The path to a mindful morning is fraught with challenges. Waking up is the easy part, but what comes next? Do you roll out of bed into the office without pausing to think? Or do you rise before the sun to make time for meditation and a nourishing breakfast? We’ve spoken to our favorite wellness friends to learn how to add mindfulness to our mornings, so you can start the day calmer and more grounded.

Today we speak with pilates instructor, model, coffee guru, wellness fanatic, and soon-to-be mom, Alex Kate Knight, about her morning routine, and how she makes time for mindfulness.

Splendid Spoon: Are you an early bird or a snooze button addict?

Alex: I’m an early bird. I always get up at 6.30am. I love achieving a lot by 11am!

SS: Do you have a sleep ritual to set you up for a productive morning?

AKK: I follow the same sleep ritual every night. I do my face routine and moisturize my body. I check my phone before bed, and then do some stomach breathing while I wind into sleep mode.

When the alarm goes off in the morning, I get up straight away. No question about it. I have to get up immediately to avoid the snooze button. I then have a glass of warm water and take a probiotic before I shower. Finally, I browse my family WhatsApp messages, to catch them in Australia before they head to bed (time zones…*sigh*)!

SS: How do you start your morning?

AKK: I’m most productive in the morning. I normally love to work out early, however I’m pregnant now, and this has altered my workout schedule, as my energy levels change daily. Typically, I get up, drink my water, take my probiotics, throw on my workout clothes, and then go and sweat for an hour, either at a class or by myself. I like to have breakfast at home during the week, and go out on the weekends. Once I’m showered and dressed for the day, I either write in my gratitude diary [a journal dedicated to noting down what you are grateful for that day — Ed.] or do a ten minute meditation.

SS: Do you caffeinate?

AKK: Occasionally. Before I was pregnant I enjoyed a flat white about three times a week. Now that I’m pregnant, that’s changed. I didn’t touch coffee at all in the first trimester. Now, in my second trimester, I enjoy stealing a few sips of my husband’s very milky coffee. Unlike many, I simply enjoy the coffee taste; I don’t need it for a blast of adrenaline or energy. I have enough of that naturally!

SS: What does your typical breakfast look like?

AKK: I’m a breakfast queen! Haha. I love eating and making breakfast. I change what I have a lot. Some of my regulars are bircher muesli, smoothies, avocado toast, oatmeal, and chia puddings. And don’t forget the homemade nut milks [Okay, we’re coming over for breakfast! — Ed.]. I’ve never had French toast: I’m not into heavy and sweet breakfasts [Never mind (kidding!) — Ed.].

SS: Where do you add a dose of mindfulness to your morning?

AKK: I find mindfulness in my workout. If I run, I’m away with the pixies, in my happy place. If I’m at the gym, I simply do my own thing and enjoy moving my body in freedom. Another mindful part of my morning is making breakfast. Cooking and peacefully creating a meal is so therapeutic. Finally, my gratitude journaling or meditation is, of course, mindful.

SS: How does your mindful practice impact your day?

AKK: Being mindful makes space in my head, which allows for greater growth. Basically, making space allows for more creation. Having a mindful start impacts my whole day: my reactions are more measured, and I feel ease and calm in my whole existence.

SS: What’s next in your day?

AKK: Beyond my morning, my day is so unpredictable. Especially in New York, the afternoon is always changing. This often messes up my plans of what I wanted to achieve for the day. Instead of letting it shake my stability, I simply take some time to sit and do a little meditation just to re-center.

SS: What’s your top tip for a mindful morning?

AKK: Time. Give yourself time. A rushed morning isn’t a mindful one. Wake up a little earlier to ensure you get your time in before you leave for work and give yourself to everything and everyone around you.