The Morning Routine
Morning routines have become a popular wellness trend, advocated for their ability to enhance productivity and infuse more intention and gratitude into each day. Instead of waking up in a reactive mode, morning routines create an opportunity to pause, reflect, and ground ourselves. In a way, they are like a mini “holiday for the soul” that we get to experience within our day to day lives.
Smartphones have blurred the lines between our work and home life; there is no longer a clear division. Are we working from home, or living at work? Whether we are “on call” 24/7 or we work remotely, it is second nature to check our phones immediately upon waking. Even when it isn’t for work, we habitually grab our phones to scroll social media, keep up with the news, or chat with friends. The moment that we wake up, our orientation and attention is centered around something besides ourselves. Morning routines invite us to reorient our attention back onto ourselves and the present moment.
A morning routine doesn’t necessarily mean that your morning has to look completely different than it already does. Instead, it can simply include the addition of one or two intentional moments of self care. Below, we have laid out the building blocks of a morning routine that you can pick and choose from to help get you started.
1. Slow Movement
Slow, conscious movement helps to ground you and get you “out of your head” and into your body. Stretching helps to connect you to your body and drop into its parasympathetic state.
2. No Phone
Avoiding the use of your phone is one of the most transformative practices to implement into your morning routine. Using your phone immediately upon waking sets a tone of distraction for the remainder of your day.
3. Meditation or Deep Breathes
Meditation and/or deep breaths help to calm the nervous system and clear the mind. Try placing one hand on your belly, relaxing your abdominal muscles, and breathing slowly through your nose.
4. A Gratitude Practice
A gratitude practice helps to jump start a positive pattern of thinking. Try writing a list of three to ten things in your life that you are grateful for.
5. Coffee or Tea with No Electronics
Coffee or tea is an integral part of most people’s mornings, however, it is usually drunk mindlessly while multitasking. Focus on the taste and smell of your drink and try using it as an opportunity to express gratitude, practice deep breathes, or meditate.
6. Five Minute Walk
A quick walk serves as an opportunity to take advantage of the soothing and healing properties of nature prior to kickstarting your day.
7. Extend Your “Beauty Routine”
Extend your at home self care routine with gua sha or other relaxing facial tools. Aside from the various beautifying benefits of these tools, they require a level of presence that helps us drop into the present moment.
8. Make Your Bed
Making your bed in the morning feels productive and sets the tone for the remainder of the day.
Mornings are the perfect time to get organized and clear on your “to dos” for the remainder of the day. Creating a list helps to prevent overwhelm and provide clear direction.
10. Proper Sleep Hygiene
Your morning routine should start the night before as your evening routine affects the quality of your sleep and in turn, the quality of your morning.
Holidays are an essential form of medicine that we need in order to disconnect from our day to day lives. However, it is important that we infuse our days with intentional moments that feel like a “mini holiday”, helping us to maintain a sense of balance and rejuvenation year round.