How to get a calm morning routine
No 5am gym workouts to see here
image Team Woo
words Sophie Lou Wilson
Whether it’s your iPhone alarm’s shrill cry, chugging a strong cup of coffee or piling onto a busy tube, mornings can often feel like the opposite of calm. We get it. Waking up early is hard, especially during winter when it’s dark outside, but if you wind down before bed to prepare your body for sleep, why not show yourself the same kindness in the mornings?
TikTok and YouTube are awash with 5am morning routines that squeeze in workouts, journaling and side hustles all before breakfast. But for non-morning people, these early morning routines might as well be advanced rocket science. It’s just not going to happen.
You don’t have to wake up at 5 to have a calm morning, but studies show that routines can help reduce anxiety. “Starting the morning more peacefully can mean that we are much more productive in the areas we want to be,” says health expert and acupuncturist Ross J. Barr. “One of the best things you can do for yourself to encourage peace is not look at your phone, laptop or iPad for the first 45 minutes of the day. The moment we do, we start to become reactive to external factors like work emails, news, social feeds etc. instead of being proactive in our own lives.”
Calm morning routine
“We start to run on cortisol the moment we look at our phones,” Barr continues. “For both good and bad reasons, it will often dictate what you do next regardless of what you had in mind for yourself. Even if all you do is eat breakfast and have a cup of tea and take a shower, it will ground you in a completely different way. It sets an intention for the day that you will be responsible for how you feel, not others.”
So, it turns out that having a calm morning is as much about what you avoid as it is about what you do. Whether you’re a morning person or you snooze your alarm 8-10 times a day, we’ve curated a realistic calm morning guide to kickstart your day right. Pick and choose which of the quick tips below you think will help make your mornings feel more mindful.
Wake up naturally
First things first. Waking up and getting out of bed is the hardest part, but waking up with Lumie’s Sunrise Alarm imitates the sunrise to help rouse you from sleep naturally. The sunrise starts 30 minutes before your alarm time and slowly brightens over half an hour to wake you up gently. It comes with natural sounds like birdsong or a purring kitten instead of a shrill alarm ring as well as six different colour settings to suit your mood.
Apply a calm patch
Ross J. Barr’s calm patches uses essential oils to calm the mind. “Putting them on your temples is a great way to stimulate a very effective acupuncture point that helps you focus and calm the neural pathways,” Barr explains. “The act of putting them on and having them there is also a good way to state your intent to yourself for how you want the day to go.”
Do some breathing exercises
Conscious, calm breathing lowers your stress levels. Essentially, breathing is like the remote control of your nervous system that helps you relax. Even if you have just a few spare minutes in the morning, use Moonbird’s guided breathing tool to slow your heart rate and feel calm. It fits in the palm of your hand and comes with an accompanying app to track your heart rhythm, heart rhythm variability and coherence. The app also offers various guided breathing exercises and meditations.
Use essential oils
Essential oils can calm and refresh at the same time. Lemongrass essential oil is particularly useful for immunity. With its beautifully sweet lemon-like aroma, it’s used in many spas for its detoxifying and clarifying effects. Simply put a few drops into an essential oil diffuser to start your day.
Use a roll on essential oil
Ede’s Morning Brew Roll On essential oil is calming and energising at the same time. A zesty, vibrant boost will put a twist on your mornings, setting the mood and boosting your energy without the use of caffeine. It also encourages concentration and productivity so you feel prepared to tackle anything the day throws your way.
Take an adaptogen
Adaptogens are natural plants and mushrooms that help your body respond to stress, anxiety and fatigue. This daily wellness set from The Herbtender is an uplifting combination of body-boosting ginseng and immune-supporting herbs to help you tackle the day’s ups and downs.
Try a calming gummy
Taking vitamins was so much more fun as a kid when they came in the form of sweets. Tap into those memories with Nourished’s vitamin gummies for calm. They’re packed with powerful therapeutic, natural ingredients and also contain a dose of Ashwagandha which has been used for centuries to reduce anxiety, tension and cortisol levels. Time to find your zen.
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