Where's all my morning people at?? Anyone? No?
Okay, let me help you with that. I am definitely a morning person. No matter how hard I try, I am up at 6:30am without an alarm clock. Although this isn't natural for some people, there is a lot of benefits to starting your day with a long and intentional morning routine. Who doesn't hate waking up late because you snoozed your alarm, spraying dry shampoo in your hair for the third day in a row and running into work hungry, frazzled and unprepared? You don't have to wake up at the crack of dawn to have a successful morning routine, but there are a few tweaks you can make to be intentional with the first hours of your day.
1. Wake up Early
I know, you hate this one. Thats why I did it first, to get it out of the way. Waking up 30 minutes earlier than normal can make a large impact on the rest of the day when leveraging your time right. This will require some planning as you will most likely need to get into bed slightly earlier the night before. The extra few minutes or hour you create in the morning by not snoozing your alarm with allow you to get your mind and body moving, take some deep breaths and get your mind in the right space to be killing it all day.
2. Make your bed
The FIRST thing I do every morning is open my curtains and make my bed. Something about the clean and bright aesthetics helps my mind wake up and enter a softer more restful awakening. I hate the feeling of scurrying to get ready in a dark and messy room. Coming back from getting my coffee to a bright and straightened room helps me to start feeling peaceful right from the get go.
3. Switch to a French Press (or a pour over)
I'm telling you, these little switch overs can make a huge difference. Shoving a K-Cup into your Kuerig and waiting by the kitchen sink half asleep until its done brewing only to chugging the entire cup and start on the second one isn't exactly mindful or intentional. A French press or a pour over will make you slow down, think and being mindful right when you wake up. Its a several step process between grinding the coffee beans, measuring them out, waiting for the water to bowl, waiting for the grounds to steep and FINALLY pouring yourself a cup. Theres more time to breathe in deep. Theres time to do a few stretches in the kitchen while you wait, open the windows to your living room, let the dog out, etc. Little switches like this will help you to go a little slower in the morning to create more room for thinking, noticing and raising your awareness.
4. Move your Body
I LOVE a little bit of yoga in the morning. There is a covered porch outside my front door with ivy growing up the pillar and a porch swing that is the perfect spot for a yoga mat. On mornings where I am feeling antsy, stressed or a little sore I like to take my coffee outside and stretch for awhile. Some mornings I will do entire 30 minute routines while others I will just stretch out what feels good, take a few minutes to breathe and raise my awareness of the Holy Spirit and what he is saying that morning and enjoy the feeling of my body slowly waking itself up.
5. Take a Breath
I get it. Most mornings we wake up, shower, make coffee and head straight into work. Anything for a few extra hours a sleep. But I am afraid we are feeding our own anxiety. Whether its while your coffee brews or while you're holding it on your living room couch, take a few minutes to close your eyes and just take a few breaths. You won't loose your job if you take these few minutes. Your kids won't starve. You aren't being irresponsible. The ground isn't going to swallow you whole. Just breathe. Listen to the cars or the birds outside. Listen to the ceiling fan or the sound of the other people in the house wake up. Smell in your coffee or the dew of the morning. Feel the sun against your skin. Breathe in the Holy Spirit and the new mercies that are yours every morning.
6. Get Outside
Most mornings, I spend about an hour reading and drinking coffee on my front porch swing. I live in Colorado where the air is crisp in the mornings. But even if you just open the front door and take a deep breath, or walk to get the newspaper at the end of the driveway and back- take a second to be outdoors. More likely than not, you will spend the rest of your day in your office, in the gym and back home again. So take a few minutes to be in the fresh air. It's so good for your spirit!
7. Make your own breakfast
Again, all these little suggestions are to help you slow down, create space to be more intentional and less rushed. Instead of pulling through Starbucks (again), go ahead and make your own breakfast. Crack the eggs, fry the sausage, blend the smoothie, compile a nice avocado toast. Look at the food you are putting into your body. Feed yourself with fuel. Take the time to sit down at the table and really enjoy your food. Slowing down will help your digestion a lot too which will make you happy all. day. long.
9. Read Scripture
Maybe you're already in the habit of opening up your Bible in the morning, but if not, work this into your daily habits. All day long we are being pelted with information that is fighting to be the truth in our minds. Advertisements and media are telling us who we are, what we should want, who we should be and what we should do. It can be extremely difficult to know what is the truth and the rock on which to build your identity and life upon. Starting your days with truth first thing in the morning will help you to remember what is pure and lovely and admirable all day. The Bible says to think on THESE things!
10. Put Your Phone Down
Most of our jobs require us to be attached to our phones. Phone calls, texts from our bosses, emails, social media, you name it! Take a few minutes (or hey, a few hours) to be PRESENT. It can be jittery at first to be alone with yourself and your own thoughts. We use our phones through out the day to combat so many awkward and boring situations. Instead, keep your phone off and go through your routine without it. Once its time to head off for work, your mind will be clear and ready to lean into all the assignments you have going on at work. But until then, be present where you are at.