What’s holding you back from starting a healthy morning ritual?
Does your day feel like it gets away from you before it even starts? With more and more of us staying at home regularly without a routine, establishing a meaningful morning ritual is more important than ever.
It’s easy to start the day off with no game plan.
I’ve never really been a morning person. I need to shake the cobwebs from my brain and have never been one to just jump out of bed. But I’ve found that recently, I’ve used this as an excuse to lie around and scroll social media.
Or maybe life has gotten stressful and feels overwhelming. Morning rituals can be the first thing to go. It’s easier to stay in bed than wanting to get up and face the day. Especially when it’s cold outside, the thought of getting up and taking on a long list of things to do can feel daunting.
There’s nothing better than a warm comfy bed, especially when it’s cold outside, but I hope to offer some inspiration and encouragement as to why creating a morning ritual will improve all aspects of your life.
Why are morning rituals important?
Start the day off on the right foot
It’s easy to give in to a negative mindset that can start as soon as you wake up. When you have a morning ritual in place, you can more easily counteract any negative self-talk by sticking to a routine you’ve already created. Putting in effort ahead of time will help you overcome overwhelm and the impulse to just stay in bed a little longer.
Get more done
Putting off an easy thing makes it hard, and putting off a hard one makes it impossible.
Here is another quote from the same person above, but a great reminder to get up and start the day by getting small tasks off your plate. When you start the day with a plan and a positive attitude, you’ll feel more motivated to accomplish what needs to get done.
Be in a better mood
Have you ever heard the saying, “I woke up on the wrong side of the bed”? My mom used to say this to me when I woke up in a bad mood. Supposedly, it’s an old superstition where it was considered bad luck to get out of bed on the left side. Obviously, this is not the case, but getting up in a bad mood can definitely happen.
When you wake up grumpy, having a healthy morning ritual in place with help get out of your head and combat any negative feelings.
How to create a morning routine: set yourself up for success
There are three easy steps to start with, creating a pre-morning routine to your morning ritual. Morning rituals begin when you do a little prep work the night before and getting in the correct mindset right after waking up.
1. Take 5 minutes the night before to jot down to-do’s or a quick game plan
Taking a few minutes to think about the next day will set you up for success. This helps me clear my head to go to sleep, but if it causes your mind to start thinking, try, and do this before laying down to go to sleep.
2. Get a good night’s rest
This is easier said than done but will help start the day off right if you’re well-rested. Decide if taking melatonin would help or establish a good self-care routine that will help relax and calm your mind.
3. Start the day with a positive attitude.
I started realizing how much I was dreading the day when I thought about getting up and starting to do things. It was an unhealthy habit I had developed that needed to change. I began to work on replacing the negative self-talk with the positive results that would come from focusing on the positive.
4. Start with a glass of water and electrolytes to increase energy
A glass of water with some lemon and honey is an excellent place to start. Lemon is a great detoxifier, and honey provides some energy for the adrenals. Drinking a big glass of water will help purge the system and get your day started on the right track
5. Make some changes starting right now
When starting a morning ritual, it’s essential to take some time and envision what this will look like. Give it some thought; see what’s working and what you could do to help start the day off right. Are there any tiny tweaks you could make that would help?
- What bad habits would you like to change?
- Describe how your day would go better if you had a morning ritual?
- Is there a morning mantra or motto that would help put you in the right mindset?
Consistency is key when creating morning rituals
With any habit you’re trying to form, consistency and repetition will help the habit stick. Along with consistency, trial and error are important and necessary. Figure out what works for you. This might not happen on the first try. Keep doing something different and think outside the box until you create a morning ritual that inspires and excites you.
- Try to go to bed and get up at the same time each day
- Figure out a way of waking up that works best for you
- Try to find a routine that you can turn into a habit
- Learn to listen to your body
- Have it meld with your schedule and lifestyle.
Creating a morning ritual shouldn’t add more stress or work to your life. If you like getting up to an alarm, go for it. If an alarm clock doesn’t work, consider waking up to calming music, or find an alarm clock that slowly gets louder. If getting up to an alarm isn’t necessary and only causes you to be drowsy, don’t do something detrimental.
When you find a rhythm that works, try sticking to this routine that it turns into a habit. If you weren’t able to sleep well one night, alter your routine instead of pressuring yourself to stick to something you might not feel up for.
Create a morning ritual geared towards your lifestyle
It’s also important to create a routine that fits in with your lifestyle and works around your schedule. Having to be at work at a certain time vs. working from home can make for a very different routine. Having little kids that wake up early will alter your morning routine.
I think it’s healthy to do what works for you and not necessarily follow what some guru tells you is best. Yes, there are studies done and examples of successful people who start their morning off a certain way, but you know yourself best. Embrace who you are and how you best function.
Categories for Healthy Morning rituals
The lists below aren’t meant to be adopted fully but go through to pick and choose what’s most important to you. From these examples, decide what you want to include in your morning ritual. Some might already be a part of your routine.
Shower, wash face, wash hair
Brush teeth, floss
Put on makeup
It’s easy to think that we all brush our teeth and comb our hair daily, but when working/staying at home, one day blends into another, and it can become easy to forget to do these things!
Start the day off with writing down some things you’re grateful for. Or do a brain dump to clear your mind. These things involve setting the mood and creating a mindset that will get you through the rest of the day. Focus on the positive and not the negative. Help process anything you might be feeling that will distract or discourage you throughout the day.
Hopefully, you gave this some thought the night before, but if not, envision how you’d like your day to go. Jot down some things you want to accomplish today. And also make a list of other stuff that is really important to you.
Now that you have decided on what goals you want to accomplish, it’s time to create a list of specific tasks. Keep in mind the length of time each task will take and don’t be like me, with only getting 2-3 things checked off my to-do list of 30 items.
Do what you enjoy, and if you don’t enjoy exercising at all (shout out to my hubby ), try to do a monthly challenge focusing on a particular muscle group. Quick and easy. And maybe not something you do every day, but I would recommend making it a daily habit.
But this can include stretching, meditation, or breathing exercises. Maybe you like to exercise in the evening. Or perhaps you go to the gym in the morning. Try to choose something that works to your advantage instead of being a drag, or it’s not something you will stick to.
Hopefully, you don’t forget to eat something, but it happens to the best of us! But the worst thing is when there is nothing to eat. It might be too late to run to the store and buy something in the morning but create a menu plan in advance and have some breakfast ideas to throw together in the morning.
For me, my body doesn’t do well on a high carb breakfast, but a protein shake or granola bar will do the trick—nice and easy meals like fruit and yogurt.
Making time for the ones you love is always important. Whether it’s enjoying a few minutes with family members before everyone gets caught up in their own lives, or maybe it’s a quick phone call to a loved one far away.
If you have any pets in your home, I’m sure they’ll want some food, but don’t forget they’re hungry like their humans do. A quick walk outside is a way to get the circulation going if you have a dog that likes to go on a short walk.
The morning can be the best time for the creative juices to flow and really focus on the things that you love. It can be a great time to play the piano, read a book, or do some sketches. Starting your day out when your mind is the most alert can help spark creativity and boost your productivity.
If you struggle with waking up and finding the motivation to face the day, involving your senses might help. Consider playing your favorite music, get the diffuser going with your favorite oil, or apply some lotion to get your circulation going.
I find that I do best when I wake up to the sun. This can be problematic if you live in a cloudy location but can try a daylight lamp that mimics the sun.
I also do a lot better if I take a moment and walk down the street or sit outside and enjoy the scenery. Getting out in nature can increase your mood and help give you some motivation.
Figure out the best morning ritual that works for you
This is a crucial takeaway point. There is no right or wrong answer. Do what works for you. Consider your natural rhythms. Determine how many days a week you’d like to have a morning routine in place. Then decide whether the same routine will apply for each day.
Give it some thought and figure out your natural tendencies. Trying to create a routine that is demotivating and a struggle will only add to your mental fatigue. You know yourself best, but you also might want to improve yourself and stretch yourself to be better. Create some level of flexibility in your morning ritual so that you give yourself some wiggle room and grace.
Early riser vs. night owl
There are days where I finally feel fully awake, but the problem is that it’s the afternoon! This means that my most productive hours are the afternoon and evening. Then there are days that I wake up feeling refreshed and ready to go. These are few and far between, but take advantage of it when it does happen.
If you are a person who functions best at night, keep your morning ritual simple. Capitalize on your mental energy in the evening when you get the most done.
Ease into the day with simple tasks or tackle the hardest things first
There are different trains of thought on this. There’s the 5 second rule where when something pops in your mind, just to get it done. If you take this approach, I would put the most straightforward things on your list to do first, and then move onto more complicated tasks.
In Brian Tracy’s book, Eat That Frog, he recommends taking the worst thing on your list and getting it done first thing.
Rigid schedule or loose list
Do you love structure, or do you like flexibility? If adding a morning ritual feels like you’re adding to an already full plate, keep it simple. Jot down some ideas on a sheet of paper or your phone. Give it a quick scan in the morning to start you off on the right track.
If you like or need more structure, get specific. Decide on what you want to accomplish and a strategy to get those things done. Get in the habit of doing the same thing each morning. Determine the best place to keep a list; consider buying a planner or using a to-do list app and calendar on your phone.
How to Create the best morning ritual: things to avoid
It’s important to have a plan and be mindful of how you spend your time. It’s also important to focus on things that are positive and encouraging instead of negative and discouraging.
Be attentive to anything that leads to going down a rabbit hole. There might be things you enjoy- like researching curtains for your living room or what washing machine you’d like to buy, but this can end up being time-consuming and the not best use of your morning mind power.
Social media scrolling and wasting time on your phone is another no-no. It’s horrible how addicting our phones can be and how easy it is to grab it first thing and start checking emails or getting on Facebook.
With how polarizing the news can be and how much negative events are taking place in the world, reading or watching the news might not be the best way to start the day. It’s good to be informed, but if you catch your mood declining and struggling with your emotional stress, consider skipping this and replacing it with gratitude journaling.
I’ve been working on a morning routine for a little while now, and I’m excited for you to join me on aiming for a better start to your day so you can be productive and feel like you accomplished more.
How well are you doing with maintaining a morning ritual? Is there anything you’d like to work on developing as a habit? Has life changed for you in a way that you need to revamp your morning ritual?
A morning ritual will start the day off on the right track
Hi, I’m Shara
I have a passion for organizing. This stems from being naturally drawn to simplicity and structure in my home. Combined with my desire to help women achieve their goals, Simply Renewed Living was born.