake at the last minute and running to our first appointment in a frenzy just sets us up for missteps throughout the day.
Allow yourself to be gentle, allow yourself to be kind. Allow yourself to begin your day mindfully and carry this with you wherever you may go.