Mornings can be hectic, stressful and full of worry. From the moment we open our eyes and check our phones there’s always something that needs our attention. I’m a keen believer that the best way to have an awesome and productive day is to have a healthy morning routine. A mindful morning routine helps to ground us, increase productivity and decrease stress while, at the same time allowing us to look deeper into ourselves and to spend more quality time with ourselves.
With every month of this year, I’ve become more and more focused on my own healthy and mindful morning routine and it has worked wonders. I’m more productive, organised and efficient in my work and I’m a calmer, more positive and less stressed human as a result. Here are some of my favourite simple steps you can take today towards a mindful morning routine.
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BENEFITS OF A HEALTHY MORNING ROUTINE
There are so many benefits to having a mindful morning routine some of which include:
- It sets the mood for the rest of the day
- Increases productivity
- Combats forgetfulness
- Improves confidence
- Makes you become more organised
- Helps develop and keep healthy habits
- Boosts energy levels
- Lowers stress
- Allows you to be in control of your day/life
I’ve had a daily healthy morning routine for quite some time now and I can honestly say it has changed my life and the way I work. I’m more productive every day and get distracted less and I’m much more inspired and creative in what I do. These are just some suggestions that you can pick, choose and adapt to your mindful morning routine to make sure you start your day right and have the best one possible.
20 STEPS TO A HEALTHY MORNING ROUTINE
Hal Elrod’s life-changing book ‘Miracle Morning’ emphasises just how important it is to move your body in the morning. If you haven’t read Miracle Morning, I’d highly recommend it! Morning movement wakes up the body, gets the heart rate pumping and leaves you energised with endorphins pumping ready for the day. Yoga is a great way to start the morning; it’s gentle on the body and supports the process of waking up, while also activating and strengthening the muscles. Breathing deeply while moving can also relax the mind and de-stress if you’re already thinking about the eventful day ahead.
If you like the idea of trying yoga but don’t know where to start or what you’ll need the check out The Ultimate Must-Have Travel Essentials For Active Women
There are many different types of mediation that can be practised in the morning, from mindfulness to deep breathing to visualisation. While the focuses on each one are a little different, they all carry similar benefits such as adding calmness to your day, decreasing stress and even making you more empathetic, understanding and grateful. Even just sitting with ourselves in a quiet environment can have a profound effect on our relationship with ourselves, our loved ones and on our day.
TAKE A WARM SHOWER
With so many of us working from home nowadays as lockdowns across the globe persist, it’s often tempting to roll out of bed onto your phone or work computer and start working. Self-care, however, is key to the productivity of your day. Start it with a short warm shower to wake up the body and transform your mind and appearance. Just by taking a warm shower, it can really feel like you’ve actually BEGUN your day.
Journaling in the morning as part of your mindful morning routine, even if just for 5 minutes can awaken your mind and your thoughts for the day. Not only does journaling keep your thoughts organised it can also spark your creativity and act as emotional support during tough or stressful times. Journaling provides you with 5 minutes of self-reflection, a chance for you to have a conversation with yourself and your thoughts and check in with them. You can also use journaling as a way to set your intentions and goals for the day. A little more on that later.
HOT WATER WITH LEMON AND HONEY
Start the morning with hydration, always. While you might be tempted to reach for cold water, it’s actually more supportive to start the day with warm water (cold water tends to put a strain on the organism). Lemons are packed with Vitamin C, B-Complex Vitamins, Iron and Calcium and also boost the immune system while honey can help to regulate weight and along with the water also helps to flush out toxins from the system. You can also add a tablespoon for apple cider vinegar for a probiotic-rich, digestive boost.
Make sure to also be sipping on water throughout the day to make sure you stay hydrated and your brain and body are working optimally. I use this reusable water bottle to make sure all my water is well filtered. It’s ah-maaazing and doesn’t alter the taste whatsoever. It’s perfect for travelling and hiking too.
For more on the best drinks for hydration check out the article here.
Deep breathing is a technique that has been used for thousands of years by ancient cultures to benefit the body and mind in profound ways. Just a few minutes of deep breathing as part of your mindful morning routine can help to increase calm and decrease stress, increase energy and immunity and improve posture- perfect for if you find yourself slouching in front of the computer most of the day. I normally combine deep breathing for a few minutes after meditation for the most profound effects.
Mindfulness is a meditation practise that I personally swear by. Mindfulness meditation is really powerful. It is said to be able to help with reducing stress, lowering blood pressure, improving sleep and digestion and even treat heart disease and while I personally can’t vouch for a few of these benefits, mindfulness has made me a calmer, more positive person and more mindful of the present. By mindfully meditating for just 10 minutes every morning you can also become calmer, less stressed and feel more in control of your day. In my practise I like to light a candle and really focus on the flickering flame or listen to the birds singing in the morning.
TAKE A COLD SHOWER
While a warm shower might feel kinder on the body, especially during the winter months, cold showers also come with a long list of benefits. Coldwater works wonders on sore muscles, reducing their soreness so it’s especially beneficial after your morning sweat session and it can also increase circulation and boost metabolism. Of course, it also does wonders for waking you up and bringing your mind and body into full alertness.
While you might reserve reading for the evenings, after work or at the weekends in your free time, weaving reading just a few pages into your healthy morning routine can fill you with joy, and set your purpose for the day as well as provide you with a moment of calm to start the day with. When it comes to reading in the morning, I’d definitely recommend choosing your reading wisely. Choose books or articles that will boost your creativity and productivity or something that will be inspirational for your day. Books about productivity, self-care and lifestyle are great as are business and entrepreneurship books or books and articles on your field of work or passions. Reading just a few pages in the morning can really set up your mind for an inspired and productive day.
ENJOY A HOT CUP OF TEA
Whether it’s tea or coffee that’s your preference in the morning, really sit down and enjoy it. Taste the flavour, like, really taste it and notice the smell, the feeling of the cup in your hand and the affect of the warm liquid on your body. Appreciate your beverage and where it came from and how it was made. By slowing down and really enjoying your morning brew it really helps to get grounded and start your day on the right foot.
On the days that you’re not feeling yoga and not quite up to a full-on workout, why not try some general stretches for those sore muscles? Just 10 minutes of gentle stretching each day can be just what your body needs to wake up and soothe all those achy muscles.
GET OUT OF YOUR PYJAMAS
If you work from home or are working from home due to the coronavirus pandemic, it might definitely be tempting to stay in your pyjamas all day if you’re not planning on leaving the house. This is a great move at the weekend when you’re planning to chill, but the fact is that being in our pyjamas also puts your mind into chill-mode and therefore does nothing for your productivity and workflow. By showering and putting on some nice, yet comfortable clothes you’re essentially starting your day and with that, your mind goes from ‘chill mode’ into ‘let’s-do-some-work mode’. The process of getting out of your pyjamas allows you to be more awake, productive, creative and ready for whatever the day may bring.
GO FOR A WALK
Especially for those who work at home and don’t have the excuse of a commute to go outside, try taking a short walk as part of your morning routine. Research from Harvard University suggests that more time outdoors can do wonders for uplifting our moods, reducing stress and therefore helping our brains stay healthy and free of negative thoughts.
PLAN OUT YOUR DAY
While I personally prefer to plan out my day the night before, I know many people that like to do it as part of their morning routine. Use a notebook, productivity journal or app to schedule what tasks need to be done. It helps to also put the most important/least fun jobs at the top which ensures you get them done of the beginning of the day while you’re more refreshed and so that your day gets less challenging as it goes on.
LISTEN TO A PODCAST
Why not listen to a podcast while you’re brushing your teeth or working out or eating breakfast? It never hurts to learn something new or be inspired first thing in the morning. My current favourite podcasts are The Rich Roll Podcast, Deliciously Ella, Plant Proof and The Travel Diaries.
EAT A HEALTHY BREAKFAST
There’s no doubt that your body and mind need energy to function so you’ll need a balanced, healthy breakfast to fuel yourself for the day ahead. Even if you’re sitting behind a desk most of the day, you still need food for your mind to work properly and productively. My go-to healthy breakfasts are protein green smoothies, porridge with oat milk and berries or a smoothie/açai bowl with nuts and seeds.
For more breakfast ideas for home or on the go check out Our Top 5 Healthy, Plant-Based Road Trip Breakfast Ideas
MAKE YOUR BED
Much like getting out of your pyjamas, making your bed in the morning encourages you to be more organised and productive and it gets you off to a great start in the morning. Not only does it look and feel better but it also encourages you to keep the rest of your room/house/workspace tidy which will also help your productivity in the long run.
WRITE DOWN YOUR DAILY GOALS AND INTENTIONS
It’s easy to write down your goals at the beginning of the year and bury them deep in your laptop’s hard drive but will you really achieve said goals? Visualising and writing down your goals both long term and short term every morning will keep them clear in your mind and will make you work harder to achieve them. Setting daily intentions based on your goals will encourage you to take baby steps to achieve those larger goals like achieving financial independence or buying a home.
DON’T REACH FOR YOUR PHONE
Reaching for your phone as soon as you wake up will distract you from your morning routine or make you avoid it altogether. Emails and Instagram can all wait until you are really ready to start the work part of your day. Put yourself first.
TAKE A SUPPLEMENT
Not everyone needs supplements but if you do, taking them during your healthy morning routine can ensure you remember to do so. I take my supplements of a daily probiotic and B-complex Vitamins with my morning lemon water first thing in the morning.
For more information on taking supplements and travelling with them click here.
DON’T HIT SNOOZE
It might seem like a great idea to keep hitting snooze and delaying your get up time but this will inevitably eat into your morning routine time. Most of us have to start work eventually and there’s little time as it is in the mornings, so don’t let snoozing your alarm eat into your mindful morning routine.
Do you have any comments or questions about these 20 steps to a healthy morning routine? What would you add?
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