The things you choose to do when you wake in the morning are not only an indicator of the quality of your day to come, but by extension, the quality of your life. Learning to enjoy a handful of simple, morning rituals, not only help us to slow down, but to connect with the beautiful, everyday moments that we might have otherwise missed. Here are a few simple rituals that I enjoy, and I hope you might try.
Rise with the sun
Wake early with the sunrise, open your front door, and breathe in the fresh, cold air. Becoming an early riser not only helps us to connect to our body's natural rhythm, it can also satisfy the need for a peaceful and relaxing start to the day, particularly if you have children like I do.
Refresh and awaken your senses
Upon waking, splash your face a few times with cold water, and delight in its pure freshness. Not only does this help to awaken your senses, it also washes away any impurities and fogginess that can often come with sleep. I also take this moment to drink a large glass of water, which helps me to rehydrate.
Smile at yourself in the mirror
As silly as it sounds, this lovely ritual can boost your self esteem and acts as a gentle reminder that you are in charge of your own happiness. You might even be surprised at the positive thoughts it might inspire.
For many of us, checking social media or scanning through emails can become automatic. Not only does this hijack our focus and put us into a reactive, negative state, it can often puts other's needs before our own. Next time you reach for your phone, do yourself a favour and turn off your notifications so you can embrace the morning with no distractions.
You might have heard of this exercise, which involves putting pen to paper, and writing about anything and everything on your mind, ideally done first thing in the morning. There is no right or wrong way to do Morning Pages, in fact, I don't even see them as “writing”. This simple exercise can help you to clear your head, whether it’s the small distracting thoughts, or more challenging issues that we can face. It's also a great way to gain focus, and allow more clear and creative thinking. I read about this technique in The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron.
Make a cup of tea
Last, but certainly not least, the simple task of preparing tea might just be my most treasured ritual of all. I like to imagine the act of preparing tea as a way of practicing mindfulness. Next time you pop the kettle on, relish in each step of the process, sip slowly, and take the time to appreciate the delicious aroma. I'm currently enjoying rooibos tea with it's soft, caramel flavour. It's quite lovely with a little honey and a splash of almond milk.