Struggling to get up now the mornings are darker? Can’t stop pressing the snooze button? Help is at hand with this expert advice on creating a Mindful Morning Routine that will help you jump out of bed with a smile.”
We all know that feeling when the alarm goes off and it’s pitch black outside. The chances of you wanting to leap out of bed and seize the day are slim.
But wellbeing expert Miranda Moore says taking a few minutes to slow down and set yourself up for the day can make all the difference.
“Our modern world is relentlessly busy. By ring-fencing a few minutes of precious time, you can add energy, clarity and peace to your life. Goodbye mindless rushing, hello mindful mornings,” she says.
1. Take stock
When you first wake, take a moment to take stock and bring awareness to your body. How are you feeling today? Observe sensations in your body and your mood.
Allow your facial muscles to relax and your eyebrows to soften. Now smile and give thanks for this day.
2. Make a plan
Take a few moments to write down three things you plan to do today – including minor jobs such as booking an appointment or filling a bird feeder. This will start the day with focus and keep you on track.
Writing aims down means you’re committing to them and are more likely to complete them.
3. Think positive
Try meditating on the colour yellow to bring yourself into a positive mental state. Look at a yellow object, picture or flower or think of an appealing shade. Think of some associations of yellow as a positive, happy colour – a sunny day, a daffodil – and see if you can absorb some of that positivity and energy.
4. Daily declutter
A 10-minute declutter every morning can improve your sense of control. Pick a small specific area, such as a drawer or a corner of a room. Remove everything and wipe down the area with a cloth.
Go through each item and consider if it’s useful. If it is, return it to its place. If not, decide whether you will pass it on to a friend, donate it to charity, sell it or recycle it.
5. Morning playlist
Compile a playlist of songs that get you in a happy, energised mood, and play it when you’re getting ready for the day.
You could make more than one playlist – a weekend soundtrack for a lazy Saturday morning, and an upbeat, lively playlist when you need a burst of encouragement.
6. Mindful breakfast
The trick to eating more purposefully is to slow down.
Mindfully prepare a nutritious breakfast. Take care with your presentation, and savour the flavours and textures as you eat. Give thanks for wholesome food that nourishes you.
7. Nature fix
People talk of a coffee fix to get through their morning, but a nature fix is just as effective. Find a peaceful spot in a natural setting. Slow your breathing and notice the sounds around you.
Reach out and touch something natural – the bark of a tree or a leaf. Embrace the feeling of calmness washing over you.
8. Boost your mood
To lift your spirits, burn three drops of lime, lemon, orange, grapefruit or bergamot essential oils.
Citrus fruits have an invigorating scent, and lime can be joyful, filling your home with a vibrant energy. Breathe in the fragrance and be transported to a sunny place where citrus fruits hang from lush trees.
9. Count your blessings
This is a fun way to encourage an attitude of gratitude.
Set a timer for 60 seconds and reel off as many blessings as you can, being specific and keeping count as you go. This trains you to notice all the things to be thankful for, and not take them for granted.
10. Calm the mind
This simple breathing exercise can calm racing thoughts.
Imagine a square and focus on its bottom left corner. Inhale for a count of four and, in your mind’s eye, travel up the left edge of the square. Hold your breath for four, moving from top left to top right. Exhale for four, drawing a line from top right to bottom right, then hold for four, travelling back to the left corner. Continue until your breath has slowed, and you feel calm.