How much do you hate peppy people in the morning? The ones who have no business being so happy so early and especially the ones who have no business being so cheerful before your first (or third) cup of coffee. Those people are the worst…they also so happen to be many of the most happy (and annoying) people out there. They also include me. Yes, I am one of those dreaded morning people. One that is up before the sun and happy to be so. One who would like to call herself organized and put together-ish. How do these magical humans do such a thing?! Well I don’t know about the others, maybe their special wizards, but I do it through a consistent and successful morning routine that gives me a day filled with productivity and mindfulness.
Creating a Successful Morning Routine
I want to make a note before I tell you about my life-altering routine that this is my routine. It is what I do every day when I wake up. That by no means that you have to follow or agree with it. Also by no means do you need to get up super early to be successful. Please read my article Why waking up at 5am won’t make you successful if you night owls want to feel some relief. But! The point still stands true. Having a good routine whenever you wake up, that does help…a lot.
My mindful morning routine is built around my zoo and building my business. While my routine will look different from yours, many of the mindfulness tactics can be used across the board to help create a more peaceful and relaxing day for everyone.
Waking up: 4am
I start my mornings between 4 and 4:30 am. That may seem crazy. It kind of is. I don’t have kids and I work from home. Why the f*ck would I do that to myself? Well for me mornings are critical. They set the whole tone of my day. I don’t like being rushed – it makes me cranky so why would I plan on starting my day like that?
Roll out of bed
The start of any successful morning routine, means you have to get out of bed. Get away from that snooze button and get your butt out of bed. It seems this is the hardest part of every morning. The room is dark (obviously, even the sun is still sleeping), it’s chilly, and I have 2 dogs, at least 1 cat, and a fiance snuggled up with me. But you’ve gotta do it! Need help getting out of your cozy nest of blankets? Try these tricks!
- Place your alarm clock across the room. It really works wonders. I mean I silently curse it for being so far away and loud every morning but it gets me up.
- Keep cozy clothes right next to your bed. If being cold is the problem (hem excuse hem) for you being unable to get up, keep some warm sweats and a sweatshirt right there. Throw them on and be the most tired marshmallow woman ever and then stumble your sleepy bum into the kitchen.
- Keep a cup of water close too. When you wake up, you’re dehydrated. It has been 8 hours (hopefully) since your last drink. Dehydration contributes to moodiness and fatigue. If you’re just soooo tired you can barely open your eyes, grab your water and drink it. I promise it’ll help. Hydrate first thing, you lil’ raisin.
- Get up, wrap yourself in a blanket and go sit on the couch. This one saves my butt almost every morning. Sitting upright and walking the 10 steps to the couch gets me awake enough where I *probably* won’t fall back to sleep.
Set up my zoo for the day
Most normal people don’t have a zoo, so most normal people will luckily get to skip this step. My zoo consists of 4 cats, 2 dogs, and 1 rabbit. And once I’m up, they are apparently always in desperate need of food because obviously I starve them… So mainly to get the to shut up, I feed them, clean their litter box, and walk the doggos out to go potty. Then of course I clean the litter box again because all the queens think a clean box means its time to go…again.
I consider this a crucial part of my mindfulness routine because if I don’t immediately cater to the zoo, I will lose my mind. So for the sake of my sanity I am mindful to put them first. A quiet home at 4am is much better than a herd of stampeding cats…just saying.
This step is also so much easier after the zoo is taken care of. My morning stretches consist of really bad yoga, an inability to reach my toes, and a cat weaving between my legs while trying to breathe throw the pain of stretching anything. (I am great at holding all stress and tension in my legs, butt, and neck so that really hinders my flexibility).
But I still make time for this self-inflicted torture every morning because 1. I know how much pain I’ll be in without stretching. 2. I hold onto the belief that one day I’ll be some crazy gymnast. And 3. because releasing the tension in my muscles in the morning keeps me cool, calm-ish, and collected all day.
A lot of mindfulness is delayed gratification. Doing something, like stretching, writing, healing, etc, even when we don’t really want to because we know that it’ll help achieve a better, healthier, happier life is about as mindful as you can be. Taking care of your body, even if it has to be some tough love like my yoga practice, is a form of self-love. Self-love is mindfulness. And starting your day with a little self love is a great way to start a good day.
Make breakfast and tea
Food is one of my favorite ways to practice mindfulness. Every morning I eat pretty much the same thing – 2 eggs with cheese + hot sauce wrapped in a heated homemade tortilla, a banana, and a cup of Moroccan mint green tea. Are there other things I could eat? Yes. But I know from experience, I enjoy eating this for breakfast, I feel good when I eat it, and I feel full longer.
It is my belief that you cannot conquer life of have a successful morning routine without eating something delicious.
Taking the 10 minutes to cook the food is perfect way to single task, focus on what I’m doing, and truly enjoy the art of cooking.
Being mindful of the moment is a useful skill to prevent overwhelm when you have a lot of tasks on your plate. Cooking is a great way to practice this skill.
I make a point to actually listen to the sizzling of the pan, see the cheese melting on my eggs, feel the warmth of the tortilla as I roll it, smelling the minty-ness of my tea, and of course most importantly, enjoy the taste of all of it bit by bit. I ignore my phone and try to genuinely experience my meal. Some days I do better than others, but that’s why it’s practice.
Taking these small, every day moments to pay real attention to your actions is a crazy experience. Our brain filters out so much (or else we’d all be basket cases all the time – the world is really overstimulating). We really don’t realize how much goes into every small, mundane activity. I challenge you to truly experience one of your meals and appreciate every second of it.
This mindfulness practice helps train your brain to be more aware and grow. Mindfulness helps you be adaptable to change. And breakfast is a perfect time to work on it. Don’t miss out on it.
Walk the dogs + meditate
I love meditating in the mornings but that can sometimes be difficult. Sitting still, relaxed, and clearing my mind at 6am is a recipe to fall back asleep. So we don’t do that.
However, walking meditations are like 6 birds, one stone. My dogs get exercise, I get some exercise, we get to enjoy the sunrise, we have the parks to ourselves, I can calm my mind before it even gets going, and I feel no rush in my meditation – I can go as long as I’d like.
I find my meditations work better when I walk and focus on the world around me or have some kind of mantra for my day. Most of the time its something like “today is going to be the best day” or repeating my goals as though they are already happening – ie “I am making so many sales” or “my body is so strong”.
Gratitude + manifesting
On these walks, I also take a second to think about all the things I want to manifest. Also, just fyi manifestation isn’t mumbo jumbo hippy dippy stuff, it’s a unique and powerful method of goal setting.
And an important part of striving for more, requires being grateful for what you already have. Don’t be greedy and say thank you. Appreciate the little things – even appreciate the fact that your body has the capability to be walking at this god forsaken hour.
Taking that hour to focus on the world around me, inside me, and everything I’m creating makes it easier to see progress and keep me from falling into a wallowing pie of despair (this was originally supposed to be pit of despair, but pie of despair seemed like a perfect typo) when things get hard.
Make the bed
I’m going to be honest, I wish I was doing this right as soon as I get up. However, my fiance sleeps until 6:30 or 7 and he really doesn’t appreciate me making the bed around him. I know, what’s wrong with him?
Making the bed greatly improves your overall level of productivity throughout the day because your brain feels accomplished as soon as you wake up and it likes to keep that feeling going. It’s all true…but check out The Spruce’s article on their 5 Reasons to Make Your Bed.
Shower + get ready
After my walk, I shower, brush my teeth, and generally get ready for the day. I always make sure I put on real clothes (even though I’d love to live in sweatpants and t-shirts every day) and do my hair – even if it’s still just a messy grease bun. I do this not because I want to, trust me I don’t want to, but I am 100x more productive during the day if I feel as though I’m put together. A successful morning routine is never complete until you don’t stink.
Also, pro tip. A study was done that shows that if you wear shoes you’re more likely to be productive – granted someone told me about the study I didn’t personally read it so this could be completely made up but I’ve found that it works pretty well, so who cares?
Since I work from home I have the freedom to utilize my most productive time to work. I call it my Get Shit Done time or GSD time for short. I have found over the years that I am absolutely most productive from 4am to about noon. So from 4am to 7am I work on myself. Then 7 to noon I work on writing, content creation, and never ending research. In that time I get triple the work done as the rest of the day so you can bet your booty that’s when I’m going to work. I personally don’t enjoy working longer or harder when I could do it smarter and easier.
And of course, this timing is different for everyone but I highly encourage you to find your absolute most productive time to work. Being aware + mindful of when you’re the most focused, energized, and excited for your projects will help you achieve your goals a million times faster and easier.
By the time 9 or 10am comes along (you know, normal breakfast time) I’m freaking hungry. So I try to stick with the hobbit lifestyle. Because part of mindful eating is eating when your body tells you that you’re actually hungry. Second breakfast is normally leftovers and fresh fruit.
I enjoy my second breakfast while continuing my work because it’s not always practical to be mindful of every meal – especially if you’re like me and eat six meals a day.
Finishing the morning and Final thoughts…
By noon I stop working for a longer break and that’s the end of another successful morning routine. Mornings are my favorite time of day because I know that I can take control of them and make the whole day great. After the morning I feel accomplished, empowered, and honestly ready for a nap.
Life isn’t about making everything perfect or your mornings perfect. It is about figuring out what works best for you, using it to your advantage and creating some balance to make your life feel full.
Of course a successful morning routine will look different for you than it does for me. But by incorporating mindfulness into it, you’ll feel more grounded, less stressed, and be able to get more done without freaking out.
If you found this post informational or helpful, share it! Share with all your morning friends and not-as-morning friends! Spread the love and help a sister share my weird routine with the world. xxx
And if you’re looking for a place to start with your super fresh morning routine, why not use a super shweet template that I have created just for you? There’s no reason not to! I’ll send it to you right now, just sign up below. I am also legally obligated to inform you that giving me your email will also mean that you’ll receive super awesome tips and help on your mindfulness journey from me. So make a good, informed decision + get your template and emails that will change your Fridays (and life).