A Beautiful Morning book on morning rituals by Ashley Ellington Brown

What do your mornings look like? More importantly, what do they feel like? Are they hectic or calm? Do they energize you and set you up for success, or do they leave you feeling frazzled and overwhelmed?

Most of us race from obligation to obligation, putting everyone else’s needs over our own. We jump out of bed and into the day’s responsibilities, answering emails and texts while we make breakfast and check our to-do list. We start the day in a whirlwind of activity that doesn’t stop until we collapse at night. But what if there was a better way? A way to start the day calmly, with intention and purpose?

Read on if you’d like to know how you can spring clean your morning routine so that you can begin your day peacefully and powerfully.

Mindfulness in the morning sets the tone for the day, allowing you to steer it where you want it to go. This can have an incredibly positive impact on your life. The good news is that your ritual doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming; even a short, simple practice can be transformative.

  1. First, wake up a little earlier than usual. This can be surprisingly easy, especially if you tend to hit the snooze button after your alarm goes off.
  2. Then, use this extra time to do something that puts you in a positive frame of mind. What do you love to do? What revitalizes you? It could be anything: reading, singing, painting, meditating, yoga, journaling, walking, running—whatever makes you happy. Then incorporate that into your morning.
  3. Go outside, even if just for a minute. Getting sunlight first thing helps regulate your sleep cycles and spurs production of serotonin, which will boost your mood. Plus, being in nature will ground and center you.
  4. Avoid looking at your phone for as long as possible. Checking social media, texts, or email can make you tense and anxious. It also puts you in a reactive state, where you’re dealing with other people’s issues. When you do that before you’ve had a chance to set your own agenda, you’re essentially handing control of your day over to others.
  5. Incorporate mindfulness into your daily actions. Try to slow down and do one thing at a time, resisting the urge to multitask. Multitasking is stressful, and it turns out that it’s actually less efficient. You can even make an ordinary activity into a sort of mini-meditation, just by paying attention. For example, drink your coffee or eat your breakfast mindfully: smell it, sip or chew slowly, and feel it nourishing you.

These actions will center and calm you, helping you start your day in a peaceful, positive frame of mind. It’s certainly important to take care of our responsibilities, but it’s equally important to take care of ourselves. If we don’t practice self-care, all that doing will drain us dry. Replenishing your resources daily with a morning ritual, no matter how tiny, will empower you to be your best self and help you to create a life you love.