Updated: Mar 2, 2020
Are you one of those people who jumps out of bed 5 minutes before having to leave without giving yourself any time to relax or without taking care of yourself?
If that works for you, great! Keep it that way. But the morning is the most important part of the day as it sets the tone for the rest of the day. If you feel like you want to change your morning routine because it doesn't suit you anymore, but you don't know where to start, then I have the ultimate tips for you!
What do you need?
What is important about creating a morning routine is that you do activities for yourself that are important to you and that will energize you for the day. Are you doing something because someone else thinks it's good for you, but it doesn't suit your needs? Quit doing it. It's important that all of these activities motivate you to come out of bed. I've made a list of activities to inspire you to create your perfect routine. Remember: Do the things you choose with intention and do them mindfully!
1. Night owl or morning miracle?
First of all it's important to look at how much time you need in the morning based on your needs and at how your body works. Are you a night owl or are you the type of person that can just jump out of bed in the morning? If you are a morning person it's easy to get out of bed earlier. I'm that type of person. I usually get up 2 hours before I have to leave the house so I can really take the time for me. This means that on a workday I usually get up at 6.30. I know that I need some time to get active and I don't like having people around me in the morning. That's why I really take the time to give myself what I need in the morning. If you're a night owl, getting up might be one of the hardest things to do for you. This can be a challenge as our society has been built around starting early. Give yourself just as much time as you feel you might need. If half an hour is enough for you to start your day mindfully: grab that half an hour and do what will energize you for today!
2. Wake up slowly
When you rush yourself to wake up without landing back into your body, you might feel rushed all day. That's why it's good to take 5 minutes (or less if you have less time) to just lay in bed and wake up your eyes. Maybe wake up your body by moving it around or by doing some exercises in bed. Really land in your body after being in a dream state for at least 8 hours.
Some people can wake up naturally when they have to get up early, I can't. That is why I use a wake up light to wake up in the morning. I used an alarm for a long time but the harsh sound of an alarm clock really didn't wake me up the way I wanted to start my day. It woke me up in a rushed state as supposed to the nice and calm state of being that I'm looking for in the morning. That is why I really recommend a wake up light. They really wake you up calmly by spreading natural light through the room. You can choose multiple nature sounds to wake you up, I love it!
3. Oral hygiene
Now you've woken your body up, you can go on to step 3 in the morning routine: taking care of your oral hygiene. Your body detoxes at night and your mouth accumulates a lot of bacteria at night. When you don't first brush your teeth when you wake up and you drink or eat before you clean your mouth, a lot of those bacteria will go into your digestive system and you do not want that to happen. That is why it's best to brush your teeth first with fluoride free toothpaste. After that it's also very good to do some tongue scraping. When you tongue scrape you slowly scrape off the top layer of bacteria off your tongue. You can get a tongue scraper at your local chemist: make sure it's a stainless steel one and not a plastic one! If you usually use mouth wash I advise you to stop that as it has a lot of harmful chemicals in it. Instead use some coconut oil to do oil pulling. This is an ancient old Ayurvedic ritual in which you swish around the coconut oil for several minutes. The oil will caption all the harmful bacteria left in your mouth. Be sure to spit it out in your green bin, not in the sink! It will clog your sink and that can smell very badly.
After you have cleaned your mouth you can start detoxing your body after a good nights rest by hydrating properly. You actually dehydrate when you are sleeping so it is really important to level up your water supply and flush out all the toxins that were released in your sleep. Drink at least a liter of warm water with some lemon juice in it. Add some aloë vera juice to enhance this ritual.
5. To eat or not to eat?
If you wake up hungry, it is good to eat in the morning. I'm very much an Ayurvedic Kapha and my digestive system takes some time waking up. I'm usually not hungry until about 09:00, so I wait with eating until I'm actually feeling hungry. Don't force yourself to eat if you're not hungry when you wake up. I don't want you feeling sick. It is, however, important to eat in the morning to wake up your digestive system, so don't skip breakfast!!
It is important to nourish your body, so do not start your day with a very sugary and processed breakfast. If you do that, you will most likely have a day with a lot of sugar dips. For some great breakfast recipes go to www.simplyquinoa.com or check out Sahara Rose Ketabi her book Eat Feel Fresh.
For some people it works to exercise in the morning to wake up and begin the day mindfully. It doesn't really matter what kind of exercise you do, as long as it's something you love and you're motivated about doing! I personally love to do some wake up yoga to wake up my digestive system, or I do some hula hooping. Yes you read it properly! I use a weight hoop and it keeps the belly (sort of) nice and tight. You can also just dance to your favourite music whilst you are making your breakfast, whatever makes you happy!
Of course it makes sense that I would mention showering, right? But I have an extra little tip to start your day mindful by showering. When you wash yourself with natural soap, thank your body for everything it does for you. Often we look at everything that is 'wrong' with our bodies, but our bodies are our vestles. We are alive because our bodies are alive, how freaking awesome is that? So every time you touch a new spot, thank it. Thank your arms and legs for making it possible to move. Thank your senses for making you feel, taste, smell and see. Thank every part of your body. It will make sure you start your day in a great mood! Also smile, that automatically makes you happier. Try it when you're feeling down, it really works!
Meditation is a great way to start your day mindfully! It also has a lot of benefits. Meditation can increase focus, reduce stress, enhances self awareness, cuts down mind-wandering, reduces depression, reduces anxiety, increases mental resilience, lowers blood pressure and it does so much more! Is there any better way to start your day? I don't think so! (Based on scientific research).
It's also lovely to have a meditation ritual. I have a little wooden board and on that board I put a few essential products that really set me in the mood to meditate. It also helps me get out of bed, because I enjoy the ritual as much as the meditation itself. On my board I have a candle, a Palo Santo stick, some dried sage, a few crystals, some rose water and my spirit animal deck of cards. I cleanse myself with the rose water and the lighted dried sage, light the candle and the Palo Santo stick to call in my spirit guides, grab the crystal that speaks to me to ground me and start meditating. After my meditation I pull a card from my deck and that is my ritual done. I love doing this so that is also what keeps me motivated to get up earlier!
9. Morning pages
In the morning I do morning pages. I find it helpful as it gives me the chance to write down everything that is on my mind. That way I find myself pondering over certain things a lot less than I would when I haven't done the morning pages. Sometimes I have a very memorable meditation and I don't want to forget the details of all the information that came through me, then I'll write that down too!
I have three note books that I write in. The first one I write in is the book that contains all my thoughts. I write literally everything in that book, it doesn't matter to me what it is, if it comes through, I'll write it down. The second book I write in is the daily planner from Lavendaire. This really prepares me for the day and it helps me set my goals for the day. After that I write in a third notebook. This notebook is especially reserved for my gratitude practice. I write down everything that I'm grateful for. This really sets me up for a happier day.
10. Skin care routine
For both men and women it's important to have a skin care routine. Your skin is your largest organ and we need to treat it well! Your skin also detoxes at night, that's why it's important to clean your skin every morning before you apply any creams or make-up. You can wash it with just water or with cleansers. I highly recommend you using natural skin care products, as your skin absorbs everything you put on it. This will eventually land in your bloodstream and circulate through your body. You don't want to be putting toxic products on your largest organ! I really recommend the products from Dr. Hauschka. These products are 100% natural, which means that they are good for your body, nature and the environment. They are also not tested on animals and most of the products are vegan. They also have a make-up line which is to die for. I have tried so-many skin care and make-up products but my skin rejected all of them by breaking out in acne or having a layer of grease on top of my skin at the end of the day. This is the only skin care line that actually works for me. On their website you can do a test to see which products will suit your skin the most. You can base your skin care routine on that!
If you are really attached to the skin care products that you are using now, you can check if they are natural and healthy for you via the app Think Dirty. You can just download the app, type in the name of the product that you are using and check if it's natural. It gives the product a score, this score is attached to a colour. If the score is attached to the colour green, it will be a healthy product for you to use. If it's yellow it is not too healthy, but not bad either. If it's red it's a no go and it's recommended to not use that product.
11. Listen to a podcast or read a book
To start your day mindfully and to vibe high in the morning, it's great to consume high vibe content. That is why I listen to podcasts on my way to work in the car. I choose a subject that interests me, that teaches me something or that makes me feel better about myself. You can also read a book if you travel by public transport. It's all up to you, as long as you start your day better by it.
I hope you're inspired!
This were the 11 steps to creating a mindful morning routine. If you choose the things that suit you in the time that is good for you with intention, you will start your day so much more peacefully and happy. The start of your day sets the tone for your day, so make it a great and relaxed start. I hope you have been able to be inspired by the steps I have given you! I'd love to read what you have been inspired by the most! Let me know in the comments below.