Here’s why I’ve stayed away from blogging for so long:
Is it relevant anymore? Are people our age still reading?
Yet here we are, back with another blog which I will more than likely turn into a podcast episode because it’s what I’ve been digging lately. If you haven’t subscribed to my podcast The Mindfully Lifted Project you can find it on all podcast platforms- click here for more.
OKAY, so for everyone who has been following along hi, hello, welcome back!
For those of you who just stumbled across my Instagram or maybe you listened to my podcast that lead you this way, however you got here, hey I’m Kamela. Lots of people IRL (in real life) know me as Kami though. I’ve got quite the list of job titles at my place of work ranging from marketing creative, managing a team and personal training. With a super crazy, fast-paced schedule and always having to engage with other humans it is so important for me to start my days on the right side of the bed.
Over time I unintentionally created a personal routine of habits that clear my headspace and make sure I set myself up to have a pretty awesome day.
So let’s do this, here are my 11 Habits for a Positive and Productive Day.
You may remember I drew up a little hand-lettered, stick figure, bullet point doodle thing and posted it to my Instagram story a few weeks ago ( IG: @kamelaceleste) and it got a lot of good feedback so I thought I’d expand on this topic and share why these 11 things work for me and how they can potentially get you off to the perfect start to your day as well.
When I was younger I hated routines, like with a passion, hated them. I always wanted to “go with the flow” and do what I wanted to do, when I wanted to do it. Yet, as I grew older I started to crave that routine in the morning. Without some sense of structure and doing small things I enjoyed at the start of each day, I just began to feel all over the place and the opposite of “go with the flow”. I noticed how I began my day was generally how the rest of my day would end up. For example, If I overslept, rushed around to brush my teeth, grab breakfast on the way out the door with my shoes halfway on, that's how the rest of my day would go rushed, stressed and panicked. But the opposite happened when I started my day at ease and with a plan. The rest of my day just flowed. I was clear-headed, calm, and didn’t sweat the stuff I couldn’t control.
I noticed that setting the tone, mood, vibe, whatever you want to call it was key to having that fantastic day.
So the first thing I started doing each morning is letting in some natural light. I am a sucker for being woken up naturally via sunrise, it’s just so relaxing and a gentle way to wake up. Now, whether it's cloudy, raining, or sunny, getting exposure to natural light tells your body- your circadian rhythm, hey, it’s time to wake up! Now if you wake up super early and its really dark or live somewhere where it’s dark I have a remedy for that. It’s called a sun lamp alarm clock which is exactly as it sounds, wakes you up with an alarm and artificial sunlight to mimic natural light.
The second thing I do is make my bed. I don’t know why this is such a simple joy to me but I genuinely enjoy making my bed. It’s the first “task”/ “accomplishment” I can cross off my mental to-do list and it's a simple way to wire your brain for productivity.
Next I usually down a full glass of water. Water first thing in the morning not only helps your body wake up as well and get things flowing internally but while you sleep you aren’t drinking water for 6-9 hours a night which yes, we all know, hydration is super important! Especially when it comes to cognitive performance, mood and alertness etc etc.
I’m sure you’re wondering when coffee comes into the mix because even if you only know like 4 things about me, you know ya girl is a coffee connoisseur! This step is optional or can be adjusted to caffeine/ tea of your choice because I know not all of us are coffee drinkers… weirdos. Kidding kidding, one of my very best friends doesn't drink coffee actually lol. But the point is to get my brain going and ready for some writing, meditation, and reflection.
So I make myself a cup of coffee and mosey to my desk to start the good stuff.
Onto number 5, the fifth thing I do each morning is select and light my incense. I take my incense selecting very seriously ( if you haven't seen my favorites video on my IGTV where I share the HUGE assorted incense box I got, be sure to check that out) So my go-to scent no matter what I’m feeling is usually bamboo but lately, I’ve also been feeling frankincense and jasmine. Each has their own properties but I’ll save getting into all that for another blog/ episode. A scent, whether it be incense, and essential oil diffuser or a candle can really brighten the mood, and raise the energy in your space.
After lighting some incense at my desk I find some meditation frequency music on YouTube and let that play in the background as I write my morning pages. If you’re wondering what the heck are morning pages? Wow wow wow, talk about a life-changing tool, this is definitely one of them in my opinion. Morning pages are a conversation with yourself, a way to navigate all that's jumbled up in your head. If you’re anything like me I have A LOT of thoughts, constantly which won’t allow me to be fully present throughout the day if I don’t work through them and get them all down on paper. So literally whatever is surfacing at the time you sit down to write is literally what you begin to write about. How is this helpful? Without making this a huge subtopic of this post - morning pages allow you to sort through your conscious and subconscious thoughts, they allow you to clear your mind and let source speak through you. They are the ultimate tool for self-discovery and self-care. I swear by them. They are also the inspiration for 95% of my poetry/ creativity/ work.
Number 7 is picking out an outfit I’m going to feel confident in. I know it’s a simple thing but my logic, if you’re feeling confident and comfortable in what you’ve got on, this alone can raise your vibration if you’re feeling yourself. And if you don’t have any everyday outfits that spark self-love, guess what?! Time to go shopping girl, because you deserve it!
Outfit, check. Time to do my makeup, brush my teeth, do my hair, etc. Now, if you’ve been watching my stories you know I’ve been really into wearing less and less makeup. So my new routine takes me maybe 15-20 mins max. While I’m doing my face I’ll throw on a guided morning meditation from YouTube. Meditation is also another way to set your intentions for the day, express gratitude, and connect with source.
After putting myself together, brain included, I make my first meal. Personally, I enjoy higher protein and fats in the morning as I’ve noticed it’s what's best for my cognitive performance. Right now my go-to breakfast has been hard-boiled eggs/ egg whites, avocado, and blueberries, but I also enjoy smoothies for those on-the-go days. Starting with something nutritious lets me set the tone for my eating habits throughout the day and it also lets my body know I’m taking time to care for it and what I put into it.
So we’ve had the perfect morning but what happens after that? What do we do during the day to keep up our productivity?
Well friends, getting that blood moving and circulating is a great way to keep the body and brain healthy and flowing. Just about every day, I aim for 30-90 mins of exercise. I enjoy weight lifting, reformer Pilates, and yoga. I don’t actually enjoy cardio but I try to aim for 3-4 sessions a week. Pro-tip, pop on Netflix while you're on a cardio machine and watch the time fly by!
Lastly, just like we set the perfect morning don’t forget to wind down with intention too! At the end of the day I make myself an herbal cup of tea and read for at least 15 minutes before bed (I try to avoid my phone or laptop to do this as the blue light from our screens mimics daylight and throws off our circadian rhythm ( the natural internal clock inside your body which is triggered by light, ie. sunrise, daylight, sunset, night time/ darkness).
After wrapping up my reading, I make sure I set my alarm, turn on an evening guided meditation, turn off all the lights, flip my phone over so no light comes from that, and get to sleep with enough time to allow myself 7-8 hours of rest.
It’s the little things, like these habits, that really make for that positive and productive day. Making time for yourself first thing in the morning whether that looks like these habits of mine or your own unique set, is so important for setting yourself up to conquer anything the day throws at you.
Let me know if you found this helpful by leaving a comment below or DMing me on Instagram @kamelaceleste (I’m most responsive here!).
And be sure to look out for the audio of this blog post via The Mindfully Lifted Podcast airing soon (updates will be on my Instagram).
Until next time beautiful humans,