If you have known me for longer than five minutes, you would be aware that a morning person I am not. I can get up early (and usually have to) and I can function, but there isn't always a spring in my step and there is very limited speech from my lips.
But I also know that I feel good (eventually...) on the days when I am up early, when I have a moment to myself before my children wake up and I can start the day with intention, in the right frame of mind.
And this is where, for me, small rituals come in to play. Having morning rituals in place lets me fall into a rhythm without having to put too much thought into it in the moment.
There is a bolstering sense of familiarity and flow that comes from a repeated series of small acts, and if you include simple rituals that bring you some joy, there is the added bonus of incentive to get out of bed and get into your day.
For me, these rituals change as seasons and personal needs do and because, let's be honest, predictability can get boring. And at times I definitely cast my morning rituals aside for long periods, but I know that overall I do life better with them and so for that reason alone, they are important to me.
So, what do my morning rituals look like at the moment?
Warm water - a glass of warm water on waking gets my system going and I love hugging a warm mug whilst I stare aimlessly out the window for a moment.
A quick stretch - I have had problems with a neck/back injury of late so this ritual is rather imperative to me. However the truth is that even prior to the injury I have never felt truly awake until I have had a good stretch. It helps you to start the day mindful of your posture too.
Inspiration - In whatever form is meaningful to you. For me, that is prayer and it is the one morning ritual that I try to make sure happens even if I don't make it out of bed at a a nice early hour (it just happens in the shower rather than on the back step!) This could also look like reading a few pages of something inspiring, saying your affirmations, focusing on a positive quote or meditating for a few minutes.
Dry body brushing - This is one I haven't been doing of late but want to start again. Even if this only happens a couple of times a week, it is still so beneficial. And if you are a bit slow in the mornings like myself, this ritual definitely leaves you feeling awake! I just ordered a new body brush from here.
Essential oils - bergamot, white grapefruit, sweet lime and lemongrass are my favourite morning oils. A couple of drops added to some body oil or rubbed on your hands and inhaled for a minute does the trick.
A piece of paper and a pen - simple but effective. The small act of writing a list for the day seems to give a sense of calm (even if just momentarily) and helps prioritise the hours ahead.
A cup of tea - I'll be honest, there definitely needs to be a coffee in my life at some stage before 11am, but first thing in my day, tea has my heart. My current favourites are English Breakfast and Refresh.
Do you have morning rituals? What works for you? Feel free to share in the comments.