Morning Habits To Keep You Mindful And Productive All Day
As a student or newbie to the world of work, it can be easy to rush through life due to the stress of deadlines. It can be hard to pause, take a breath, and notice the things around you as well as your own emotions and thoughts.
Paying attention to yourself and your surroundings can stimulate a healthy mind and body, and allow you to be productive whether you’re studying or delving into new challenges, like your first graduate job. This is where mindfulness comes in.
Mindfulness is a technique that originates from Buddhism, however ‘being mindful’ is something you can learn whether you’re religious or not. It may be associated to a religion, but it is also associated to wellbeing, your state of mind, and health.
Here are some mindfulness tips and techniques for you to try in the morning. They will aid you in becoming more aware of your surroundings and emotions as you go about your day.
Reflect on your emotions upon waking and how you slept
Sleep patterns and habits play a crucial role in the way you end up feeling during the day, your productivity, and over wellbeing. As a busy student, or a busy employee, you may neglect your sleep because of that last deadline you have to finish off. However, it’s important to have a good night’s rest in order to be your full self the next day.
Everyone sleeps differently, and not everyone needs eight hours to feel rested. What’s important is that you go to bed rested and relaxed, preferably not having been staring at a screen for a little while.
When you wake up, it’s a good idea to check in with how you’re feeling. Do you still feel tired? Are you aching? Do you feel frustrated? Write it down! Check in with your emotions and put pen to paper. If you keep a log, you may be able to see some patterns. There are some sleep apps (https://www.sleepcycle.com) that can help you track your sleeping patterns too.
You don’t have to sit cross-legged and hum ‘aum’ in order to meditate. Meditation can be a simple and easy way to relax and reflect, as well as take those well needed deep breaths to start your day effectively. There’s no correct way to meditate; it’s worth trying different variations to see what works for you. Listen to your body!
The website Mindful has some great tips on meditation and how to get started if you’re a newbie. You could be sat on the floor, still lying in bed, or standing in the shower, and you could be meditating. Just breath in…and breathe out…
Set aside just a few minutes each morning to think of three things that you are grateful for or that make you happy. They could be as small as seeing the sunlight stream in through your curtains, or bigger like having a supportive group of friends helping you through exams.
Jot them down in a little notebook so that when you’re having an off day and you don’t feel 100%, you can return to your daily lists and be reminded of the things that make you smile. Having some positive words to read in the morning can help set a happy and mindful tone for the rest of the day, even if you’re still feeling sluggish.
Waking up even earlier than you have to to get to your lecture or the office can be really unappealing. You may be tempted to stay in bed for that extra hour, rather than exercise. However, getting up a little earlier and embracing the fresh air with a run, or doing some circuit training at home, will get those muscles warmed up, your endorphins going, and help to wake your mind up too.
Light exercising can be just as beneficial and more relaxing in the morning. Try some yoga poses, pilates or light stretching to ease you into the day. With yoga, especially, you’ll also be tapping into your breath cycles and meditating while you’re at it.
It can be tempting to reach for your phone as soon as you wake up and scroll through your Facebook feed, or like a few Instagram posts, from the comfort of your sheets. Try not to get so caught up in social media upon waking. Take a few breaths instead, check in with those aches and pains, and also your emotions.
Try to avoid technology for half an hour, or even longer if you can, and focus on the right here, right now. This will allow you to clear your head, helping to set up both your mind and body for the productive day ahead.
Hopefully with these tips you’ll be able to become more mindful, and therefore more productive and proactive during the day.