This post is published in celebration of January’s blog theme: beginnings.
Almost two years ago, I discovered the Miracle Morning philosophy, and it completely transformed my approach to the start of the day. I’ve always been a morning person, but the Miracle Morning taught me the importance of having a certain set routine that I perform everyday on waking up. Over time, I’ve adapted the principles of the Miracle Morning to best suit myself and my lifestyle. I no longer wake up at 5am (unless I am truly pushed for time and having a crazy week), but have changed my alarm to 6am, which I’ve found is early enough, especially when I often have a lot more evening commitments now than I used to do.
It can feel overwhelming to completely transform your routine, but there are some quick and easy morning rituals you can undertake that make a disproportionate difference to your happiness, productivity and stress levels. Even better, many of these only take about 5 minutes or less! You don’t have to start with all of them; just try out a few and see what works best for you.
Start the day off right by accomplishing a small task like making your bed, and you’ll feel much more able to strike off bigger tasks on your to-do list. Plus, you’ll have a neat and inviting bed waiting for you at the end of the day – win-win!
Finding a moment of stillness and harmony first thing in the morning sets a good tone for the rest of the day. I admit, I’m struggling with meditation at the moment. I used to be able to find moments of stillness and mental clarity quite easily, but lately my brain really fights me when I try to empty my head of all the thoughts continually whirring around inside it. I’m pretty sure this means I’m in even more desperate need of meditation than ever before, so I’m struggling through, even though the process is generally more than a little frustrating right now.
Rather than meditating, which used to be a real source of calm and quiet pleasure for me, I’ve found that lately I have much more of a sense of peace after journalling. I like to use the 5 Minute Journal in the morning, but if you fancy something a little more soul-searching and quirky, then I highly recommend Meera Lee Patel’s gorgeous notebook Start Where You Are. It’s described as a thoughtful journal that ‘pairs insightful quotes with prompts that spark reflection through writing, drawing, list making, and more.’ I received it as a belated Christmas present and can’t wait to start using it.
There’s nothing worse than that feeling lurking in the back of your mind that you’re forgetting something, or you’re not quite sure what you had to get done today. Save yourself needless mental strain by taking 5 minutes in the morning to check and update your diary and to-do list.
I think it’s so important to take a few moments at the start of each day to do something that brings you joy. That could be dancing around to music, reading a book, listening to a podcast, drawing, knitting, working on your novel, watering your plants – do something that brings you a sense of satisfaction, even if only for 5 minutes. It will leave you feeling so much happier and ready for the day than time spent mindlessly instagram or facebook scrolling.
Getting your body moving and your blood circulating is important when you wake up; however, something I’ve realised about myself over the years is that I loathe vigorous exercise first thing in the morning. The idea of running, doing push-ups, or even more strenuous pilates before I’ve even had a cup of tea makes me shudder (ok, the idea of running always makes me tremble in horror, but you get my point…). Obviously, this isn’t the case for everyone, so embrace what you love and do whatever exercise calls to you at this hour of the day. I like to start off with something very light: perhaps some stretching, or a yoga pose or two, and then I’ll move to more demanding workouts later in the day/evening.
My skin care regime is definitely briefer in the morning than the evening, but I do still try to take the time to cleanse and moisturise my face. It instantly leaves me feeling (and looking) brighter and better and much more ready to tackle the day ahead.
What morning rituals do you enjoy?