Do you ever feel like you just can’t catch up with yourself in the morning? It seems like when your alarm clock goes off, you’re already behind schedule. Maybe you’re like me and hit snooze three or four times before crawling out of bed, then you wake up in a rush and try to keep up the rest of the day.
I hate mornings like that. So a few weeks ago, I made a commitment to myself to no longer rush out the door without taking time for myself.
I started waking up 30 minutes earlier than I normally would just so I would have some extra time to prepare for the day. I read somewhere that starting a morning ritual you can [mostly] accomplish in the mornings helps you feel successful first thing in the day, which then [hopefully] sets you up for success later in the day.
Just a heads up: this is meant to be a fun blog post, giving you a glimpse into a few things I do to improve the overall quality of my life.
So without further ado, here are my five morning rituals:
Ritual #1: Shower and Make Coffee
Time: ~ 15 minutes
I call it: “the subtle art of waking up.” Maybe you’re one of those people who can pop right out of the bed in the morning, but I’m not. Waking up is a journey that begins with a shower (no more than five-minutes w/ 30-seconds of nothing but cold water at the end).
After my shower, I shuffle to the kitchen where I greet Finn and make a pot of coffee. I’ve been drinking this because it’s so good right now. Once the coffee’s brewed, I pour a cup, and immediately feel like everything in life is going to be okay.
Ritual #2: The Five-Minute Journal
Time: 3-5 minutes
Have you ever heard of the Five-Minute Journal? I don’t remember where I originally heard about this thing, but it’s designed for you to write an entry in the morning and one in the evening.
Each “session” takes five minutes or less. At the top of the page is a quote to ponder. Then you list three things you’re thankful for, three things you want to accomplish that day that would make it great, and finish with a daily affirmation. The evening entry is essentially a reflection on the day.
If you’re trying to get into journaling or are already a seasoned journal-er, check it out here.
I’ve been benefitting from it mainly because it’s forced me to be intentional with expressing gratitude and becoming content with all that I’m blessed with in life, whether they’re relationships, opportunities, etc.
Beginning my day with gratitude helps me stay optimistic.
Ritual #3: Meditate (practice mindfulness)
Time: 10 minutes
Okay, I realize I probably just lost some of you super Christians with this third one. I’m not talking about crazy zen stuff, levitation, or any new age-like mantras — I’m talking about the art of practicing mindfulness.
Believe it or not, this is something I learned about in seminary and it has benefitted me more than so many other self-care practices out there! It’s helped me combat negative thoughts and become less reactionary. And apparently, people who practice mindfulness are five times more likely to be compassionate toward others. Here are more benefits.
It’s not a bad thing, y’all.
Ritual #4: Read something inspiring
Time: ~ 10 minutes
I always incorporate some type of reading into my morning routine. And I almost always begin with these daily meditations from Richard Rohr. Other times I ponder a Bible passage and still others I might wander through the Book of Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals.
And when I’m not feeling holy and spiritual, I’ll usually just read a section or chapter from another book. Right now, it’s Tools of Titans. The chapters are pretty brief, which makes for an easy early morning read.
Ritual #5: Pour my heart on paper
Time: 20 minutes
Sometimes, the Five-Minute Journal doesn’t cut it and I have to write in more depth. If this is the case, I spend about another 20-minutes writing about what I’m learning, how I’m growing spiritually, what I’m struggling with, what my dreams are, etc.
I’m one of those people who doesn’t understand what I’m thinking until I write it down. I have to see my thoughts in order to understand them, so journaling is vital to my sanity and growth.
It’s okay to not be perfect
You might be thinking to yourself: you do all of those things every morning?!
I wish I could say I did, but then I would be superhuman and have no need to live a normal life. Rest assured, I almost never do all five rituals in a given morning. But if I hit three out of five, I feel pretty good.
Hopefully, you find it helpful to gain a glimpse into my early morning rituals. These five rituals have all added immense value to the overall quality of my life, which is why I shared them.
What do you do every morning that helps you feel successful? Let me know in the comments!