Fortunately for all of us, we get to wake up each morning and start life anew. What a gift right? But how many of us actually wake up on the "right side of the bed", and start the day with a bounce in our step? If you have to be somewhere first thing in the morning (work, school, volunteering, …) you may set an alarm and wake up to a blast of music or some annoying loud siren. Or you have a dog that nudges you to go out, a cat sniffing your face, or kids that climb into bed with you. We jump up, and rush into our obligations, or know we are already late and scramble to get out the door on time. Starting out with this abrupt, rush, chaos is clearly not the ideal way to start our day.
Morning rituals can be a really nice way to start your day. A morning ritual is what you do every day as part of your morning. Many people do exactly the same thing, in the same order every day. Get up, put on robe, let dog out, turn on coffee, get paper…..Rituals are unique to each of us, but I think we all have them. This article talks about what rituals are good for….
- A reason to get out of bed in the morning…..once you have the right mix in your routine, it is comforting and makes the start of the day easy, even when times might be rough. You know what to do to get the ball rolling every day.
- Mornings become habit. You know what to do and can do them without thinking….and this includes health habits that are good for you!
- Rising at the right time to complete a morning ritual is satisfying. You start the day with success!
- The ritual is all about you. Not what you are doing for others but doing for yourself. (This is hard for lots of people!)
In reading about morning rituals, I found some alarming statistics.
- Almost 75% of baby boomers check their email first thing in the morning; 1 out of 4 people and 3 out of 5 Millennials check their smart phones while still in bed!
- Only 40% of adults get up early enough to have time to eat breakfast but 61% of workers check their work email before leaving home, and 50% of people check their social media.
Crazy that we have time to check work email but not eat! It seems pretty clear to me that we spend more than enough time on email, at work, watching other people's lives on social media throughout the day, that we can carve out some sacred time in the morning. Time to honor yourself, start your day with positivity, with healthy routines. Some people are morning exercisers. Get it done so you don't miss it later when things get busy. Start your day with meditation or prayer. Eat a nice meal. Walk the dog. Stretch. Dance to some good music.
Here are things I do for my morning routine:
- I drink lemon water. I put about 1 - 2 Tbsp lemon juice in about 8 -12 ounces of room temperature water and drink it over the first 15 or 30 minutes.
- I dry brush my body before I take a shower. Yes, this seems weird but I like it. Here is an article about dry brushing. All you do is use a long handled bath brush to brush your skin all over (in the direction of your heart.) Three or four strokes on each area. At first it feels kind of rough, but now I look forward to it. The benefits are numerous: it brushes off dead skin, tightens your skin, improves circulation of blood and lymph, decreases cellulite, and stimulates the body to remove toxins.
- In the shower, I follow the same routine every day: wash hair, wash body, rinse hair, put conditioner in hair, floss teeth, brush teeth, do forward bends ( so nice while the hot water runs over you!), rinse hair. Some days I also scrape my tongue. (Read here) Yes, dental care in the shower is different, but try it…you feel completely clean when you get out of the shower! You'll also never forget to floss!
- I also feed the cats, clean the catbox, feed the birds, and eat breakfast. I drink green juice, and often have hot tea of coffee. Iced in the summer and hot in the winter.
- Lately I have also been reading a daily mediation from Melody Beattie's Journey to the Heart. It is not a religous reading but about finding your own path and joy in your life. I highly recommend it. It has a reading for each day. My mom has been doing daily readings forever and seems to get a lot from them. I have tried on and off but sometimes they don't stick. Years ago I read Simple Abundance every morning, but then I had a long lapse. Now I have this new one and I look forward to it. (Simple Abundance is a great book if you haven't read it!)
- I also have a daily calendar from Notes from the Universe. I read each day as I turn the calendar. You can get a note by email (I do) but I like the calendar. Sometimes they are funny, and most of the time, exactly what you need to hear.
- I like to watch "Your World in 90 Seconds," the top news at 7 am on the CBS This Morning show. I watch it on TV but I think you can see it online. It's just the top news and always a couple funny clips from the internet or one of the nightly comedy shows. I actually love CBS This Morning and watch it most days.
So these are just the things I do every morning. Some I can do when I am away from home, and some are just for home. They all are comforting and good for me, mentally and physically. I suspect you all have routines as well. Meditate? Yoga? Exercise? Journal? Stretch? Listen to music? I would love to know what you do. If you read this on my actual website (not via email) you can leave a comment at the bottom of the post by clicking on start the discussion, and giving your name and email. I hope it works, as I would love to know some of your routines! I might need to change something!