The Power of a Morning Ritual
How do you choose to start your day? Are you rushed, tired, or distracted? Maybe waking up realising you unconsciously snoozed your alarm 3 times… now you’re running 30 minutes behind schedule, rushing out the door with one shoe on, skipping breakfast, franticly stressed about being late to work? Mentally defeated and you haven’t even been awake for 60 minutes? You can only imagine how the rest of the day could potentially unfold?
What if I told you there is another way, a healthier way, to start your day with purpose and intention?! Imagine walking out the front door feeling energised, inspired and ready to conquer whatever life throws at you that day.
Try starting your day with a morning ritual. Design your own morning ritual to set yourself up for success, living your day in alignment with your goals and dreams. Creating your own morning ritual can give you power and raise your vibration through activities to centre your mind and body!
But wait, what is a high vibrational force? You can look further into this concept however my interpretation is - operating at your highest truth, possessing a joyful, peaceful, grateful and positive essence and presence. So what energy do you want to put out into the world and how do you want to live your days?! I know this can be a little deep but it’s important to know how you want to feel and know how you want to live! For me it’s feeling vibrant, purposeful and positive with a winning mindset!
Routine vs. Ritual:
Routines are powerful when they become rituals. A morning routine may involve systematic motions you go through like showering, dressing and brushing your teeth. However a morning ritual adds intentional activities to add purpose to the way you start your day.
The focus is on the intention of each activity with an appreciation of the benefits, like meditating to feel energized, focused, grounded, centred etc. rather than just completing something on your to-do list.
Some common morning rituals include meditating, exercising, journaling, reciting affirmations and setting daily intentions. Chose rituals that make you feel good and that will add value to your life! You can also adapt your morning ritual depending on what you may need at that point of time. Set an intention on what you want to focus on. It may be practicing mindfulness, gratitude, self love or purpose but it’s great to experiment on what specific activities work for you.
My personal morning ritual involves:
Rise and splash water on my face (1min)
Drink a glass of freshly squeezed lemon water (2min)
Play uplifting instrumentals in the background - Productive Morning Playlist or Jazz Vibes on Spotify & turning aromatherapy diffuser on (1 min)
Mentally listing 3 things I am grateful for (2min)
Looking at my vision board - practicing visualisation (5min)
Reciting 1-3 affirmations and/or mantras i.e I gratefully allow all the health, wealth and happiness that the universe pours into me every day. i.e I am grounded. (3min)
Moving my body and deep breathing through sun salutations (5min)
Preparing and eating breakfast mindfully (10min)
RITUAL TIME: 30MIN
My typical morning routine involves:
Brushing teeth (2min)
Making bed (4min)
Packing bag (4min)
ROUTINE TIME: 30MIN
The total time I need before I walk out the door in the morning is 60min.
Instead of rushing out the door within 30 minutes of rising, I make it a priority to wake up 60mins earlier to spend some time on myself.
We are all different, so when devising your own ritual take into account time and what is realistic and achievable with your lifestyle. It’s important to create a habitual schedule that works for you, even if it means getting to sleep earlier to wake up earlier! You can check out my previous blog on sleep and tips for nightly rituals to get you to bed at a suitable time.
Creating your own morning ritual nurtures a healthy mindset to achieve your goals and live a healthier, happier life.
It is up to us to choose how we react to challenges, as well as what attitude, mindset and outlook we have on the outside world. This can be done by working on our inner world!
You can begin to progressively add, take or refine your morning ritual as you go. In summer it could be adding an outdoor walk. In winter it could be opening the curtains to allow sunlight on your skin, or maybe just a 5min meditation on days you need more sleep.
4 Common elements of their morning rituals that we can exercise:
After analyzing the advice and routines of four top health experts, it became clear that there are commonalities that they practice, as part of their day, to set themselves up for the ultimate success.
1) Set your intentions:
Bring your mind into awareness with an activity like meditation, reciting mantras and/or affirmations to regain focus on your goals and the day ahead.
2) Warm up your muscles:
Add a movement ritual to align your mind-body into awareness for the day through activities like stretching, sun salutations/yoga, and/or tai chi. Moving your body in the morning really is an ideal time as it gets the blood pumping through your body and, if you decide to make a workout a part of your new morning ritual, it will be the first thing you can check off as accomplished for the day!
3) Nourish and fuel your body:
Hydrate + Eat! Eat your first meal of the day mindfully, in a relaxed calm state, tasting all the flavours and enjoying every damn bite! This could also contribute to making healthier decisions for the rest of the day.
4) Warm up your mind:
Read a couple pages of a book, listen to a self-development podcast, and/or write in your journal to stimulate a positive mindset for the day. Avoid checking emails and notifications during your morning ritual so your thoughts are not influenced from the outside world or are distracted from external sources.
Okay now finally let’s look at the BENEFITS of practicing these elements:
Strengthens your mental muscle:
Setting a regular time that you wake up, whatever time that may be, exercises your self discipline. Getting up at the same time every morning is part of the foundation of having a good day. Through re-enforcing the act of discipline, at the beginning of each day, you will find more discipline in almost all other facets of your life, including your diet, health and mental focus.
Sets tone for the day:
Knowing exactly how the first 60 minutes of my day looks is powerful, as it helps me feel in control and non-reactive, which in turn reduces anxiety and ensures I'm more productive throughout the day.
Increases productivity and brain power!
A blog published from Harvard University, showed studies that have proven the morning can be the most mentally stimulating and productive hours of the day. Starting your day by stimulating your mind with rituals like reading and productive routines like exercise and eating a healthy meal, encourages you to continue your day on a productive path. This makes it even more necessary that your intentions, for your morning rituals, are in alignment with your goals. It sets the tone for you day, sets your mind right and allows you to channel your focus to put extra work into the things that are important to you.
According to a study by the American Physiological Association, by following a morning routine, your levels of stress, depression, and anxiety will decrease while your level of satisfaction will increase.
You have nothing to lose here and everything to gain! Strive to be the best you can be, by adopting healthy habits everyday and every morning. We are complicated beings that need to look at ourselves from a holistic perspective - our physical, emotional and mental bodies are all intertwined and impact one another. We need to nurture our bodies and minds from a place of self love so we are able to understand ourselves and be more in tune with our needs. A great place to start is becoming conscious of our thoughts as we start our day!