A couple of weeks ago, I realized I literally hadn’t left my house in 10 days. The line between the “outside” and “inside” had become increasingly blurred. I wore the same sweatshirt for four days in a row, my messy bun turned into a giant knot, the days blended together into one long, monotonous drone. Wake up, eat, work, eat, work out (maybe), eat, sleep, only to do it all again the next day. I didn’t realize just how much this not-a-routine was causing my anxiety and depression to flare until I finally left my house to go to therapy and I burst into tears as soon as I entered the room.
COVID-19 has taken a toll on us all. But I’ve realized that while the pandemic rages on and I’m still quarantined in the house, I don’t have to lose all sense of self. Instead of waking up with 15 minutes to spare before a morning meeting and bumbling my way throughout the day, I decided to take small steps to gain back some semblance of a routine, all created with mindfulness at heart.
I started creating a mindful morning routine for myself, with the goal of creating some sense of structure while also infusing my day with a jolt of happiness. I might not be able to control what is happening in the world, but I can control what’s happening in my home. So, I thought that I’d share some of my mindful morning routine tips with you. Read on for more!
A mindful morning routine creates a sense of structure. I may not be able to control what is happening in the world, but I can control what’s happening in my home.
Make Your Bed Every Morning
I used to make my bed every single day without fail, until the pandemic hit and I lost all sense of time and myself and pretty much everything. But I’ve recently started back, and I cannot stress enough how much this very, very simple task has helped create a much calmer bedroom and makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something. I find that on the days I make my bed, I’m much more likely to be more productive with other stuff later in the day—it sort of sets the tone for my whole day, tbh.
Drink Coffee and Read a Book
I’ve always wanted to be one of those people who leisurely reads a book while sipping their coffee on the balcony or at the kitchen table as the light filters through the blinds. And then I realized that instead of scrolling on TikTok for three hours every morning, I could just … leisurely drink my coffee and read books like I’ve always imagined. This of course involves me waking up just slightly earlier than normal (I’m a fan of 6 a.m.) so I can get in at least an hour of reading before I start work. I make sure my phone is in a different room so I don’t have any distractions and can focus fully on the book.
Make a Real Breakfast
I know I’m not the only one who just sort of pecks around the house all day in 30-minute increments, eating whatever random snack is easiest to get. But I’ve discovered the act of slowing down and making myself an actual breakfast has done wonders for my mental health. I’m not talking about crazy things like lemon ricotta pancakes (although I do love to make these on the weekends). I mean just a good bowl of oatmeal, some boiled eggs topped with avocado and Tapatio, an English muffin with peanut butter and banana, just something simple and nourishing. I like to listen to a funny podcast or an audiobook while I make my breakfast and eat it at the table like an actual person, and not in my bed or at my desk while I work. It makes a difference!
Take a Decadent Shower
I looooooooooove taking showers, but some time during the COVID craziness I just … stopped enjoying showers. Well, let me rephrase that—I enjoyed them, but they were just functional, not really invigorating like they were in the past. So, I bought myself some Neutrogena Dry Body Oil, a body scrub, some nice razors and shaving cream, some new shampoo and conditioner, and a really moisturizing body cream. Not only that, I light candles in the bathroom and play some uplifting music.
But the most important detail is that I’m actually very mindful during my showers. Instead of going through my daily list and tasks I have to do that day, I focus on how soft my skin feels, what my body wash smells like, the sounds of the music. It’s made my shower experience feel so much more decadent and lush and helps set the tone for the rest of the day.
Actually Get Dressed—For Real
This is the hardest part of my mindful morning routine. I am definitely team leggings, sweatpants, and oversized sweatshirt all day every day. I mean, who is going to see me? But my therapist pointed out that I don’t have to look nice for anyone but myself, so I should get dressed just to see how it makes me feel. And what do you know? I actually feel so much better when I put on a slightly nicer pair of pants (and gasp, sometimes jeans!), a cute top, and even some concealer, mascara, and eyeliner. And honestly, I feel SO much better.
How can you infuse some mindfulness into your morning routine? Let me know in the comments!