Creating A Mindful Morning Routine
I don't know about you, but I've been terrible at making good choices in the morning over the past few years. I have this bad habit of picking up my phone almost instantly, launching myself into work mode before I'm fully awake. But over the last few weeks, I've been taking steps towards breaking old habits. And because I know that others are most likely in the same boat, I thought I'd share what I'm doing with you. Plus, this will give me more accountability to follow through. So let's do this together, shall we?
My (old) morning routine consisted of picking up my phone, scrolling through emails, grabbing a bowl of cereal, and then rushing to my desk to conquer whatever awaited me. It left me feeling rushed and anxious, neither of which help create a positive working environment. I've always realized this, but had a hard time switching things up. My office is like a magnet and for whatever reason, I couldn't help but think that if I got there faster, the to dos would check off at lightening speed. But did my day ever end earlier? Rarely.
It's funny. You would think that as my own boss, I'd be totally fine with getting started whenever. And to a certain degree, I am. But our world moves fast and so do I, which is exactly why the art of slowing down has been so difficult for me. In fact, I've tried doing this before — only to be lured back to my old ways after a few days. So what's saving me this time around? The 6-minute miracle method. AKA, SAVERS.
SAVERS stands for the following: silence, affirmations, visualization, exercise, reading, and scribing. This method, by Hal Elrod, gives my routine loving brain something easy to follow each morning. And I really (really) needed that. Now, I don't follow his method to a T, but I've adapted it into something that works well for me. Here's what I'm currently doing each morning:
Once I wake up, I'll keep my eyes shut, lay on my back, and stay there in complete silence for just a few minutes. I don't count or do anything special here, I just breathe. Then, I move on to affirmations, reminding myself what's important as well as what I'm capable of. Because we all deserve to pat ourselves on the back every single day. Seriously, though, we do. ;) Next up is visualization. I typically keep this smaller scale, and think about the day ahead and certain things that I'd really like to do (like an extra yoga session, for example), but other times I'll dream big and visualize the future. All of this takes about 2-4 minutes, which is nothing when you really consider it.
The next part is where I venture off on my own. I brush my teeth, wash my face, and head downstairs to my yoga mat, where I spend 10 minutes stretching, sometimes more. This is a really good video if you want any guidance. Most of you already know that I love yoga, but it never occurred to me to practice first thing in the morning. And holy hell does it feel good! I typically keep my eyes closed the entire time (because I'm still in the process of waking up) and go with the flow. It's my new favorite thing that I can't imagine living without, which is a good thing since it prevents me from rushing to my computer.
After that is where things get a bit fuzzy. I should, at this point, get ready for the day. But because I work at home, I stay in yoga pants and t-shirts more than I care to admit. It's just easy, and nobody really sees me. On the days that I do get ready, however, I've noticed that I feel more awake and inspired, so this is something that I'm really working on. It just doesn't happen every single day.
But despite all of this, you may have noticed two things that are not on my list: reading and writing. Well, I do skim the news, but besides that, I've found the SAVE in SAVERS to be more than enough and perfect for me.
The thing to remember here is that everyone is unique. While I enjoy yoga, you may prefer going for a run. Or walking your dog. And that's okay! But if you're looking for some sort of change, SAVERS is a great place to start, since you can always tweak as you go, according to your time and needs. And hey, if none of it works, perhaps you'll come up with something entirely different! That's cool too.
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PS. Do you want to know the weird thing? With this new routine, I don't even check my phone at ALL in the mornings. There's no need to, really, because once I finally get to my computer to begin my day, everything I need is right there. My phone is probably feeling neglected about these changes, but I think that's a good thing. The perks are 100% worth it!