You know its good for you. Youve been trying to keep your commitment to this goal for a while. And yet, the snooze button wins out every time. If you can relate, read on for tips thatll help.
A morning ritual is a gift you give yourself of time and attention. Starting the day mindfully puts you in control and allows you to choose positive actions that nourish you. But like any good habit, it can be difficult to make your morning ritual stick. The secret? Learn how to customize your practice to your life. Heres how.
If your mornings are crazy, you may not be able to fit anything else in. Thats OK. You can create a ritual to practice any time of day that works for you and still enjoy its benefits. The point is to carve out some space every day to put yourself first, prioritize your needs over anyone elses, and do something thats just for you. It doesnt matter exactly what time you choose to tune in to yourself and what makes you happy, as long as you make the time.
Sticking to your ritual will be easier to do if you respect the way youre made. Read: Dont choose a practice because its good for you or because someone you admire does it. Your ritual should nourish your soul and lift you up, not weigh you down. Make it something funideally, something you cant wait to do each day.
Yoga instructor and creativity coach Lezlie Laws has a client who has a gorgeous garden, and every morning she walks barefoot down one side and up the other. She does this three hundred and sixty-five days a year, regardless of the weather, says Laws. It connects her to nature, which is very important to her, and her day goes better when she does that.
Starting the day by playing may seem like slacking off, but it can actually boost your productivity. Ideas include meditative drawing, painting, knitting, writing, or singing. Or, have a short dance partyits more fun than exercising, easy to fit in to a busy morning, and will rev up your energy while putting you in a good mood.
Painting is a form of meditation for me, says creativity coach Tracy Verdugo. The state we go into when were meditating is the same as being in flow when were making art, so those activities do have a similar effect on your brain. Painting helps me let go of distractions and busy-ness, and provides the space I need to let go of whats worrying me and to drop the chatter for a while.
Sometimes what we need is connection with our inner self; sometimes what we need is connection with others. For life coach Christie Federico, talking on the phone to a friend in the mornings has become a morning ritual. Its very important to me to feel connected, and since I live alone, this is an excellent way to do that, she says. Talking with my friend gives me a happy and fulfilled feeling, whether its through casual conversation, deep discussion, or just laughing together. Starting my day this way puts me in a good mood, which lasts all day long.
Another idea: Steal a few moments alone with your partner, perhaps by sharing your coffee or tea together in a quiet spot or hugging for several minutes. (For maximum effect, try not to use this time to go over the days list! Just enjoy each others presence.)
If you can cultivate mindfulness as you go about your usual activities, it can have the same restorative effect as a morning ritual. Breathing deeply when you wake up; pause to feel your feet on the floor before you get out of bed; pay attention to the sensation of warm water flowing over your skin in the shower; watch the clouds while sipping your coffee. These practices can all calm and center you, and they dont require any extra time carved out of your day.
You can also try replacing an activity you already do that doesnt serve you with one that lifts you up: Try listening to an inspiring podcast or music you love instead of checking social media or reading the paper, for example. After all, the entire point of creating a morning ritual is to treat yourself well. Its not meant to be work. So, play with a variety of ideas and see what makes you feel best.
About the Author
In her new book, A Beautiful Morning: How a Morning Ritual Can Feed Your Soul and Transform Your Life, award-winning author Ashley Brown helps readers discover the true power that lies in the first moments of the day. Inspired by the morning ritual she implemented that changed her life, Brown interviewed more than twenty women who are also living their dreams to explore how they start their days and the positive impacts their rituals have on their lives.