Creating a morning ritual is about claiming back part of the day for yourself.
It’s about revelling in your own private pocket of space and time, without any strains or demands on what you need to do. It’s about enjoying deeply, and allowing yourself to be fully present.
Carving out this time for yourself first thing in the morning helps set the tone for the day, and you’ll find you carry the received joy and relaxation with you as you navigate the remainder – helping to increase your productivity as well as your general sense of mental wellbeing.
Starting from the moment you get up, your thoughts are consumed by the demands of the day ahead and what is expected of you. Your morning routine is likely structured around a series of tasks needing ticked off as you ready yourself to leave the house; an informal agenda raced through without much thought apart from the constraint of time. Maybe you watch the news or listen to the radio while you gulp down breakfast and rummage for clean clothes, creating a numbed mind-set to distract, rather than nourish, you.
While you may view this period of time as separate from your working day, you are already in output mode – racing through your morning simply as preparation for the perceived ‘real’ beginning of your day, which you will then continue to race through until you return home tired and ready to switch off. If you leave it to the last possible minute to get out of bed, then everything will feel rushed right from the start and this will unwittingly set the tone for the entire day. For many of us, this sense of constant rushing contributes to a working week during which we are simply functioning. Life becomes this one long cycle of doing stuff, without any punctuation.
From Routine to Ritual
We would like to introduce the idea of making more out of this precious pocket of time which exists before we are locked into the output mode of daily life. We’d like to transform the notion that mornings are a time only for mindless routine, and see them instead as an opportunity for mindful ritual. Take your morning and gift yourself that much-needed gap, that precious breath of punctuation, where your focus is on receiving rather than doing.
The word ritual has sacred connotations; conjuring images of candles flickering, of stillness, of quiet and peaceful space, and – perhaps most significantly – of mystery. So much of life is filled with routine and mundanity, yet by introducing a sacred ritual at the start of each day, you can relish in a regular sense of mystery – a portion of each day which is not pre-mapped out for you. Creating a nourishing morning ritual is about setting aside a little bit of time and space dedicated to you alone, to be filled however you like without any pressure or expectation. Even if you absolutely love your work, and feel your days are filled with creativity and passion, there is still a set tempo to this – yet nothing compares to the timeless space you can create by carving out time at the beginning of your day.
How would this look?
Your morning ritual can be ever-changing. The needs and desires of your body, mind and soul will change day by day, or week by week. Some days you may find a burst of exercise in the morning helps to rejuvenate you and fire up your energy for the day; some days you may crave a bit of space to sit and journal, to help to empty your mind of clutter before stepping in into a day filled with new information. Other days you might want just want to embrace the sense of mystery and other-worldliness gained from stepping out in nature while the rest of the population sleeps – going for a wander in the woods or along the beach. Your ritual can be anything at all which you brings you joy, and which allows you to disconnect from the speed and linearity of the rest of your day.
How would this work?
Maybe you’re thinking that while this sounds gorgeous in theory, you can’t imagine yourself getting up earlier than you already do. This is understandable – mornings can be a struggle, and you may often not feel fully rested when you wake as it is. Yet this is part of the perception of mornings and daily routines in general which we are attempting to change here at Harmonizing. This struggle to waken and get going is more likely to stem from your bedtime routine, rather than from the time your alarm is set for. And so the first step towards creating your new ritual is to begin preparing the night before. Maybe you’re thinking that while this sounds gorgeous in theory, you can’t imagine yourself getting up earlier than you already do. This is understandable – mornings can be a struggle, and you may often not feel fully rested when you wake as it is. Yet this is part of the perception of mornings and daily routines in general which we are attempting to change here at Harmonizing. This struggle to waken and get going is more likely to stem from your bedtime routine, rather than from the time your alarm is set for. And so the first step towards creating your new ritual is to begin preparing the night before.
How long should I spend?
Don’t be put off by thinking you need to allocate loads of time in order for this to work, your ritual can be as short or long as you wish – or you can start small and work up to longer sessions as your bodyclock begins to settle. Your morning ritual could be as simple as lighting a candle in your kitchen for five minutes, and meditating as you watch it burn, or you could venture out barefoot into the garden, taking a moment to feel that connection to the earth as you breath in the fresh air.
When thinking of ideas for morning rituals, start by thinking simply of what you might make you feel good? What might you enjoy that you rarely make time for? We’ve put together some ideas below to help spark your inspiration and get you started.
• Listen to classical or devotional music as you relax and let your mind wander
• Sit somewhere comfortable in silence and just be, in stillness and quietness
• Light a candle and meditate over the flame
• Stand barefoot in the grass, to centre your body at the beginning of the day
• Read a positive affirmation card
• Set intentions for things you want to bring into your life – or for other people, sending love and gratitude out
• Write down a list of things which you are grateful for
• Read spiritual, creative or inspirational books
• Do some gentle yoga or stretching
• Mindfully prepare and eat breakfast
• Have a conscious, mindful shower – slow everything down and enjoy the sensations, textures and smells
• Write in your journal
• Go out into nature; wander along the shore, or into the woods
• Enjoy taking time to style and look after yourself – do something new with your hair or make-up
• Paint your nails
This article has been taken from has been taken from our FREE quarterly lifestyle magazine, Harmonizing Life. To receive each new issue of the magazine straight to your inbox, simply sign up here.