How to create a mindful morning routine.


With Shareefa J


Model and influencer Shareefa J started a new morning routine in lockdown and hasn’t looked back since. From ditching her phone at night to having two hours just for herself at dawn, she reveals how this newfound precious time has benefited her health and mindset. 


2020 has thrown up myriad challenges for pretty much everyone. But for Shareefa J, the pause that came with lockdown allowed her to reflect and get every day off to a good start.  
“For me, life before lockdown was rushed. I was constantly on the go – modelling, travelling, getting to hotels late, and not eating proper meals. I didn’t realise it at the time, but I was crumbling,” she says. “Since starting my morning routine, I feel more together. Rather than being fragments of a person, I feel whole. I wake up and am reflecting in advance of the day. It's helped me connect to who I am, and to my purpose in life.” 
Here, she reveals her mindful morning routine – and how you can create one, too.  


Ditch your phone

Being on social media constantly can have a negative impact on your sleep and mental health. You might see something triggering before bed or as soon as you wake up. I have a strict rule that I don’t look at my phone after 10pm and I won’t look at it until at least an hour into my day. This has been life changing. Technology is designed to be addictive, so it takes a lot of resilience to set boundaries. But you need to get proper rest to be able to function” 


Wake up slowly (and channel your inner lion!)

We have this idea that we have to jump out of bed and be on the go immediately. But this sends cortisol rushing through your body and can make you feel anxious. If you look at lions in the wild, they wake up slowly and take their time to yawn and stretch, instead of hunting straight away. I always have that analogy in my mind when I wake up.”  


Dedicate your first 15 minutes to yourself

“We spend so much time focusing on what others want from us, so do something for yourself first thing. This isn’t selfish—if you don’t put yourself first, you can’t be the person you need to be to help others. Do 15 minutes of whatever brings you joy, whether that’s making your bed, opening the windows and sitting in the fresh air, or going for a walk. Tap into what you love.” 

“For me, that often means doing a vinyasa flow. I love to include headstands in the morning, but downward-facing dog is also great. Inversions get the oxygen to your brain, increase flow of the lymphatic system, and even help your hair to grow!”


A proper breakfast

“After my skincare routine, I’ll eat a breakfast of oats, juice and espresso. I also take 14 supplements in the morning and six in the evening—everything from vitamin B to mood-boosting ashwagandha. I truly believe in the power of supplements; they make you radiant!” 




Shareefa J is a model, presenter and influencer based in London. She’s also an activist, natural beauty advocate and passionate about all things health and wellness.