The importance of a good morning ritual has become one of the most important topics in the wellness world in the last couple of years and I’m the first to testify that it really is crucial to live a healthy + happy life. Why?
YOUR MORNING SETS THE TONE FOR THE REST OF YOUR DAY
If you start it in a hectic, reactive, stressful manner, guess how the rest of your day will go? HECTIC, REACTIVE AND STRESSFUL. If on the other hand, you are conscious, intentional and prioritize what matters most to you in the morning, then the rest of your day is likely to be that much better.
In fact, I find that when I follow my “ideal” morning routine, even if the rest of the day goes to hell and everyone else’s priorities take over mine, I still stay in a pretty good mood because I took time for ME in the morning.
Some might say they barely have enough time to shower in the morning but I think it’s worth taking a step back and seeing if there are certain habits that you can change to make even a super short morning ritual something possible for you.
I USED TO HATE GETTING UP EARLY.
Yup, you read that right. I can remember getting up as late as 11 am in my early twenties. Almost half my day was over! Nothing wrong with doing that on occasion and in fact it’s not so much the time you get up that matters but it’s what you do with the time you have in the morning. Here are 5 steps to becoming a “morning person”. Keep in mind it’s up to you to decide what that means. For me, it’s about setting myself up for success for the rest of the day and doing simple things that put me in a great mood.
TIP #1: TO GET UP EARLIER YOU MUST GO TO BED EARLIER
I can already hear sighs and moans. I know, the kid in us doesn’t like the idea of having to go to bed early but really, it’s the foundation of being able to start the next day right and I’ve read about so many successful people that are early risers so for me, it’s a non-negotiable. I’ve also read that you get a better sleep when going to bed earlier compared to the same amount of hours but heading to bed later.
*Getting to bed earlier pro tip: set a reminder on your phone calendar that reminds you it’s time to wind down and prepare for bedtime. I set mine at least 30 mins before the time I actually want to be in bed so that leaves me time to brush teeth, remove my makeup, etc. I also try to be off my phone at least 30 mins before it’s time to hit the sheets.
TIP #2: CREATE AN INSPIRING MORNING RITUAL
My goal with this post isn’t to give you some new regimen that you “should do”. It’s to offer suggestions of rituals you will actually want to do because they are enjoyable and make you feel better. If working out hardcore in the morning isn’t your thing then maybe a gentle walk or 10 minute yoga flow might be more your thing.
Or if meditating isn’t that appealing to you then perhaps journaling or reading a few pages of an inspiring book might be a better option. What matters is to take actions and do something that feeds your body, mind and soul. That helps you start the day feeling great and makes you stronger physically and mentally to tackle the challenges ahead.
TIP #3: BABY STEPS (LOWER THE BAR)
When incorporating a new habit in our life, we often start out super ambitious and super motivated but if the change is too big, it can be hard to maintain momentum and motivation. I highly believe in setting the bar lower and starting small: begin with getting up just 10 minutes earlier (so getting to bed 10 minutes earlier the night before) and perhaps do that for a week or so. Then add another 5 minutes and continue until you reach your ideal wake up time.
Maintaining a 10 minute morning wellness routine consistently over months is better than doing a full extra hour only two days a week and then dropping it after a month because it’s not realistic. I meditated for only a minute in the morning for about a year before I started doing longer sessions. Now I do 10 minutes during week day mornings and 20 minutes on the weekend: FIND WHAT WORKS FOR YOU.
TIP #4: REMEMBER YOUR WHY
When you start procrastinating on going to bed early or feel like pushing that snooze button in the morning, remember why you decided to incorporate these rituals. Remember how you feel AFTER you do those things for yourself and how it affects your entire day positively. Also notice (and remember) that this morning routine will likely affect not only yourself but those around you in a positive way: when we do something good for ourselves, others feel it and it can have a super positive impact on relationships (romantic, friendships, colleagues).
TIP #5: PRACTICE KINDNESS AND DON’T JUDGE
Last but not least (in fact I think it’s the most important tip of all) be gentle with yourself when incorporating new habits. Don’t judge yourself if it’s a bit challenging at first. You are doing this to better yourself and your life so harsh thoughts are counter productive to this. If you start well and then “fall off the morning wagon”, just get back up when it’s possible. Always remember:
PROGRESS OVER PERFECTION
Perfection should never be the goal on this journey. What matters most is giving it your best and showing up for yourself every day. Having a positive mindset towards your efforts and celebrating the small wins. My journey to becoming a morning person with this pretty complete routine took years and I didn’t start out wanting to do all of this at once from the beginning. At first, I worked out for several years and then the one minute of meditation was added on and I just adapted along the way.
You really must listen to your heart and find what works for YOU. Put those blinders on and don’t compare! With trial and error you’ll find the recipe that works for you and it’s very likely that recipe/ritual will change over time and that’s totally normal.
Be flexible and be kind. Honour the flow of your life and enjoy those mornings! It’s when we can experience some of the most magical moments.