I’ve spoken many times around Wellness Wonderland about the importance of morning routines. Like here, and remember all the crazy things I do in the mornings like Oil Pull & water with lemon? Well, those are all well and good, but lately, I needed more.
I wanted to fall in love with my morning routine much like my mentor Gabrielle Bernstein did when she prayed to the Universe to fall in love with her spiritual practice – and was guided to Kundalini yoga when she previously hated yoga.
And that’s how it happens when you surrender (like I spoke about here) – the Universe will guide you in ways you never could’ve imagined to precisely what you are after. And that is what happened when I surrendered my morning routine by saying,
“Look, I want to be so in love with my mornings I can’t wait to go to sleep at night like a child on Christmas Eve so I can wake up for morning.”
I was trying to do so many “shoulds” in the morning that I was overwhelming myself to not even wanting to get out of bed, and a morning routine should do the opposite.
I realized for any ritual to become habitual, it has to be something you look forward to in its entirety. Be patient, try things, and allow your morning routine to find you as I did.
I had to experiment to find mine & it is still constantly changing with the season, weather, and most importantly, how I feel that day.
I used to get wrapped up in doing the same thing every day to call it a routine, but then I realized this:
It was being okay that my routine varies a bit depending on how I felt difficult for me to accept. I thought it made me a fraud if I didn’t do it with perfect repetition daily, so I would force myself into these molds of routines of others until it felt like such hard work. I dreaded having to do it when I woke up.
It was a sigh of relief realizing that tailoring my routine was best for me. Now I don’t sweat it if I meditate before yoga one day and after yoga another, or if I have my lemon water gasp after breakfast instead of before, or if I power walk Monday, but Wednesday, I stay in dance it out. I follow my bliss and stop being so dogmatic about it.
So the key here is to do what you love, or you risk not getting out of bed.
Here are some things I love adding to my morning routine lately but use this list as a buffet, taking as much or as little of what I offer and leaving the rest. Maybe test out one thing a day and see what you like and don’t.
1) Oiling Pulling
Sometimes I oil pull, and sometimes I don’t. As I said, I used to be real dogmatic about this, beating myself up if I didn’t do it for one day. Now I’m chill about it, I try to make sure I do it at least a few times a week, but I do it as needed and don’t stress if I’m voyaging or have to be up super early.
Make breakfast a mindful practice. The possibilities are infinite, whether enjoying some fresh figs with cinnamon or a green juice or grapefruit, warming buckwheat, or a green smoothie or pancake. Eat whatever you feel like, but take the time to sit and enjoy it because nurturing yourself for a flourishing day is key.
I used to push off breakfast until everything else I ‘needed‘ to do was done (& at the rate, I was going with all my “shoulds” that could be as late as 2:00) & I’d rush through it just grabbing something as I ran out.
I love to get the body moving first thing in the morning. It signals to the body that it is time to be awake and gets the blood flowing. I usually stretch and do yoga, though sometimes I go on a power walk while listening to a Podcast or making it to an early morning Ashtanga yoga class or Barre class.
Getting a workout first is ideal and sets the day off right. Sometimes I don’t have time, and sometimes I don’t want to, but that’s okay. And sometimes I DANCE!
Clearing my mind before the day starts has drastically changed my life, and it will change yours too. I guarantee it.
Spending just a few minutes in stillness each morning, whether you do a Kundalini meditation, listen to a guided meditation, or sit and listen to your favorite song and breathe. You are tuning in with yourself in the morning before the news, email, and responsibilities.
Listening to music in the morning makes my entire day smoother. When I wake up, I turn on a record, walk (somedays skip) around my apartment, and light candles immediately. It sets the stage for a good morning.
6) Getting Dressed:
It sounds simple, but putting on real clothes (not just yoga clothes or sweats) drastically changes my feelings. Even if I’m staying home all day, this simple action will automatically make me feel more put together and motivated to get things done and even venture out for errands later that I made have put off since I would’ve had to get dressed.
7) Journaling/Morning Pages
Starting the day with a bit of journaling also drastically changed my day. Getting the thoughts I woke up without from my mind clears space, so those same thoughts don’t play on repeat all day, and I have room for new creative ones to come in. Whether it’s fears I woke up with, an abundance of ideas, or a funky dream, writing about it is simple yet revolutionary.
I love beginning with a Lil gratitude list and, asking myself how I want to feel during the day & listing out some action items on what I’m going to do to feel that way. Grab your journal & write out your #MorningMantra each day.
8) Drink Warm Lemon Water
Hydration first thing in the morning will drastically change your day. When you first wake up, immediately drink water, and even better if it is warm with some lemon. It will instantly alkalize your body, and it is super detoxifying.
9) Make your Bed Like you’re Martha Stewart
Oprah said this in this episode of Super Soul Sunday. She explained she only makes her bed on the weekends, but when she does, she pretends she’s Martha Stewart, really getting into it with the throw pillows and enjoying.
I do this every morning, and I remember approaching this simple act with a “beginner’s mind,” making it a game-like fun activity in the morning. This sets the tone for the rest of my day, and I try to infuse that same intention into every act for the rest of the day, from mindless tasks to cooking.
10) Lighting Candles
I adore candles, and the simple act of walking to the record player, turning on a record, and then meandering around the apartment lighting all the candles before I meditate is such a beautiful practice. Something is soothing & relaxing about candles that can calm me down.
11) Make the First Task a Creative One
Finally, once all the morning routines are completed, and it’s time to drive to work, I’ve found one last way to sneak some serene positivity right into the beginning of the workday. This final step is simple, make your first task of the workday enjoyable and preferably creative.
Perhaps, sending an email to someone you’re mentoring or answering comments on your blog, or creating a new post…apply this principle to your line of work, whatever that might be. Strive into the good stuff right away rather than starting your day by completing something mindless. It will make the entire day richer.
I hope you enjoyed this buffet of morning ideas, and you were able to find at least something you can apply and use. Let me know which number was your favorite!
These are the 11 essential morning routines that I used to follow for the past 3 years and fell in love with it. Starting your day with a perfect and healthy morning route helps you feel more productive. The essential part of building a healthy morning routine is to go to bed on time and get enough sleep.