When I wake up the first thing I like to do, if I can avoid checking my phone - hello phone addiction, is hit my yoga mat to stretch out.
Also, if you find yourself to attached to your tech, it might be time for a little phone detox, and we've got all the tips for that!
I also like to light a few candles, take 10-20 minutes to meditate, brew myself a cup of tea and write in my gratitude journal.
There's just something about taking a few minutes in the morning to stop and center that set my day up for success. I am calmer, work more efficiently, and just feel better.
It's like I can focus on my work and breathe, rather than jump from task to task like the floor is hot lava - you know what I mean?
So, here's the 7 essentials I use to stay present and mindful.
1. a physical alarm clock:
The hardest part is waking up! Yup, I set a physical alarm clock. In fact, I prefer to keep my phone completely out of my room. I've recently taken to listening to audio books as I fall asleep. It's just like adult storytime, and it's really soothing.
To circumvent that "No phone in the bedroom," rule, I plug my phone to charge in the kitchen, put a 20-minute timer on audible and then connect my phone to a Bluetooth speaker in the bedroom. My preferred Bluetooth speaker is House of Marley which is one of the few companies that create eco-friendly electronics.
Then, I set my alarm clock via google home which is placed ALLLLLL the way in the living room. The only way for me to turn it off is with my voice.... which makes me physically get out of bed and speak. The likely chance of me going back to bed after that is slim. Then, it's time to hit the yoga mat.
2. stretch it out:
This is where it gets tricky. In my wellness practice, I rely on quite a few apps... this is where pitfalls can happen! I can get sucked into answering emails, texts, and scrolling through Instagram.
The way I fix this is I use an old phone that's been wiped clean of everything except the few apps I need. I know that this might sound extreme, but I know myself and know that keeping my tech separate is very beneficial for my personal health.
Sometimes, I like to do a full 30-45 minute class via the downward dog app or I'll just take 10-15 minutes to stretch if I'll be hitting up a spin class later in the day. But, no matter how long I decide to hit the mat, I never regret it.
My top picks for eco-friendly yoga mats are corc yoga and manduka.
3. light it up:
In the early morning, right before the sun comes up, it feels so deliciously indulgent to light a candle or two.
I like to support local candle makers, but make sure to find ones that use essential oils for scent and use non-toxic waxes like soy or beeswax. I have a few PaddyWax candles that I like to light in the morning.
I love that after you're finished with the candle, the vessels are designed to have a purpose which is the definition of zero waste!
You also might enjoy lighting sage or palo santo in your practice.
Then I like to close my eyes and meditate. I personally use the calm app. I don't like many of the guided meditations as I find them to be too chatty.
I like the simple ones, where she occasionally comes in to check on you and rings the bell every five minutes to make sure that you remain focused.
Everyone says it, but meditation truly sets your day up for success. I know, if you haven't bought into the whole thing this saying will induce eye-rolling. But, seriously - you should give it a try!
5. tea time:
Ah, yes, one of my favorite parts of the morning. I like to put the kettle on and brew myself a cup of tea. I actually brew myself an entire kanteens worth and pour myself cups throughout the morning,
But the first cup, ah, yea - the first cup is special. I slowly sip it and write in my gratitude journal.
My tea brand of choice is Arbor Teas. They're the only tea company that sells loose leaf tea in compostable packaging that's certified to breakdown in your backyard compost.
Did you know a lot of tea bags contain plastic? This means they can't be composted and you're steeping your cup of tea in polypropylene - yikes.
I make my loose tea in a french press so I can make a bunch at one time. #effecient
You draw in what you put out into the world. If you're constantly walking around thinking about what you don't have, what you're missing out on, and just generally putting out negative vibes, that's probably what you're going to get back.
If you want to flip the script, operate from an abundance mindset the best thing you can do is practice gratitude. It feels really odd and stilted like when your mom says, "Let's go around the table and list one thing we're thankful for this year," during Thanksgiving.
It's like there's all this pressure, that everything you're thankful for has to be earth-shattering and life-changing. Spoiler alert - it doesn't. Get out of your head and just think of small things you're grateful for. It can be huge like clean water runs through pipes! That's AMAZING! Or small, as simple as a dog smiled at me yesterday.
The more you do it, the easier it becomes. And, the more gratitude you practice, the more you start to see it manifest throughout your day.
7. and beyond:
This whole routine can take anywhere from 40 minutes to an hour and a half. It just depends on how I'm feeling that day. Your practice doesn't have to be the same, but creating one will bring peace to your day.
To set myself up, I really like having certain visual clues to remember to check in with myself and my breath. I'm a fan of these Mandala phone cases so every time I look at my phone, I can remember to check back in with myself, drop my shoulders, unclench my jaw, and take a deep breath.