Renewing My Morning Routine: Mindfulness Practices

This week I want to talk about mental health and the importance of being mindful of one’s actions. For anyone new to my blog or who doesn’t know, I have been in the process of grieving the loss of a family pet since last December and it has taken me a long time to feel more like myself and in the mood to actually feel good in my body since then. Recently, I have taken it upon myself to find new ways to improve my mental health on a daily basis. While in the process of doing that, I have been slowly introducing mindfulness practices and taking the time to enjoy little moments by myself. I would like to share a list of ways I have been slowly improving my mood by switching up my morning routine and just being intentional about how I start my day.

Before I go to bed each night I make sure the alarm clock is set on my phone. In the past, I just used the alarm on the iPhone clock app, but recently I decided to try the health app. This app is nothing new and is a default app on any new iPhone, but I didn’t know its benefits until now. The app allows you to create a sleeping schedule. To set this up, you choose a time in which you want your phone to go into night mode and when you want your wake-up to be. You can also choose which apps you want to have access to when you are in night mode so that you can get in the habit of winding down and letting your mind relax at a specific time. My goal right now is to get at least 8 hours of sleep on my work days. You can also choose your alarm sound and let me tell you, the alarm options on the health app are so much nicer to wake up to than the one on the clock app. The sounds are designed to start soft and then get progressively louder the longer you let them go off. I love the sound of piano so right now my favorite sound to wake up to is Early Riser which is just lovely.

This is a screenshot from the clock app of my current wake-up schedule. Sometimes I wake up earlier or later or go to bed later, but it’s nice I can adjust these times to my liking and that it will show me exactly how much sleep I will get.
A screenshot of when you click on the sleep schedule in the health app. As you can see I am getting about a half hour of sleep less than my sleep goal on a daily basis. It’s interesting to see what days I did really good at meeting my sleep goal and days I didn’t do so well.

Once I do get up, I start my day as I normally would by taking a shower, brushing my teeth, etc. While I do my normal grooming and makeup routine I decided that instead of listening to music as I usually did, I would introduce listening to podcasts while I complete those tasks. The podcast I am currently obsessed with is “Gals On The Go,” with Danielle Carolan and Brook Miccio who are just the most bubbly, pleasant, and interesting women to listen to. They are based in New York and talk about a variety of topics from skincare to fashion, to concerts and events that they have been to or want to go to, hot takes, opinions they share, television shows they are watching, etc., and sometimes they will invite other content creators on their podcasts to talk about different subjects as well. These friends are just so much fun to listen to and while I don’t know them personally, they seem like very down-to-earth, cool people who I would love to meet someday. I listen to them on Spotify, but they also have a YouTube channel where you can watch all their podcast sessions. They post every Wednesday and I am just now getting caught up on this week’s episode as I have been going back and listening to their past podcasts. Their podcasts are the boost of energy I need to keep me from wanting to crawl back into bed in the morning.

I love the “gals” and listening to their adventures. It makes me want to venture outside of my own comfort bubble at home and explore more of what this world has to offer.

After I am done getting ready, it’s time for breakfast. Now, don’t judge me, but I used to skip breakfast pretty much every single day and I know, I know, “breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” Well, a lot of the time I would just sleep in too long and leave no time to make breakfast. However, now I am leaving myself enough time after getting ready to make a substantial breakfast and it is totally worth it, and I don’t plan on going back. My go-to breakfast has been an avocado toasted bagel with two eggs, and a cup of coffee with oat milk. I have been loosely following an avocado toast recipe from Bria Lemirande on TikTok, but changed some of the ingredients to what I have in my kitchen instead. Below is the recipe for anyone interested in making this delicious breakfast.

Avocado Toasted Bagel Recipe
Ingredients:
– 1 Plain Bagel
– 1 Avocado
– 2 Eggs
– 1 tbsp Unsalted Butter
– Small scoop of Cream Cheese
– Squeeze of Lemon Juice
– Drizzle of Honey
– Dash of Salt & Pepper
– Dash of Red Pepper Flakes
-Dash of Everything But The Bagel seasoning (Trader Joes)
– Parmesan Cheese
Directions:
Toast both sides of the bagel, and prepare your avocado mash while the bagel is toasting.
In a small bowl or on a cutting board, cut the avocado into slices and mash with the backside of a fork. Add remaining ingredients to avocado mash, cream cheese, a drizzle of honey, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes, and combine.
Heat unsalted butter in a pan until melted. Fry your two eggs and add salt and pepper on top at the end of cooking.
Assemble the bagel by spreading avocado mash on both sides, placing one fried egg on each side, and topping off with parmesan, and enjoy!

The finished product! I am no culinary expert so please don’t judge my presentation. It might not look amazing but as long as it takes good that’s all that matters.

After I am done with breakfast it’s usually time to go. I’m a big Spotify user, so I have a ton of different playlists I will listen to in the car depending on what mood I am in that day. Now that I pretty much leave my house in a good mood almost every morning, which has been a huge milestone for me, I try to listen to some upbeat and happy tunes on the way to work. Right now for the summer, my current go-to playlists have been “Mamma Mia Summer Vibes,” by Rach, and “If young Donna Sheridan were a playlist,” by Flawless. These playlists are so bright and happy and are just the perfect way to start my morning commute, for any of my Mamma Mia lovers out there, I definitely encourage you to check them out. They of course feature Abba, as well as Harry Styles, Taylor Swift, Fleetwood Mac, and more. I’m a huge music lover, so I like to switch up who I listen to and the genres I listen to, but those have been my most listened-to playlists recently.

A culmination of 70s Abba music and Mamma Mia the movie 1&2
This playlist features a culmination of 70s Abba music and Mamma Mia the movie 1 & 2.
This playlist has pop, indie, and 70s music. Each song reminds me of the different sides of Donna. The long-lost love, the adventurer, the dreamer, etc.
This playlist has pop, indie, and 70s music. Each song reminds me of the different sides of Donna. The long-lost love, the adventurer, the dreamer, etc.

That’s it! Just some minor changes that I have put into practice that have significantly helped boost my mood in the morning. Of course, I could have been doing these things years ago and I’m sure some of you already do these things on a regular basis, but I also put together another list of some other mindful morning practices to try if you are looking to switch up your morning routine too. The goal of being mindful is to be intentional and present in each step of your morning routine to escape from that cyclical feeling of burnout that so many of us feel.

-Morning stretches
-Meditation
-30 min walk
-Guided yoga
-Journaling

Please let me know in the comments if you have started implementing any of these into your day and how it is going for you!

My dog Blue was intent on being a part of my morning photoshoot.


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