No matter what time of the day you shine brightest, the majority of us have to contend with mornings. And because of our rat race culture, many of us may find ourselves rushing in the AM, doing just enough so that we can make it to work or get to wherever we need to go.
But mornings set the tone for the rest of the day. Start out frenzied and flustered and it can take much longer for you to feel like you’re on track! However, if we learn to be more intentional about our mornings, we start the day focused and ready to tackle the day ahead.
So how do we be more intentional? Simple. Create morning rituals. Engaging in small rituals that make us feel good, that we do just for us, encourages us to slow down and immerse ourselves in mindfulness, pleasure, and healthy self-care. Not to mention, they give us something to look forward to the night before!
Not sure where to start? We’ve offered 10 morning rituals that will help you start the day right!
Listen to Music
There’s nothing that gets your spirits revved up like a blood-pumping tune. Music has been scientifically shown to boost dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with elevated moods. By listening to music, you are guaranteeing a positive start! Make a playlist for showering or getting dressed.
Science has shown that gratitude makes us healthier and more content. And building up gratitude is easy! When you wake up in the morning, just write down one thing you are grateful for. No matter how the day proceeds, good or bad, you can remember and treasure that one blessing.
Taking the extra time to lightly spoil yourself is a way to show that you are worth attention and care. Give yourself a facial or a nice hair rinse. Trim that ‘stache or put on some makeup. It’s not about being superficial, it’s about building armor to face the day.
If you want to wake up and get your blood pumping but don’t have the time for a strenuous workout, stretching is an excellent compromise. Stretching in the morning reduces pains and cricks while increasing your energy level.
Record Your Dreams
If you’re one of those folks who has vivid dreams, you might benefit from writing them down in a dream journal. Keep a notebook next to your bed and let it be the first thing you do when you wake up. Recalling the dreams while they’re still fresh in your memory is a great mental exercise. And of course, dreams are rife with messages about your life and state of mind. You’ll have a whole stockpile to analyze at a later time!
Meditation is best done on a regular basis, but there are specific perks to doing it in the morning. Meditating in the morning helps clear your mind so that you start the day with a blank slate. Meditating in the morning also increases focus and energy for the day. Check out Mind Fuel Daily for tips!
When we say eat breakfast, we don’t mean grabbing an apple for the road. Take the time to prepare yourself a nice cup of coffee or tea and a fully balanced meal. Sit and truly relish every bite. While you eat you’ll have time to reflect on the day ahead or chat with a partner or roommate. Your belly will be full and your taste buds satisfied.
Set a Goal
Assigning yourself a small task and challenging yourself to make it happen can help you stay focused and driven. And what a feeling when we accomplish the goal we’ve set out! But remember to make your goal simple and doable: set up that dentist appointment or water the plants. If you like, the goal can be internally focused, like reminding yourself to have a little more patience or gratitude. Remember to also plan a reward for yourself when you’ve reached the goal!
You don’t have to go on a cleaning frenzy! Just a small task will do. Make the bed or wipe down the counters. Take out the garbage or whiz the vacuum around. Small cleaning tasks allow you to begin the day on productive footing. And all the better, it means one less chore you have to worry about when you get home!
Read a Poem
Instead of scrolling social media, read a poem. Poetry is thought provoking and meaningful. Poetry is often short, so you won’t get carried away like you might with a book or trendy think-piece. Not sure where to start? Buy a large volume of assorted poems and select one at random. Or, there are lots of websites, such as the Writer’s Almanac, that post a single poem each day.
As the writer Anne Dillard once said, “How we spend our days, is of course, how we spend our lives.” Mornings are just a single aspect of our days, but a vital one. How do you want to spend your mornings? Your days? Your life?