The Art of Mindful Morning Practices
Earlier this year, we spoke about the importance of mental health and self-care practices with the lovely Nadia Jooste. She highlighted how self-care includes taking care of your mental health and the many ways to determine whether your mental health and well-being are declining.
Today we’d like to give you a few tips and ideas to help promote good mental health and overall, a positive, mindful, and productive day for yourself.
What Does It Mean to Have a Mindful Morning?
Now, before you feel discouraged, a mindful morning does not necessarily mean waking up at the peak of dawn and completing a bunch of tasks before your workday.
Not everyone is part of the 5 AM club, and that is perfectly fine because creating a mindful morning routine is not about waking up as early as possible, it is about being present in the moment and creating a lifestyle for yourself that is maintainable and promotes mental well-being.
Yes, perhaps waking up a few minutes earlier than usual could help in cases where your current routine creates a chaotic environment, leaving you feeling rushed and stressed. But it is all about finding out what works for you and what is going to create a positive mindset for you in the morning, thereby allowing you to get the most out of each day.
1. Unplug From Technology
Many of us enjoy mindlessly scrolling through social media apps before bed, but what we don't realise is that this is actually preventing us from getting a good night's rest. Sleep is essential for maintaining good mental and physical health because our bodies need that rest after a full day of being active.
So, ditch those blue light-emitting devices – which stimulate our brains, keeping us wide awake – and instead, allow your body to fall asleep and wake up in a calm and relaxing environment.
If you feel that you need something to help you fall asleep, then try reading, creating a romantic environment by lighting scented candles and taking a hot bath before bed.
This way, when you wake up, you will feel refreshed from a good night’s rest.
The same goes for when you wake up. The last thing you need is for your brain to be racing a mile a minute. Give yourself time to fully wake up and get into the right mindset – those emails can wait!
2. Preparation is Key
This might be something we have all heard before from our parents and teachers, but it really does hold some truth. If you know that your mornings often feel rushed and you find yourself running late, then consider making it easier on yourself by preparing the night before.
Simple things such as picking out your outfit and having it ready for the morning or packing your lunch the night before. By lessening your morning tasks, you can alleviate that morning rush and instead spend that extra time savouring your cup of coffee or taking a moment to appreciate the gold morning sun.
3. Greet the Day with Gratitude
Have you ever had that moment where you wake up to blue skies, there’s a slight breeze in the air and it’s just enough to make the leaves sway, the birds are singing, and butterflies are fluttering away? And you just sit, take it all in and appreciate the beauty of it all?
This is what we mean when we say greet your day with gratitude. That feeling of appreciating nature and being grateful for being alive to live another day is your greatest tool in creating a mindful morning.
It allows you to start your day off with a positive thought and also sets the tone for the mood and headspace you’ll work to be in for the rest of the day.
4. Bask in the Silence
Many people find the silence to be awkward. But actually, it can be a good way to gather your thoughts, self-reflect, and ask yourself what it is that you are hoping to achieve for today. In turn, this will help relieve stress and even boost your productivity for the day.
Activities such as meditation are a good example of this. Even if you begin with just 10 minutes of meditation every day, it can help increase your concertation skills, therefore, prepping yourself for the day ahead.
5. Move Your Body
As we learnt from Nadia, moving your body is the ultimate self-care activity that we should all adopt because not only does it promote physical well-being, but it also promotes good mental health.
But this does not have to be some highly intensive cardio workout or weights session if that is not your style.
Something as simple as a quick 10-minute walk around your neighbourhood, or a morning of deep stretching, a simple yoga routine and so on. When it comes to moving your body, you should find the best and most enjoyable method for yourself because that is the most important way in ensuring consistency.
And you would be surprised at how a change of scenery can affect your mood, so taking your exercise outside in nature is highly recommended.
Here at Merrell, we believe in a lifestyle of enjoying nature and the great outdoors. Take your first step towards a mindful morning with these tips and a pair of Merrell Footwear.