Mindful mornings: how to energise your day

Mindful mornings: how to energise your day

Our mornings set the tone for the entire day, impacting how we think, feel and behave, and if you’ve ever ‘got up on the wrong side of bed’ you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. Equally, if you tend to start your days off well, you’ve probably experienced the reduced stress and improved mood that this leads to.

I’m sure we can agree that mornings are important, but what’s harder to agree on is what makes up the perfect recipe for a morning routine and how we can actually stick to it. 

To tackle this, we’ve combined our favourite science-backed strategies for getting your day off to a great start, with a healthy dose of realism, making it actually possible to slot into your (already busy) lives.

Below you’ll find 5 elements to a strong science-backed morning routine. 

Doing everything is going to be overwhelming, so perhaps pick and choose something under each category that you can slot into your schedule? Or, further down, we’ve also provided actionable tips on tailoring a routine that works specifically for you.

At a glance our 5 science-backed elements:

  1. The art of a slow start: take a moment to be in the moment
  2. Let the good vibes in: nudge towards positivity
  3. Move your body
  4. Get outside
  5. Get the good stuff in: hydrate & nourish


  1. The art of a slow start: take a moment to be in the moment 

Grant yourself the gift of slowness. It’s a busy world out there and we can often feel the pressure to be productive straight away, give yourself permission to resist that urge. Take a moment to just be in the moment, here are 3 ways you could do this:

Grogginess & creativity 
Evidence has shown that our morning grogginess can actually be good for creativity, who would have thought? So allow yourself to just be a groggy human for a moment. While doing this, avoid reaching for technology or distractions, allow yourself to just be. 
Another great way to be present that is widely referenced as a fantastic start to the day is meditation. Take a few minutes out to just settle your mind in stillness, don’t get carried away by your thoughts and instead, perhaps, just focus on the rhythm of your breath for a moment. If you’re new to meditation, check out CALM for very accessible guided sessions or Headspace who have great structured sets around topics such as anxiety.
Consider clearing any mental clutter through journaling. Often just getting things off your mind and into a notebook in the morning can stop your head swirling with ‘things to do’, decisions and worries that would otherwise take up space. The science shows regular journaling lowers anxiety, boosts your mood and contributes to an overall sense of wellbeing.

  1. Let the Good Vibes In: focus on the positive 

To some extent, you can actually nudge yourself towards being in a good mood and feeling positive about yourself and your capabilities. Gratitude, positive affirmations and visualisation are tools to achieve this.

When we express gratitude, our brain releases serotonin and dopamine making us feel good. An easy way of applying this in the morning is to think of 3 things that you’re grateful for. Another method would be to think about someone you appreciate and send them a message. When you make a habit of focusing on the good stuff in life, your overall wellbeing benefits.
Positive affirmations
These are statements we repeat to challenge negative thoughts. Whether it's work stress or unmet goals, life's challenges can impact our self-perception. Regularly practising positive affirmations reshapes our neural pathways, promoting more constructive thinking. These daily expressions boost our confidence, enhance resilience, and cultivate optimism. It can’t hurt to remind yourself before setting off for the day that you’re a strong and capable human, can it? Tips for designing the perfect affirmations for you can be found here.
Another way of tapping into positivity is visualising a future scenario you’re working towards. This might sound a bit out there, but studies have found it incredibly effective in multiple settings, including sports performance, skill training, enhancing motivation and achieving goals. The technique involves creating vivid mental images and this harnesses the mind's ability to shape positive outcomes by engaging similar neural pathways to the actual experiences. You can find tips for visualisation here.

  1. Move Your Body
Some form of morning exercise, whether it's yoga, a walk, or quick dance, releases endorphins, improving your mood and energy levels. Exercise has also been shown to improve your decision making, focus and attention so it is a great way to kick off your day.
Even just a stretch has a positive impact! Morning stretches improve blood flow, release muscle tension, and enhance flexibility. You're prepping your body for the day and also promoting overall well-being. 

  1. Get Outside
Getting outdoors in the morning offers a range of benefits for physical and mental wellbeing. The exposure to natural light helps regulate circadian rhythms, promoting better sleep patterns. The fresh air and sunlight enhance mood and reduce stress, contributing to improved mental health. Finally, the connection with nature fosters a feeling of calmness and balance, setting a positive tone for the day.
Why not combine points 3 & 4 and get outside for a walk or run?

  1. Get the good stuff in: hydrate & nourish
Our bodies are about 60% water and we need it to function. Drinking water in the morning can help set you up by supporting flushing out toxins, improving mental performance and potentially even boosting your mood. 
Breakfast is a great opportunity to get those all important minerals, vitamins and fibre into your body early on. Having a good breakfast can provide you with the stable energy levels you need to concentrate in the morning. It can stop you from feeling hungry and tastes great.

What is the right routine for you? Our 3 actionable tips:

Navigating the options and establishing a morning routine without feeling overwhelmed requires a strategic approach. Focus on impact and consistency, tailoring activities to fit your unique rhythm and schedule. 

  • Primary & secondary routines
Before you start adding in what’s referred to as ‘secondary routines’, make sure you have your ‘primary routines’ sorted. These are your basic needs in life, so: hygiene, sleep and eating. Address these first and make sure they are strong before trying to add on too many ‘secondary’ elements. 
  • Develop a plan that suits you
Develop a plan that prioritises routines that work with your circadian rhythm and lifestyle. If you’re a night owl, maybe you can start with addressing your evening routine instead, placing more emphasis on items at this time of the day and keeping your mornings simple? If you have kids to sort out, or an early start for work, start small by adding in something that feels realistic. Don’t compromise on losing too much of a ‘primary’ factor, such as sleep, in order to fit in a 10-step ‘secondary’ routine. 
  • Test and learn
Give it a go, track your progress, celebrate wins and adjust as you find out what works for you.

Remember, with routines you’re never going to nail it all the, if you fall off the wagon for a few days or a month that’s fine, just pick it back up. Don’t focus on perfection, concentrate on progress and the actual tangible impact small changes can have on your life and mental wellbeing. 

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