The productivity and quality of your day depends on the effectiveness of your morning ritual. The energy we have upon waking up stays with us until we make a conscious effort to change it. That’s exactly where a morning ritual comes in! It helps you implement practices that fulfill and empower you instead of drain you. Prior to establishing a morning ritual, my days felt completely scattered with no direction and way too many distractions. I was the girl that woke up 45 mins before I had to leave, snoozed the alarm 1 or 2 times, hopped in the shower, and walked straight out the door. It didn’t feel like a problem until the effects of burnout slowly started creeping in. Establishing a morning ritual has changed my life and I couldn’t imagine my day without it.
In August 2019, I started working a restaurant job as a hostess to fund a Study Abroad trip to Paris. After returning from Paris, the amount of hours increased at the job and my schedule was strictly work and school. Being a full time graduate student, taking hair clients on weekends and running my hair business was already exhausting enough. There were times I would wake up and get right to work without eating breakfast, drinking water and sometimes, taking a shower. I had convinced myself that my health, self care, and overall wellness could wait because there was work to be done. Each time I convinced myself of that, I chose the obsessive grind over myself.
Fast forward to March 2020, I quit the restaurant job and began working on developing some sort of routine. I started with the attempt to make my bed daily and progressively, getting better at it each day. At first, it was to provide stability in my life but the more intentional I was about how I spent my mornings, I started to realize my needs and what I could do to fulfill them. This subconsciously helped me with the codependency issues in my past because I finally understood that it is my job to fulfill me before anyone else does.
You’re probably thinking about how much time you don’t have in the morning. Before I read Atomic Habits, I viewed routines as a prison. Atomic Habits explains how the effectiveness of your routine can actually create more space for freedom to do the things you enjoy. As someone that has worn and still does wear many hats, I’ve been there. Capitalism has a way of forcing the grind culture on us and doesn’t encourage self-care, let alone wholeheartedly putting yourself first. Contrary to popular belief, self care isn’t always an enormous gesture. The small practices you incorporate end up equaling to something big.
Morning Ritual vs. Morning Routine
I view a morning ritual as an opportunity to choose yourself. It consists of many (or not so many) things that allows you to start your day full and encourages flexibility. Routines are typically a step-by-step process that is followed from top to bottom. A ritual says there are multiple things you could do and a routine says this is what you “should” do. The goal with a ritual is to participate in actions that align with your energy for that specific day. The most important thing to understand while on this journey is that establishing a morning ritual isn’t for anyone else except you.
Now let’s get on to how to find the perfect morning ritual for you.
5 x 5 x 5 Rule
The 5 x 5 x 5 rule is perfect for people that don’t have a lot of time and/or have trouble finding motivation in the morning. This rule allocates 5 minutes to 3 specific individual actions, totaling to 15 minutes. These actions can be anything that will increase your mental, physical, emotional, or spiritual health. Each morning I tell Alexa to set three 5 minute times and stretch, journal/read, and meditate. As you begin to find your rhythm, you can increase the time increments the way you see fit (10 x 10 x 10). Spending 15 minutes with yourself each morning can truly enhance your day in ways you would’ve never imagined while making self care feel like less of a chore.
Energy Based Morning Ritual
Our energy varies each day and as we honor that, we make room to show up as is. Creating a morning ritual based on your current energy lets you show up for yourself no matter how you feel. On the days where I have high energy, I may do a 40 minute yoga session but on a medium energy day, I’ll knock out a quick 10 minute yoga session because nobody has time for that chile! Grab a sheet of paper and draw 3 columns. Write down practices you would incorporate in your ritual based on based on low energy, medium energy, and high energy. Once your columns are complete, keep it handy so you can easily reference it.
The Multitasker Morning Ritual
This ritual is specifically for all the multitaskers out there that always wear many hats simultaneously. You may find that work creates a long to do list for you, have small children to take care of, or maybe you’re a business owner. However you resonate, don’t worry because there is space for you here too! One great way to start your day is to decrease screen time when you immediately wake up. Instead of checking your emails, texts and social media, choose to sit still with yourself for 5 minutes in silence.
As you start your morning, you can still implement the practices that you enjoy. This can show up as praying while you shower, listening to a motivational podcast while you get dressed or listening to an audiobook on the way to work. The important thing to remember is that there are still ways to feed your mind, body and soul despite having multiple hats to wear.
I learned the hard way that being busy does not excuse you from taking care of yourself. It can be extremely hard to put yourself first and still, I believe in you! You deserve to take time to love, care, ground and appreciate yourself each morning. If your first attempt to establishing a morning ritual doesn’t work out, try another way! Don’t give up on yourself that easy. It’s not about perfection, it’s about progression! Remember to be kind to yourself as you gain your rhythm and always do what feels right.
Here are some affirmations to take with you:
- My heart, mind, body and soul is open and ready to receive love from myself.
- I exercise patience with myself as I find a rhythm that aligns with my energy.
- I am worthy of showing myself grace, compassion and love.
Until next time,