Always Well Within

Calm Your Mind, Ease Your Heart, Embrace Your Inner Wisdom

My Morning Routine: How I Start Each Day with Ease

my-morning-routine

When you start your day with a calm morning routine, ease will naturally punctuate the rest of your day.

In fact, research shows that an early morning increase in stress can continue all the way into the afternoon.  Best to avoid that, don’t you think?

Here’s a peek into my morning routine.  I hope it will inspire you to start your day off with ease too.

When I Open My Eyes

As soon as I open my eyes, I immediately look at my mind and observe whatever thoughts, emotions, or sensations may be passing through.

The practice of awareness immediately upon waking will enhance your ability to be more mindful throughout the day.  This mini-practice also reminds you of the transitory nature of thoughts and emotions, a nudge not to take them all so seriously.

Next, I make a wish that whatever I do during the day will bring benefit to others. This little practice gradually dilutes the ego and releases a flow of love and compassion.

Next Thing in the Morning

I start my day by drinking two glasses of water to clear out any sludge that may have accumulated during the night and rehydrate my body and brain.

Then I meditate for 20 to 60 minutes, depending upon the day of the week.  I combine brief breath work, mindfulness meditation, and mantra and visualization practices from the Tibetan Buddhist tradition.

At the end of my meditation, I sometimes draw 3 tarot cards for insight into my day.  At the moment, I’m using the Gaian Tarot,* which emphasizes healing the earth and healing ourselves.  I absolutely adore it and recommend it highly.

I sometimes add journaling into the mix as well, especially if I have emotions that need to be cleared or an insight to record.  Many of my deepest insights and most creative ideas, even blog posts topics, surface during that luminous space between sleep and waking.

Exercise in the Morning

Three days a week, I attend a two-hour morning Tai Chi class  On those days, I shorten my usual meditation period and cultivate presence as I practice Tai Chi.

I don’t exercise other mornings.  On those days, I opt for a longer meditation practice. I engage in physical activity in the afternoon instead.

My Breakfast Preferences

I skipped breakfast as part of an intermittent fasting program for three months earlier this year.  I loved how it opened up my time, but in the end it depleted my adrenals.

Right now, I’m keen on vegetable soup for breakfast.  I throw a mix of vegetables into some water with a dash of Hawaiian sea salt and let it simmer for 20 or 30 minutes.  Or I have fruit with freshly made almond milk.  I don’t drink coffee or black tea, ever.

Breakfast comes after meditation.

Technology In the Morning

I try to avoid technology in the morning at least until I’ve done a bit of meditation and when possible not until after my full meditation period.  Believe it or not, I don’t actively use a mobile phone so that removes one big temptation.  But sometimes commitments or an insatiable curiosity pulls me online earlier.

It hasn’t been easy to resist the online pull in the morning.  Since I reside in this unique time zone in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, I miss some of the best times to connect with people on the mainland.  For the most part, I’ve been able to let go of the driving desire to be online in those periods.  I’m happy I’ve chosen to start my day with calm instead.

How My Routine Has Changed

I used to leap out of bed and dive into work.  It’s been years, but not so long ago! That’s when I constantly stressed and eventually burned out.

I didn’t always have the habit of meditation first thing, but now I don’t go a day without it.  It takes patience to develop a regular meditation habit.  But it will come with a clear intention, the willingness to start again after dropping off (it happens to all of us), and persistence.

Weekend Mornings

I’m always happy when Saturday rolls around. I often gift myself Saturday mornings as a time to linger, relax, and nourish myself.  Since I don’t feel I “have to” do anything at all, I might spend more time in meditation, journal, take a relaxing bath, or read a book.

I publish my main post every Sunday on Always Well Within.  So that’s a day when I do get online earlier rather than later to get the word out on social media.

When My Routine Goes Wacky

It doesn’t happen often, but there are times when life interrupts my usual routine.  Like recently when we needed to leave early for the airport and a short flight to Maui.

I still make time to look at my mind and establish my motivation.  Even five minutes of mindfulness contributes to a more positive day.  So I don’t skip it even if I abbreviate it radically.

When I must miss my morning routine, I know I can practice mindfulness and kindness throughout the day. I don’t have to feel short-changed.  However, I don’t make skipping morning meditation practice a habit.

The Benefits of My Morning Routine

My morning routine reminds me I’m a spiritual being living in a material body and not the other way around.  So my morning ritual informs my whole day in the best possible way – putting mindfulness, awareness, and kindness at the forefront of my mind.

A calm morning routine also nurtures my body, keeps stress at bay, and improves my mental clarity for the remainder of the day.

You’ll probably have to give up something to create a nourishing morning routine. Just like I had to give up connecting online. But it’s so worth it.  You’ll see the positive effects of your morning ritual radiate throughout your day.

However, if you’re not able to establish a morning ritual, for whatever reason, don’t stress about it.  Try to give yourself just five or ten minutes first thing in the morning so you start your day feeling centered in yourself.

Then look at how you can incorporate smalls breaks throughout the day.  Read this for ideas:  Take a Break Before You Burnout.  And, as an alternative to a morning ritual, you could establish an evening routine instead, so you fall asleep with a calm heart and mind and wake up rested.

Thank you for your presence, I know your time is precious!  Don’t forget to sign up for my e-letter and get access to all the free self-development resources (e-books, mini-guides + worksheets) in the Always Well Within Library. May you be happy, well, and safe – always.  With love, Sandra

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22 Comments

  1. I do indeed have a morning routine, Sandra, and I wrote about it and the importance of morning and evening routines on my blog on Friday! I start my day with inspirational reading, coffee, and writing. Your routine sounds delightfully calming and refreshing. I especially love your focus on being a spiritual being living in a material body. Such a great thing to remember all through the day.

    • Hi Kathy! I’m so inspiring you have a nourishing routine in place. Inspirational reading is an important part of my life too. I love how we are all learning to take care of ourselves more and more. Thanks for sharing with us.

  2. I agree a morning routine is essential and I have been revamping mine since my injury….I find seasonally here it changes somewhat. I have also added an afternoon and evening ritual that also changes a bit with the seasons but I find it refreshing to pull me into a time to relax 3 times a day and create, contemplate and reflect.

  3. Just reading about your morning routine has left me feeling peaceful and contented Sandra! A big shoutout for that, since it’s towards the end of the day here and I needed a little peace!

    I do have a morning routine, which I don’t always follow…simple little rituals that sent the tone for my day.

    And truthfully, on the days I miss for some reason, the day doesn’t flow nearly as well. So this is a great reminder for me to stay on track. 🙂

    • I’m happy this has been an gentle and encouraging nudge for you, Elle. I know it’s easy to get off track with our routines, when we get busy with family, fall ill, and so forth. How wonderful you already have a nourishing morning routine. I have every confidence you’ll be back on track soon.

  4. Thanks for sharing your morning routine, Sandra. I have not been so successful about avoiding technology first thing in the morning and probably need to work on lessening my social media time in the am. It was working best when I kept my phones and laptop out of the bedroom. Otherwise, my morning routine includes meditation, prayer, writing and listening to inspirational talks. I’ve found the slower you start the beginning of the day, the better the day goes. I could not imagine a job or life that wouldn’t let me start the day slower each day. the flexibility of my work allows me to not rush in the am and take things more at my own pace.

    • Hello Vishnu, I’m happy you have such a good work arrangement that you can start your day in a relaxed way. I’m so inspired by your routine! I completely understand how challenging it is not to jump up and go online, especially when an important part of our life is online. I wish you the best with this!

  5. I have decided that my morning routine is the cat’s morning routine! :). He does not get invited into the bedroom at night because his playtime is 3 or 4 am and he will not take no for an answer! So when he finally does get some attention, he takes full advantage, needing lots of petting and greeting and feeding and holding. I do thank my angels for keeping me and hubby safe during the night and that I have such a wonderful little house and bed—so I try to start the day with gratitude. I like your idea of looking into my mind and seeing what is lurking there 🙂 I think I will try that, Sandra! I make hubby’s coffee first thing, and then get some green tea and hit the computer. I am so glad I have an old flip phone so I have to leave FB and email at home during the day. I do set timers so I have some control, but still …….:) I have lots of health helpers that have been willing to trade paintings for their work so many days my morning routine includes (after juicing and breakfast), a walk to the Network Chiropractor’s office or the wonderful naturapathic doc who gives me acupuncture and has really helped me solve several very awful health problems. I am very grateful for the “helpers” life has provided for me. As I heal, I am sure my routine will change…….cooler weather will make walking more appealing now, so I will include more of that, which I do for about an hour to an hour and a half a day. Interesting to take a look at how we “do” our mornings! Love to you! <3

    • Hi Jean,

      Yes, it is fun to look at how we do mornings. It’s almost an irresistible subject. Our cats start banging at the door anytime between 3 and 6 am so I know that one! When they do come in they want their cuddles too just like yours. So that is sometimes part of the relaxed action.

      Gratitude is an awesome way to start the day. I’m glad you have so much good help with your health. Beautiful blessings!

  6. I tend to have a personal evening routine more than a morning routine these days. My morning routine is just a simple lemon essential oil plus water and some personal dousing before I dive into work. However, if I have an order for an akashic or soul reading, it is also the time when I create the space for some sacred work. Any social media or reading of emails will have to wait. Still, reading your post has reminded me how important having morning routines are. I may look into allocating more time to starting the day right 🙂 Thank you!

    • Hello Evelyn,

      It’s nice that you have a simple routine in the mornings so that you can get into your work with ease. And isn’t an evening routine so sweet, giving the space to let go of any stress for the day. I’m inspiring by how you are taking care of yourself.

  7. What a wonderful way to start each day Sandra! I may steal a few and add them to my mornings – thank you 🙂

  8. I find your morning routine inspiring! I spend a good 30 mins feeding my animals and tending to their needs first thing when I get up. Cats like their routine and like to be fed at the same time every morning.

    Then I take my elderly dog on a walk -at least 15 mins, longer if he is up for it. I try to be mindful and observant on my walk. Then, I meditate for whatever time is remaining until 8:00.

    I try to be “at work” on the computer at 8:00. I do take a break after a couple of hours and work around the house, in the yard or garden, or go to a yoga class. And then after the break, it’s back to work for a couple more hours. Repeat.

    I try not to stay on the computer for more than 3-4 hours at a time. As you know, that doesn’t always work.

    • It’s so kind of you to think of your cats, first thing in the morning, Debbie. We have cats too. Although they are outdoor cats, they love to come in when we wake up to cuddle and eat of course. Sometimes my husband takes care of them, sometimes me, and sometimes we have a cuddle fest together. So this is another element of my morning routine!

      You are so diligent with your work! I’m inspired by how you take your self-care breaks in the midst of it all.

  9. Love reading about your morning routine, Sandra. Your 20 to 60 minutes of meditation is wonderful. I’m not nearly that long and not as consistent, but I do love it and find meditation so helpful.

    I agree that jumping to the computer first thing in the morning is not the best way to start a peaceful day. Thanks for sharing what works for you!

    • Sounds like you have a good thing going with your meditation, Cathy, on the days when it fits for you. That’s wonderful. I think more and more we’re all recognizing the dangers of too much computer time. And, I think that’s so healthy.

  10. Love your routine Sandra! So nurturing 🙂
    I do have a routine…but I dont stress about it on days when life gets in the way. I like the o with flow stress free way for me.
    My morning begins with prayer, meditation and then getting my daughter ready for school. After I drop her off early, I go for my power walk and love how nature recharges me. Then I am pumping to get to work!
    xoxo, Z~

    • I love how you don’t stress about your routine, Zeenat. I think that’s so important to living with more ease. You definitely have a great morning sequence. I admire how you are able to integrate your spiritual life with your care for your daughter and for yourself. Bravo!

  11. Wow, your mornings sound beautiful, serene and calm. I’ve never been much of a morning person, so I struggle to get going…. and exercise is a complete unknown for me in the morning! I try to find some quiet time and space to enjoy my morning cup of tea and contemplation. I also enjoy things like vegetable soup and stews in the morning (my friends think I’m crazy). I’ve just started a new routine using some gorgeous strength affirmation cards as an experiment. I’m really looking forward to seeing how it goes. Linda. 🙂

    • Sounds like you some some sweet time in the morning too, Linda, even though it’s not entirely smooth for you. Those strength affirmations cards sound terrific. Enjoy the experiment!

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