Never underestimate the power of starting your day with you.
As a recovering “not a morning person” person, I can’t stress how important it is to take even five minutes in the morning to ground yourself for the day ahead. What you do first thing in the morning has a lasting impact on the day ahead.
The main excuse we all turn to when it comes to setting up a morning routine is not having enough time but these activities won’t take you more than fifteen minutes MAX to start your day in a way that makes you feel powerful and alive.
Ultimately, the specific habits you end up choosing will depend on what you value the most in your day and your goals. It’s worth it to start small and have fun experimenting with what your mornings can look like. Consider these ideas for morning rituals designed to help you start your day with you so you can thrive.
Empowering Morning Rituals for Your Body
- Skip the snooze button. I’ve actually turned my alarm off in recent months and haven’t had the need to use it to wake up routinely between 7am and 7:30am. The snooze button actually interrupts your body’s natural waking process and that can cause something known as sleep inertia which leaves you feeling groggy for hours later!
- Bed Yoga. The very first thing I do when my eyes open in the morning is is a body scan. I check in with my body to see where I am carrying stress or tension from my night’s sleep. Sometimes it’s in my jaw, from squeezing my mouth shut throughout the night. Sometimes it’s in my neck from sleeping badly on the pillows. Other times it’s in my hands that were balled as fists as I slept. Gently moving these body parts before jumping out of bed and starting my day is a sacred routine that I always make an effort to begin with so I do not carry this stress into the rest of my day.
- Drink water. I’ve tried incorporating this into my morning routine in the past – and honestly I haven’t been successful at sticking to it, but hear me out. On those mornings that I did start with drinking a glass of water before my morning tea (not a coffee person), I felt a literal boost of energy and that brain fog cleared almost instantly. Plain water rehydrates our organs and makes us feel more alert. If you want to add a little razzle dazzle, you can add some flavour with berries, herbs, or cucumber slices!
- Eat breakfast. I know that a lot of people skip breakfast – and I used to be one of those people. Your body needs to refuel, and enjoying a balanced meal of traditional breakfast foods is a great way to do that to start your morning.
- Go outdoors. Morning light wakes up your body and starts a hormone cycle that prepares you for restful sleep at night. It has been a joy in the past couple of months to walk out onto my balcony and breathe fresh air before launching into my day with my face covered (and protected) by mandatory masks.
Empowering Morning Rituals for Your Mind
- Avoid technology. I am still unlearning this urge to pick up my phone and scroll social media first thing in the morning. Honestly, it was something that I had stopped doing and it once again crept back into my mornings. When I would avoid using my phone to aimless scroll, I had more space to mentally prepare for what awaits me during the day.
- Meditate and pray. Nourish your spirituality. Mediation does not have to look like you sitting down and doing nothing as you try to still your thoughts. I like to practice meditation as mindfulness. I mindfully go about my mornings paying attention to how everything feels, all the sounds and movements involved in getting ready.
- Repeat affirmations. Do you have a list of affirmations that you repeat to yourself throughout your day? I use The Daily Shine app for my morning meditation and every day there is at least one affirmation – usually the one at the end of the meditation. I love these simple, easy to remember affirmations that bring me back to the theme for the day as I go about my day.
- Connect with loved ones. Every morning I get ‘good morning’ texts from my mother who is 4000 miles away and six hours behind me! I love to receive them and have a brief conversation with her in the morning because it lets me know that I am loved and cared for by the people who mean the most to me even though we may be so far apart.
- Cultivate gratitude. Starting your day with an attitude of gratitude invites so much abundance into your life. There is always something you can look forward to in your day – big or small. One of my favourite ways to implement this is by thinking about my To Do list as my Get To Do list. What are you most excited about getting to do today? Walking to work through your favourite park? Catching up with one of your old friends via video chat? Finally finishing up that passion project you have been working on? It takes the pressure off of all the things on your list and gives you a new perspective to approach your tasks.
- Plan your day. I am not a huge planner, but what I do love is scripting my day! I don’t do this every day, but taking sometime while I have my morning tea at the start of the day to write down how I want my day to go, how I want to feel, and what I want others to experience through our interactions helps me to show up in a more intentional way as I complete my activities.
These are all activities that I have incorporated into my morning routine at one point of the other. The idea is to find one (or a few) that work for you by starting small. Ask yourself these three questions to help you decide which ones you should try first:
- How can I best care for myself at the start of my day?
- What do I have time to implement easily into my morning routine?
- How do I want to feel throughout my day?
Your answers to these questions should give you an idea of the type of activity you should consider starting your day with.
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