The key to a morning ritual is consistency. In order for something to indeed become a ritual, one must be consistent. In this case, consistency means doing at least one or more actions every morning. What action you take can differ day to day.
Intention is also very important. Why is a morning ritual important to you? For me, I was sick and tired of literally jumping out of bed, into the shower and out to the car in 60 minutes to make it to work on time. I desired to ease into my day and have a little (or a lot) of 'me-time'. I've made some really big changes to my daily routine (in general) which has afforded me the time to establish my morning flow and rituals.
I recently attended a Self-Care Yoga event at Daybreak Yoga where Denisha Parker, a mother of 5, Intervention Specialist and Barre3 Instructor shared her story of carving out a morning routine that starts at 4:30 AM every morning. She dedicates this hour to strictly herself and it's completely non-negotiable. She says this has been a life-changer for her and is the most important part of her day. Can you relate? I sure can!
With that being said, here are my favorite 'grab and go' morning rituals I used. Remember, you don't have to do ALL of them; simply listen to your intuition and body and go from there.
1. Breathe. Before doing anything (aside from opening your eyes), simply breathe. Take a deep breath in through your nose, really filling your belly up with air (feeling your lungs AND root chakra expand), hold for 4 seconds, then exhale ALL the air out through your mouth. Do this at least 4 times.
2. Stretch. Wiggle your toes, roll your shoulders, flex your back, roll your head, pull your knees to your belly and rock right to left. Stand up and stretch to the ceiling while gently lifting onto your toes and then back to the floor.
3. Give thanks. Simply saying “Thank you for another day” is powerful. You can also expand by thinking of more and writing all what your grateful for in a daily journal.
4. Pray. Use this time to pray for guidance, insight and protection. Ask the desires of your heart. Pray for yourself and others. Acknowledge what you’re grateful for.
5. Keep a dream journal. If you’re one to recall your dreams in the morning, write them down! Dreams have hidden messages that can be used to guide us in our waking life. These messages come from our subconscious mind and the spiritual realm. Seek a professional for an accurate dream analysis. My go-to person is Certified Astrology and Dream Interpreter Riva Moore of Celestial Percipient.
6. Set intentions. What do you want to accomplish today? How do you want to feel? How do you want to help someone else? I’ve set intentions to laugh hysterically. I mean tears running and stomach good ole laugh. And the universe delivered; a colleague share the funniest story with me and I was able to laugh uncontrollably. Ask and it is given.
7. Wake with water. Have at least 8 oz of water bedside to drink upon rising. Room temperature water helps to awaken your organs and systems without the shock. Get fancy and infuse with lemon.
8. Make your bed. There’s an energetic shift that happens when you take the time to make your bed in the morning. It provides the sense that you’re officially ready to begin your day. There’s no jumping back in the sack for a few more minutes of snoozing. Not to mention after a long day, it feels good to walk into a tidy bedroom and slip into a nice, neat bed.
9. Meditate. Sit in silence focusing on your breath or listening to a guided meditation. You can also tune into a steady noise like the clothes dryer, refrigerator, dishwasher. Gaze outside a window to a favorite tree or flower. Whether it is 2 minutes or 20, meditating will help you remain calm and manage unpleasant emotions throughout the day.
10. Journal. I typically reflect and journal about my day: what I am grateful for; my peaks and pit of the day and WHY they were a peak/pit; what made me the happiest or the saddest; what needs to change; what do I need to KEEP doing; and any epiphanies or new heart desires. You can journal what every you like or are guided to write about.
11. Read a book, blog post or article. Dedicate a time slot to read in the morning. How can you apply the current passage or information in your life today?
12. Listen to a podcast or take in a TED talk. This is my favorite go-to when driving to and from work or long distances.
13. Step outside to breathe in fresh air, feel the sun and hear the birds sing. Before I jump into my car and roll out, I step onto the driveway and simply close my eyes taking a deep breath in, feeling the sun on my face (if it’s shining) and listen for the birds or any other type of wildlife. For 30 seconds or so, I simply become one with my outside surroundings. I’ll even do this during a rainstorm (under covered shelter of course). It’s truly refreshing.
14. Refrain from social media the first (and last hour) of your day. This includes t.v, radio, checking emails, social media pages, reading/responding to text messages. Your morning ritual should not be interrupted with any type of social media, unless it is a podcast, TED talk or blog post/article.
15. Drink coffee/tea. I’m a coffee head - can’t help it! Drinking a cup a with just the right amount of cream and sugar is non-negotiable when it comes to my morning ritual. It’s like liquid heaven to my day.
Do any of these rituals resonate with you? Do you have any personal rituals not listed? If so, be sure to comment and please share!