Creating a morning ritual.

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Hi there!  Happy Monday!  Do you ever wake up in the morning feeling sluggish, drowsy, unmotivated, almost a little hungover even though you didn’t go out the night before?  Yeah, me too.  Perhaps you got a case of the Sunday Scaries that caused you to feel upset about not finishing everything on your weekend to-do list, making it hard to get a good night’s sleep.  Or maybe you went to bed excited for the next day, however you woke up in the morning feeling like the excitement had disappeared.

There is a big push in our society to constantly be “on”; present, alert and ready to answer any questions or complete any tasks in the fastest way possible.  While being in this state may help us reach our goals and move up in our careers, it is also a pretty big expectation to put on ourselves, and it doesn’t leave much room for taking a break or turning “off” to take care of you.

Once you are able to ignore the need to be “on”, you can incorporate some simple practices into your morning that will wake you up, re-motivate you, and calm your nerves about the day.  The key factor in making a morning ritual work is finding things to do that are simple.  If you are someone who needs an extra push to wake up in the morning it could be going for a walk or doing some easy stretches.  If you enjoy slowly easing into the day it may look like you reading a chapter in a book, journaling, or drawing.  It could be an easy conversation with your partner or roommate, or a few minutes of complete silence in a dark room.

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These are a few practices that I have found to be helpful;

~ going for a glass of warm lemon water instead of coffee first thing in the morning

~ writing down 3 things that I’m grateful for

~ taking my dog for a walk

~ stretching on my yoga mat

~ listening to music

~ meditating for anywhere from 3-20 minutes

None of these practices cost money or require a great deal of effort.  The hardest part is just making the time to do it.  For myself it requires waking up at least 20 minutes earlier than when I would to get ready for the day.  The truth is, some mornings I’d rather have that extra 20 minutes of sleep, and that’s okay.  Do I notice that I have a better outlook on the day when I take the time to do my morning ritual?  Yes, but my day isn’t going to be ruined if I don’t do them.  If we pressure ourselves to always incorporate a morning ritual, then we are only adding another expectation on ourselves.  Try doing just one thing right when you get out of bed that doesn’t involve your cell phone or computer and that you truly enjoy.  It might be hard to think of something since we are so wired to be “on” all of the time, but imagine what you would do if you had nowhere to be and nothing to do… and then do it.  Afterwards take note of how you feel and how your mindset has shifted.  You might want to set a timer so that you don’t spend the whole morning in your ritual and end up late for work or school (;  Most importantly, enjoy the time you have to just be.

Kindly, Katie

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