What are your mornings like? Do you find yourself flying around the house trying to get everyone ready on time? Perhaps you hit the snooze button over and over, worrying about all the things you need to do and wishing you could avoid the morning mayhem that’s about to ensue.
If you’re a busy working parent, maybe your mornings are so hectic that you count yourself lucky when you remember to brush your hair before taking the kids to school and heading off to your first yoga class of the day.
If any of this sounds familiar, you’re not alone. The morning rush can be chaotic and stressful, leaving you exhausted before your workday has even begun. But starting the day off like this has a major impact on the rest of your day. It can put you in a bad mood, lower your productivity, cause you to forget things, and make you wonder whether you should just give up on your dream of being an awesomely successful yogipreneur (you shouldn’t, by the way!).
How we feel in the morning can really set the tone for the rest of the day. Now, I’m not saying you need to start loving the mornings or changing your entire routine, but there are definitely things you can do to add some positivity and serenity to your day.
Here are 9 ways to infuse positivity and calmness into your morning
1. Plan and prepare the night before
Try to organise as many things as you can the night before. Decide what you’ll wear and have it ready and waiting, put any equipment you need in the car. Tidy up and make sure you know what everyone (including you) needs for the coming day. Plan your breakfast menu even if it’s just deciding on cereal or toast, and do as much prep work as you can before going to bed, e.g. put the cereal bowls and boxes on the table, and set the coffee machine so your coffee will be ready when you get up. During term-time, get school bags packed, uniforms set out, and lunches prepared.
Once you’ve finished your preparations, make a list of what you have to do the next day and make sure you’re totally ready.
2. Ease yourself into awake mode
Set your alarm earlier than necessary so that you don’t need to shoot out of bed straight away. Prop your pillow up and give yourself a few minutes to wake up and gather your thoughts. This is a great time to check in with yourself and perhaps even indulge in a quick 5-minute meditation.
3. Practice gratitude
Spend a minute or two making a list of things you’re grateful for. A mental list is fine but you get bonus points if you write these things down in a gratitude journal or on some paper!
4. Set an intention for the day
Decide what kind of day you would like to have. How do you want to feel? What do you need to do to achieve that feeling? If you have time, write about it in your journal. If not, spend just a moment or two visualising your day and focusing on your intention.
5. Get up before everyone else
By getting up before everyone else, you’ll have a few quiet minutes just for yourself. Give yourself this time to do something that makes you feel good. You could enjoy a cup of coffee while it’s still hot, write in your journal, read an inspirational book, or even just look out the window and let your mind wander. It doesn’t matter what you choose to do as long as it’s stress-free and refreshing.
Do some simple stretches to relieve muscle tension, wake up your sleepy limbs, and boost your energy. You don’t need to do anything fancy. Try doing some shoulder rolls and stretching your arms above your head and reaching as high as you can.
7. Play some feel good tunes
Upbeat music is a fantastic mood booster and motivator, so crank up the radio or belt out some power anthems in the shower or while you’re on the school run. You could even create your own morning playlist of songs that cheer you up and inspire you.
Make a conscious effort to smile. Think of something funny, watch a YouTube clip, or just force yourself to smile—even a fake smile triggers a release of feel-good endorphins and a reduction in physical tension and stress hormones. Plus, smiling is contagious and your smile is sure to put the rest of your family in a good mood too!
9. Breathe away the stress
Controlled deep breathing brings about a sense of calm and lowers blood pressure and heart rate, so find a minute in your morning to focus all of your attention on breathing deeply and slowly. Make a habit of taking a few deep breaths any time you feel your stress levels rising. Once the morning rush is over, spend a bit longer on this exercise to recenter and ground yourself