I’m a dreamer. My brain fires non-stop with creative ideas. I often struggle to focus long enough to execute my ideas—so I’ve frequently wondered how to get mental clarity.
I’ve caught myself too many times getting complacent and just focusing on what has to get done to get through the day.
My priority in 2020 has been pursuing the idea that we are all the creators of our lives. So often, we get caught up in reacting to our day-to-day lives rather than creating our lives.
I’m certainly guilty of that. It can seem more exhausting to create your life as opposed to reacting to it. But once you get in the groove of creating your days, magic flows.
I’m talking about taking the red pill here.
How to Get Mental Clarity if You’re Frazzled, Unfocused and Unmotivated
Knowing I haven’t been living up to my highest potential, I set out recently to create days that bring me mental clarity and focus.
This way I can 1) get clarity on what I truly want for my life and then 2) be able to roll up my sleeves and create that life.
I spent weeks researching all the things the mind, body, and soul need to gain the mental clarity and focus I wanted. Then I tested those strategies on myself, taking into consideration the things I already know about my body.
Here’s a summary of my 30-day challenge to change my morning routine to gain mental clarity and focus. I map out all the things I did to alter my diet, my mind, and feed my soul.
My 30-Day Challenge to Get Mental Clarity and Focus
I gave myself 2 hours and 30 minutes each morning to do my morning routine. It was a nice luxury to have that much time before starting my day.
It was easier than I thought because the kids were home from school because of COVID-19, so I didn’t have to make space to get them all ready and off in the morning. But even if the kids were in school, I often start my day at 4:30, so I would’ve had this time anyway.
Here’s a timeline of my morning, then I’ll recap why I do the following:
6:30 am – Wake up … without hitting a snooze—an amazing feat for me. Brush my teeth and get dressed.
6:40 am – Take my dog, Gus, outside for a little walk and soak up some Vitamin D and fresh air.
6:50 am – Drink a large glass of lemon saltwater. I prep this before bed the night before.
7:00 am – Yoga flow. I do a routine of all poses meant to bring you mental clarity and focus.
7:25 am – 10-minute calm meditation. Wim Hof breathing exercise. Affirmations. Pray. Gratitude. Oracle reading. Journaling.
7:55 am – Prep my bulletproof coffee, then hop in the shower.
8:10 am – I end the shower with 30 seconds or more of cold water. Get dressed in sweatpants and blow dry my hair for Zoom meetings later in the day.
8:30 am – Finish making my coffee and enjoy it for 30 minutes while I watch Masterclass.
Why I Do This Morning Routine
The first big adjustment for me was not having any coffee as soon as I wake up. At the suggestion of Aubrey Marcus in his Own The Day, Own Your Life book, I’ve delayed this ritual in my morning routine. I realize now that drinking coffee first thing in the morning was certainly out of habit.
Instead of ingesting caffeine, I found it help to get in some movement and Vitamin D while taking my dog for a walk. It’s one way I found of how to get mental clarity Usually I would just let him outside to do his thing that early in the morning, but now I go outside too.
Adding in yoga is also new for me. While I’m not a stranger to working out, I almost never do it first thing in the morning. Plus, who knew there were yoga poses meant to give you clarity and focus?!?! Not me!
The water with salt and lemon is something I would remember to do occasionally, so I wanted to get more rigorous about doing this during my 30-day challenge.
As Aubrey explains in his book, you wake up in the morning already dehydrated. Coffee is not the first thing you should put in your body. The lemon saltwater helps your body hydrate and regain important minerals lost while sleeping.
How to Get Mental Clarity With Meditation
The meditation, breathing exercises, affirmations, gratitude, oracle reading, and journaling are not new for me, either.
These actions have been my morning routine for the past four years. I implemented this in my day while going through a difficult time and transition in life. So much change. So much death and grief. This became the foundation of my mental health and sanity.
To meditate, I use Calm app.
For my Wim Hof Method Breathing exercise, I usually use this video. Although, I’ve done it so many times that I often do it without the video and use my Calm app sounds so I can have a deeper meditation.
For Oracle Readings, check out this blog post I wrote to understand what the hell I’m doing, why I do it, how you can do it, and which decks fit your style.
Cold showers suck, but they certainly help shock your body awake and are an important facet of how to get mental clarity.
Wim Hof is a pretty incredible human being and I enjoy his breathing workout, but I used to always skip the cold shower part. Yet after watching The Goop Lab, episode 2 (available on Netflix) with Wim Hof and reading it again in Own the Day, Own Your Life (all within a period of a few days), I decided to work it into my routine.
Cold showers are known to increase positive mental health. They build mental toughness. I can always use more of that. Plus, I love doing Cryotherapy, and since I’m on safe-at-home orders, a cold shower gets the job done.
Masterclass is new and really doesn’t do anything special for my mental clarity and focus besides the fact that I really enjoy it. It’s one of the best parts of my day—enough to get me out of bed excited to enjoy my special coffee while learning from experts in their craft.
Make This Challenge Your Own
I’m not saying you should copy my exact morning routine, although you’re welcome to if you’re wondering how to get mental clarity. Take a look at this routine and adapt it so that it feels right to you.
Maybe you swap coffee for matcha tea or Masterclass for a book. You do you.
The important thing is to set a morning routine that will allow you to set the tone for the rest of your day and get your mind working how it should.