Full disclosure: Most of my mornings suck. In a perfect world, I’d start my day off like a Folger’s commercial , bundled up in a soft robe sipping a freshly brewed cup of coffee and randomly smiling to myself while the steam floats across my face, instantly perking me up and giving me a mini-facial in the process. I don’t believe it’s magic in that cup (coffee drinkers may disagree), but instead, partaking in that morning routine helps them ease into the day instead of blundering towards it like a train wreck.
A speeding locomotive heading towards disaster precisely describes the way I begin most of my days, except I’m not as swift. Generally, I roll over and scroll through my phone, check emails, texts and (insert embarrassed face here), Twitter. Then I lay around for a few more minutes and ruminate over what I have to do, why I have to do it and how I’m gonna do it. By the time I get out of bed, my mind is sufficiently cluttered, and the worst part? I’m usually not motivated. At all.
At one point in time, I practiced a simple yet effective morning ritual where I took a few minutes to clear my mind, think of a reason I was happy to be alive (because let’s face it – some days this is extremely difficult) and eat breakfast before I headed out for work. Since I’ve been working from home, it’s been a struggle to maintain a lot of the structure I had when my schedule was less flexible, hence the reasons my mornings aren’t as stable as they once were.
Bottom line is I know I need to re-establish a morning ritual ASAP because there are obvious benefits:
MORNING RITUALS HELP YOU TO CENTER YOURSELF:
There’s nothing like an established morning routine to help you focus on what’s important and mute all the background mental chatter.
THEY REDUCE ANXIETY:
Whenever I wake up anxious, I feel like crawling back into bed and resigning myself to a life of abandoned accomplishments and responsibilities. I hate not being able to silence the thoughts that instantly bombard my mind like what type of work day I’m going to have, fitting in personal errands and/or enjoyable tasks before work, paying bills, eating and… dammit it’s almost time for work. Basically my blood pressure rises before I do! But employing some sort of morning ritual helps me to slow down and minimize stress before I face the day.
MORNING RITUALS HELP YOU ADJUST YOUR ATTITUDE:
Ever had one of those days where you wake up just knowing it’s going to be a bad day and then you go on to have the worst day ever? Some things are beyond our control, but I truly believe a positive attitude is half the battle. When I regularly followed my ritual, it helped me get my mind right so I wouldn’t contribute to a self-fulfilling prophecy of endless bad days. Which brings me to…
THEY CAN AFFECT THE OUTCOME OF THE DAY:
Going back to my previous AM routine, I used to take a few moments to think of why I’m happy to be alive. Throughout the day, I relied on those reasons to get me through whenever I encountered a shitty situation that threatened to permanently derail my day. It helped me to concentrate on how I react to situations and realize that if I’m actively participating in making the day become what I want it to, then odds are it’ll work out that way.
HELP INCREASE SELF-ESTEEM & CONFIDENCE:
Personally, I file morning rituals under the self-care category and whenever I do something to contribute to my self-care (whether it’s working out consistently, eating right or setting boundaries), it gives me a sense of control, which ultimately makes me feel more confident.
Do you have a morning ritual or routine? If so, what are some of the benefits? Let me know in the comments.