I'm sure I'm not the only one obsessed with hearing about other people's morning rituals and habits. I find it fascinating to hear how others start their day, whether it be something normal like sipping on lemon water, or something totally weird, like a CEO that swims laps around his private island every morning. Same, really, but I digress. All of these habits and rituals really make you rethink how you spend those first hours of your day.
It's especially interesting to learn about the morning routines of those you admire. For example, did you know that Stephen King writes every single morning, including holidays and birthdays, until he reaches 2,000 words? Or that Jane Austen woke up early every morning and played the piano before sitting down to write? It's enough to make you want to dust off your old piano lesson books and get to playing.
But for the rest of us — whether we are trying to write novels or run huge companies or not — our morning routines are still incredibly important for starting our days off on the right foot. The morning is the time indulge in some "me" time that you probably won't get for the rest of the day. It's the time to get yourself organized and ready for your day. And it's time to do a few nice things for yourself to improve your health and well-being.
Here are a few comforting, rejuvenating, and healthful morning rituals that you may want to adopt for yourself.
1. Take A Minute To Stretch Before Doing Anything Else
When you first wake up, resist the urge to fling off your covers and bound out of bed. Instead, take a moment to stretch. Lie on your back and hug your knees up to your chest to stretch out your lower back, according to writer Marie Mulrooney for Livestrong. Then, guide your knee to the opposite side of your body to twist it all out and loosen things up. Next, try pointing your leg up into the air and then pulling it gently back towards you to stretch out your hamstring. This will help wake you up in a gentler way, and help you feel less like a 100-year-old as you climb out of bed.
2. Get Into Brewing Your Own Coffee
Brewing your own coffee can be part of your morning routine, or it can be your whole ritual in and of itself. If you like the idea of making your own cup of joe each morning but don't want it to eat up a lot of your time, then you may want to use a French press. It'll give you some pretty darn good coffee without much effort. But if you'd like to take it to the next level, consider something a bit fancier, like the pour over method. (I say it's fancy because it requires some tools and a bit of science, which may be a lot to ask of some of us in the morning.) Whichever method you choose, brewing your own coffee will wake you up, make your house smell great, and allow you to skip out on that crazy line at the coffee shop.
3. Brush Your Skin (However Weird That May Sound)
Before I gave this a try, I thought brushing my skin sounded like just about the weirdest thing ever. But I decided to give it a go because of the long list of health and beauty benefits. Since the skin is the largest organ in the body, it's believed that brushing it stimulates the lymphatic system and helps remove toxins. Brushing also helps unclog pores and exfoliate by removing dead skin cells. Oh, and it feels amazing.
All you have to do is get a natural bristle brush, stand in the shower (so you don't coat the floor with dead skin cells, yuck) and brush with long strokes up towards your heart, according to writer Olivia Jenkins at MindBodyGreen.com. When you're done, take a shower and then put on some natural body moisturizer, such as coconut oil. It's really a simple thing you can do to benefit your skin, and it'll leave you feeling pretty great all day long.
4. Take Your Time To Get Ready For The Day
We've all been there — you're going about your day when a funky smell begins to arise, and you realize with dismay that you forgot to put on deodorant. Or you arrive at work and realize that there's a giant hole in your shirt that you totally didn't realize because you got dressed in a whirlwind. I personally once arrived really late to a college class and realized I had on two different shoes (not my finest moment). Setting aside time to allow yourself to get dressed for the day may require getting up a bit earlier, but it's totally worth it in order to avoid such mishaps.
If this is going to be part of your morning routine, then make a little show of it, like a Victorian woman at her dressing table. Choose your outfit, relish your shower, play around with some makeup. The bottom line: Have fun and take your time. The difference between walking out the door feeling fresh and put together, versus running out with wet hair and only one contact in, can be staggering. You'll feel much more at peace the rest of the day if you allow yourself time to get ready.
5. Collect Your Thoughts
Skip your usual morning social media binge that has the tendency to leave you feeling wired, or cranky, or overwhelmed. Instead, spend a few quiet moments (perhaps with that coffee you brewed) and jot down some stuff you'd like to do that day. Or, take a few moments to meditate. I've been spending about ten minutes each morning listening to meditation tapes on YouTube, and it's helping me float through my day with a breezier, more relaxed attitude.
6. Do That Thing You Love To Do
Here's the nice thing about having a morning ritual — the routine will offer you spare time each morning to do whatever it is you want to do. If you wake up early enough and have yourself organized, you'll find that the morning is the perfect time to revel in your favorite hobby. Maybe it's something you struggle to find time to do during the day, like read. Maybe it's something you're too tired to do when you get home at night, like exercise. Or maybe you'll find the morning is the perfect time to play the piano, just like Jane Austen.
Creating a morning routine is about giving yourself time to wake up and do a few things you enjoy before heading off to start your day. Figure out what makes you feel best each morning, and (ta da!) you have yourself a morning routine.
Images: Pexels (5); Pixabay (2)