It’s so darn tempting to want to get to work straight away. Maybe you’ve got tons of urgent to-do’s on your list. Maybe you’re bursting with energy and just want to get going. The total opposite could also be the case by the way, in which you are dreading to start on a certain task. Whatever the case, it’s definitely worth it to start off your workday mindfully. Below are a few suggestions that might help. See what resonates with you and listen to your own intuition. For all the perfectionists out there: no, you don’t have to do it all and it doesn’t have to be perfect either; in order start off your workday mindfully.
When you take the time to center yourself, it will help align your body and spirit; preparing you for the workday ahead. Being mindful will help elevate your mindset and will support you in doing your work with focus and attention. It helps to minimise distractions and you’ll feel way more satisfied than trying to get through that entire to-do list like a maniac.
Prep your workspace
First off, let’s have a look at the space you’ll be working in today. It could very well be that you are currently working from home. Do you have a designated office (lucky you!) or are you making do with a small workspace in your kitchen or bedroom? Either way, it’s important to check if your workspace gives off a positive vibe. Does it make your work enjoyable? See if your desk is clear of any clutter (for the most part). A cluttered desk often brings about chaos and brain fog. Don’t forget to put something green in your line of sight. A small plant, a single flower, a bouquet. It will help you to take those small breathers in between work. Same goes for a nice (scented) candle, incense or an oil diffuser. Smell has the power to evoke certain feelings and energies. Do you need a calm, peaceful start of your workday? Try scents such as lavender and chamomile. Could you use a bit of an energetic boost? Then try for example mint, orange or ylang-ylang. Lighting a candle is such a beautiful ritual to start your workday. It can be used to mindfully set an intention, plus: instant cozy vibes!
If you’re reading this and you’re thinking: sitting still for 30 minutes is not my jam, don’t worry! A few minutes is all it takes to help center yourself. You can meditate in many different ways. Some people like to stare into the flame of a candle, which calms their running thoughts. Others like to listen to (short) guided meditations or visualisations. You could also do a quick body scan (mindfully letting your attention go to various parts of your body, one at a time); either laying down or sitting on a chair. Whatever you do, it will help you to make better choices and you’ll be able to do the work while being true to yourself. It helps you to stay focused during the day, rather than getting distracted by expectations of others (or external stimuli).
One of the things that I love to do to start off my day mindfully, is to draw a tarot or oracle card for insight or guidance. That one card will give you a general idea of what’s to come and will give you the opportunity to prepare yourself and – if needed – steer into a different direction.
You’ll notice that, with these one-card pulls, you’ll develop a stronger connection to both your intuition and your oracle/tarot deck. The more you do it, the better you’ll become at discovering what that card has to tell you. There’s nothing wrong with checking the booklet or searching online – but always check to see if you truly agree with this explanation. Your intuition knows best and if an explanation doesn’t match what you think the card means then please go with your gut instinct!
You’ve probably heard the term morning pages before? It’s a journaling technique in which you intuitively write a total of 2-3 pages, filled with whatever springs to mind. It doesn’t have to make sense, it doesn’t even have to be full sentences (or grammatically correct for that matter). Just write down whatever pops up. It’s preferably done first thing in the morning (hence the name), but I’ve also heard people using this technique to clear their head before they go to bed at night.
Morning pages are very effective and work two-fold: first off they help to clear your mind of any negative thoughts, fears, anxiety and other things that “take up space” in your mind. This will keep your mind from wandering off during your workday; be it thinking about a grocery list or that awful conversation you had with your partner.
The second benefit from this journaling technique is that these 2-3 pages give you a valuable insight into your current mindset and (mental) blocks. You can use this technique to have a conversation with yourself. Listen to what your head, heart and spirit have to say to you. The most important thing is to never judge what you are writing at that moment. Definitely give this technique a try!
Moving your body
Exercise is very personal. Some people are fanatic athletes and will benefit from going for a jog every single morning. Others, not so much (myself included). It’s not that I don’t like sports but I want to move my body because it feels good not because it’s expected of me (or something I should do). Movement can come in many forms and they certainly don’t have to make you sweat! For example: you can do soft stretches, a (short) yin yoga class, a walk around the block. Mindful movement will help to center yourself in your body and be more present. It’s all a matter of figuring out what type of movement suits you best and finding a way to integrate this into your morning routine.