Establishing a mindful morning routine is just as challenging as it is important. (And living mindfully shouldn’t add to your stress…obviously!)
Weekday mornings tend to be crazed, as you attempt to get yourself (and maybe your kids) out the door on time. They also set the tone for the hours to come.
“I’ve found if I wake up anxious over all the things I need to do and don’t take a few moments to center and feel calm, I feel like I’m running on a hamster wheel all day,” says mindfulness coach and Kundalini yoga and meditation teacher Tejal V. Patel. “I truly believe how you start your day lays the foundation for the rest of your day.”
Patel is the creator of The Mindful Mama Experience (open for enrollment between April 3 and 11), a six-week online course that teaches women how to easily infuse mindful resets into their lives, be present and patient in the midst of chaos, and even teach their kids how to practice mindfulness.
In other words, she knows that telling you the solution to your morning woes is not to try to fit in a 20-minute seated meditation. It just. won’t. happen. Instead, we asked her to share a few ways you can easily incorporate meditative techniques into the routine you already have, to set you up for a less stressful day overall.
3 Tips to Create A Mindful Morning Routine
1. Set an intention before getting out of bed.
The pressure’s on as soon as you reach for your phone on the bedside table. So, take one minute to set a daily intention before checking your email or placing those feet on the floor. “I do a few deep breaths right in bed with my hands on my heart to connect with myself. I say this: ‘Universe, please allow me to be the best version of myself. What would you have me say? Where would you have me go? What would you have me do? Allow me to be safe, be patient, and have fun,’” Patel says.
Adjust the intention so that it speaks to you, personally, and then make it a habit. “It takes a minute and then I step out of bed knowing that whatever I do that day it’s with the intention that I will do my best, be my best, and let go of whomever I was yesterday.”
2. Turn brushing your teeth or doing your hair into a meditation.
Okay, you don’t have time to sit on a pillow and Om, but you can practice meditative techniques while doing the things you have to do, like brushing your teeth or blowdrying your hair. “When I’m brushing, I make it a point to look deeply into my left eye, take deep breaths in and out through my nose and say ‘I love you’ to myself,” Patel says. “So many of us look in the mirror but never gaze deeply into our eyes. This took me awhile to feel comfortable with, but it transformed the relationship I have with myself. If you feel really gutsy after you’re done brushing, keep looking into your eyes and say ‘I love you’ out loud like you are saying it to your lover, child, or best friend. It’s super powerful stuff!”
3. Get your kids involved.
Once your mindful morning routine starts to take shape, you can also involve your little ones. Patel recommends teaching the above “I love you” exercise to kids five or older, and even putting a note on the bathroom mirror to remind them to practice. “This will get them breathing and saying positive affirmations and help them start connecting to themselves,” she says. “For younger children, you could engage them in mindful conversation during breakfast or the car ride by asking them questions like ‘What colors do you see? What do you feel today? What do you hear today?”
You know, in between repeating, “Hurry up, let’s go!” over and over. Maybe in time, they’ll be calm, collected, and ready to go before you even ask. You can dream, right?