By Claudia Cole
It’s been said time and time again that behind every successful entrepreneur is a consistent morning routine. Therefore, it’s not secret that how we start the day can affect our mood and efficacy level. Now, more than ever, people are trying to wake up earlier, organise their day, stay hydrated, have a nutritious breakfast, exercise… all before getting out the door at 8 am.
Due to the fast-paced nature of our lives, it’s easy to feel weighed down by the mental strain and pressure of it all. While not always avoidable, it can be managed, especially through how we start our day. Though many follow a daily morning routine, few are mindful of how that time makes them feel, often failing to dedicate time to slow down.
However, morning routines should be more than just following a series of steps after waking. It should be a time for laying down the foundation for your day, checking in with the mind and body.
Luckily, there are plenty of ways to slow down your mornings, without costing you too much time. So, if the structural approach of most morning routine hasn’t suited you, here are some mindful practices to incorporate for a sense of peace and clarity.
1. Limit the use of technology
Does waking up to the eye-watering glow of your phone sound familiar? A lock screen just full of messages, emails, and notifications? Surveys have shown 61% of people check their phones immediately after waking up, spending an average of 1-3 hours online. The overload of information is more likely to increase stress levels, leaving you feeling even more reluctant to get out of bed. It also interferes with the way you prioritize tasks, delaying your start to the day.
Experts recommended leaving your phone untouched for at least the first hour of the day.
Try putting it in the next room overnight or investing in an old-fashioned alarm clock. That way, you won’t feel tempted to reach for upon waking.
2. Set a daily intention
Too often, our mornings are rushed. Whether it’s due late-night binge-watching on Netflix or an alarm that was never set, we often miss the opportunity to mentally prepare for the day ahead. Without the chance to check in with the mind and body, it’s hard to gain a sense of direction.
Before getting out of bed or opening up your eyes, try practising the power of setting your intention for the day.
Unlike what we do with goals, don’t focus on your desired outcome for the day. Focus on what you aspire to be at that current moment. This will help keep you centred and maintain focus throughout the day. Alternatively, setting intentions can be done during meditation and yoga.
Although beneficial at any given hour of the day, incorporating a short meditation in the morning grants you the opportunity to achieve calmness, helping bring you back into your sense of self. It can be done anywhere, for as a short as a minute, depending on what suits you.
There are plenty of options to explore on the Headspace app, including guided meditation and deep breathing techniques. On the other hand, simply sitting comfortably with your early thoughts and connecting with your breath is an excellent way to start. Whatever your day brings, your thoughts and mind will be strengthened to overcome it.
4. Practice positive affirmations
They say our thoughts can become a reality, granting us the power to create the changes we want to see. That’s where affirmations come in, small, powerful statements, designed to alter the conscious and subconscious mind.
Not only are they a real confidence booster, but self-motivating as it keeps you focused on what currently matters most.
That’s not to say it has to be yelled from the rooftops to be effective. It can be simply whispered, thought, or written. Repeat positive affirmations daily and you’ll soon see an improvement within yourself and the quality of your mornings, fuelling you with plenty of positivity and inspiration for the day.
Ultimately, your morning routine should be tailored to what helps you best to ease into the day. Whatever you decide to do, it’s important to be consistent. It may take plenty of patience and discipline, but these mindful practises will soon become second nature, helping you find peace at the start of each day.