Mindful Monday: A New Morning Routine

Good morning, and happiest Monday!

I once read a quote that said something like: One small positive thought in the morning can change the dynamic of your entire day. I thought immediately about how happy pancakes make me, and then after continuing on with my morning routine of scrolling through my phone for 20 minutes to catch up on everything social media, I stumbled out of bed without making it and headed straight for the kitchen, only to burn my pancakes on one side before spilling syrup all over the counter. B-b-b-b-ut I thought positive thoughts right when I woke up, so why didn’t my breakfast look like a delightful Pinteresting concoction that’d fuel me with buttery cheer all day long? Great concept, wrong intention.

Cultivating a healthy morning routine requires discipline, but it’s quite possibly the best thing you can do for you (and the people with whom you’ll interact throughout the day). Here are 5 easy habits you can adopt every morning to revolutionize your entire day:

  1. Avoid your phone for 30 minutes. As if being a human in 2015 wasn’t overstimulating enough, add in all of our favorite social media platforms to the mix, and our mind goes on autopilot through a world that’s not our own. It’s distracting, and it can also be an unconscious trigger for any disappointments that might surface throughout the day. Comparison is the thief of joy, and so if we could dedicate even 30 minutes to focus on ourselves and our day’s purpose before cluttering our mental space with mindless scrolling, our drive and motivation to wake up inspired could increase exponentially.
  2. Drink water (add a lemon!) Water is water, and if you can gulp down at least a glass before heading straight to the coffee machine, you’re doing your body a great service. If you’re feeling really ambitious, add a lemon. Squeezing a lemon in your water has many benefits, but among my favorites: promoting healthy digestion and rejuvenating your skin. That lovely morning glow you’re wearing on your face? All lemons!
  3. Start a gratitude journal. Waking up a naming the things you’re grateful for is a powerful tool. In addition to helping you learn more about yourself and the things and people in your life you value most, keeping a gratitude journal is a great attitude check, helping us shift perspectives and remain positive even in the storms. Keeping a list of what fills us up and brings us joy often creates MORE of that joy.
  4. Redefine what it means to read the paper. It might be a thing of the past to have the morning paper delivered to your doorstep, but the act of staying on top of current events or to read something inspiring is great soul food. Try getting something short and sweet delivered to your inbox every morning like The Skimm, or keep your favorite self-improvement book next to your bed and make a habit of reading 1-2 pages each morning.
  5. Salute the sun. Putting mindful movements into your body first thing in the morning is so important. And when linking breath to movement, simple sun salutations become a moving meditation. You’ll stimulate your digestive track, stretch out from fingers to toes, and get your mind in the right space to conquer our daily to-do lists with extra energy and oomph!

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Start today, start tomorrow, or start right now. Start where you are. Start with fear. Start with pain. Start with doubt. Start with hands shaking. Start with voice trembling, but start. Start tired. Start reluctant. Start and don’t stop. Start where you are, with what you have. Just start! Cultivate a new morning routine, and watch the sunshine fill you up from the inside out.

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