What did this morning look like for you? Did you wake up and scroll social media until you were running late and then rush to get out of the house or logged into a meeting from your home office?
How we start our morning sets the tone for the rest of the day. If we start with a simple morning ritual that eases us into the day, we can start our day feeling relaxed and at peace. Spending the first moments of the day for ourselves is not only a great way to practice living consciously but also it’s essential for our overall wellbeing.
Why a Simple Morning Ritual is Key for Wellbeing
When we start our morning in a panic because we’ve snoozed a few too many times or by scrolling through socials, we tend to start our day operating from the sympathetic nervous system— which means our body is in fight or flight mode.
When we are acting from the sympathetic our decisions become reactionary, focused only on the immediate threat, which in this case is being late or the feeling of not being enough after comparing yourself to someone’s Instagram.
This leads to an increased heart rate, suppressed digestion, the release of stress hormones, and muscle tension just to name a few reactions our body has to it. Obviously, we don’t want to start our day feeling stressed and on edge— not to mention continuously starting our days in this way can quickly lead to anxiety and overwhelm taking over.
By creating a simple morning ritual you can avoid waking up and operating from the sympathetic, but rather operating from the parasympathetic which means that we are in the “rest and digest mode.” In this mode, we can think clearly and make decisions that will benefit us in the longer term rather than as a reaction.
If that’s not reason enough to create a simple morning ritual, there are many other reasons that having a morning routine is the optimal way to start the day, just to name a few:
Setting the Tone for the Day: A well-structured morning routine helps set a positive tone for the rest of the day. It allows you to start the day with intention and focus, which can lead to increased productivity and a sense of accomplishment.
Reducing Stress and Anxiety: Knowing what to expect in the morning can reduce stress and anxiety. When you have a routine in place, you don’t have to rush or make hasty decisions, which can create a sense of calm and stability.
Improved Time Management: A morning routine can help you make the most of your time. By establishing specific tasks and timeframes, you can avoid wasting time on indecision and unproductive activities.
Increased Consistency and Discipline: A consistent morning routine helps build discipline and self-control. When you follow a routine daily, it becomes a habit, making it easier to stick to healthy and productive habits throughout the day.
Better Physical and Mental Health: Incorporating activities like exercise, meditation, or a nutritious breakfast into your morning routine can positively impact your physical and mental well-being. Regular exercise, for example, boosts energy levels and improves mood.
Enhanced Focus and Creativity: A morning routine can prime your mind for the day ahead. Engaging in activities like reading or journaling can stimulate your brain and enhance creativity, which can be beneficial for work or personal projects.
Opportunity for Self-Care: Morning routines can include self-care practices like stretching, skincare, or mindfulness exercises. These activities prioritize your well-being and allow you to start the day feeling refreshed and cared for.
Better Sleep Quality: Having a consistent morning routine can promote better sleep patterns. When you wake up and go to bed at the same time each day, your body’s internal clock (circadian rhythm) can function optimally, leading to improved sleep quality.
Positive Reinforcement: Successfully completing your morning routine gives you a sense of accomplishment and can positively reinforce your habits and motivation to tackle the day ahead.
How to Create the Simple Morning Ritual that’s right for you!
Morning rituals are not one size fits all— and it shouldn’t be. There’s no right or wrong. Your perfect morning routine could simply be waking up and brewing a cup of tea in a mindful manner, for someone else, it could be a wellness ritual, or doing 10 minutes of sun salutations.
The key is that it works for you and helps accomplish what you’re looking to get out of your morning. Here are some tips to make sure you’re creating a morning that you’ll stick to:
Keep it Simple:
As the title of the article implies your morning ritual should be simple— it doesn’t have to be an hour long and it doesn’t need to have 10 steps. Simplicity makes it more likely that you’ll stick to your morning ritual in the long run. A complex or time-consuming routine might become overwhelming, leading to inconsistency or abandonment. A simple ritual is easier to integrate into your daily life and maintain as a habit.
Know Your Goal:
Consider what you want to achieve with your morning ritual. Whether it’s improving productivity, reducing stress, or fostering self-care, knowing your goals will help shape your routine.
Knowing your goals also gives your morning routine clarity and purpose. It shifts your morning from a random series of activities to a focused and intentional practice that supports your broader aspirations.
Your morning ritual can be an opportunity to align your daily actions with your core values. If you value health and well-being, you might include exercise or healthy breakfast options in your routine. If personal growth is essential to you, you could allocate time for reading or journaling.
Set Yourself up for success the night before:
Turning your morning ritual into a sustained habit is easiest if you start the night before. If your morning ritual is brewing a cup of tea that could mean setting out your teapot and tea that you’d like to drink. If it’s to meditate, it could be setting your meditation space with a pillow or candle.
By setting the space the night before you takes away a step of friction in the morning, also creates a visual cue that will remind you of your ritual and your larger goal for your morning ritual.
Not every morning is going to be perfect. There will be times when you oversleep or have something you need to attend to in the morning rather than doing your ritual. The key is to not get deterred when things don’t go as planned— try to make your goal to never miss two consecutive days in a row rather than never miss a day.
The other thing you might need to be flexible about is the method. You might start your ritual as 5 minutes of meditation but then realize that meditating in the morning makes you fall back asleep, you’ll need to pivot and maybe decide to do yoga in the morning instead. Being flexible about what your morning ritual looks like will help you keep it for the long term.
Examples of Morning Rituals
While no one except you can decide what the perfect morning routine is, here are some examples of what it could be to get the ideas flowing.
Take a few minutes for deep breathing or meditation.
Practice gentle stretching or yoga.
Sip a cup of warm water with lemon.
Give yourself a mini facial with a gua sha
Write down three things you’re grateful for.
Read a few pages from an inspirational book.
Listen to calming music or nature sounds.
Take a short walk outside to get some fresh air.
Make a smoothie or green juice.
Keep a journal and jot down your thoughts or plans for the day.
Do a quick body scan to check in with your physical well-being.
Spend a few minutes in silence or prayer.
Practice mindfulness while sipping your morning tea or coffee.
Write affirmations to set a positive mindset for the day.
Spend time cuddling or playing with your pet.
Practice a brief visualization exercise for success and productivity.
Perform a five-minute mini-workout or a set of push-ups.
Listen to an inspiring podcast or motivational speech.
Water your plants and tend to your garden.
Take a shower or wash your face with cool water.
Do a quick tidy-up of your living space.
Practice affirmations or positive self-talk.
Read a daily quote or affirmation.
Take a few minutes to play a musical instrument or listen to uplifting music.
Draw or sketch to stimulate creativity.
Spend time with your loved ones, even if it’s just a quick chat.
Set a daily intention for how you want to feel or approach the day.
Prepare and pack a healthy lunch or snacks for later.
Visualize your goals and aspirations for the future.
Practice a short gratitude meditation.
Write down your dreams from the previous night, if you remember them.
Write down one thing you love about yourself.
Perform a quick brain teaser or puzzle to wake up your mind.
Review your goals and progress from the previous day.
Complete a few minutes of gentle exercises, like tai chi or qi gong.
Create a daily mantra or positive affirmation to repeat throughout the day.
Practice a short mindfulness exercise to ground yourself in the present moment.
Listen to an uplifting or motivational audiobook.
Prepare and enjoy a healthy breakfast smoothie.
Do a quick desk or workspace declutter to set the stage for productivity.
Perform a series of dynamic stretches to wake up your body.
Spend a few minutes visualizing your ideal day.
Engage in a brief session of visualization or mental rehearsal for a task you’ll be facing that day.
Spend a few minutes in nature, like sitting in the garden or on the balcony, to enjoy some quiet time.
Tell us below about your morning rituals! You might just inspire someone to start their morning a little more mindfully.