T h e S T R E A M :
The Art of Morning Ritual
Groggily hitting the snooze button for the fifth time in a row is something we should leave in 2016. Let’s bid adieu to our tired morning routines, or lack thereof, and welcome in a fresh approach. Because it could end up changing how we approach everything else in life.
Envision your ideal morning
A good morning starts with a good evening. Prepare your breakfast (check out this divine recipe for overnight oats), pack your lunch, and gather your gym clothes. Anything you can do in the evening, do it. That makes the morning much easier to swallow.
Then, take some time and envision what your ideal morning looks like. Yes, the first waking hour doing meditative yoga may sound heavenly, but if it’s not realistic, then brainstorm ideas that are feasible. Start by writing out a tentative schedule. Think about how different you’ll feel being intentional about your morning, rather than starting your day rushed, crabby and frazzled. This mindset will be imperative when your alarm goes off…
Wake up 30 minutes earlier
…Because your wakeup call is coming early. Decide on a time that’s both realistic and manageable. If you’re used to being dragged out of bed by your kids (not a fun way to wake up, by the way), then try getting up before them. Indulge in the quiet moments of your normally busy household.
Stay away from screens
If you’re like most Americans, the alarm goes off and you reach for your smartphone. Eighty percent of us do it. Break from the mold and shield yourself from the buzz of the world for an hour. Checking email adds a layer of unnecessary anxiety and puts you in a reactive state. Mindlessly scrolling through Facebook, Instagram or Twitter can make you feel just as overwhelmed. Instead, intentionally fill your morning with things you enjoy doing.
Make your bed
Remember your mom always telling you to make your bed? Turns out, we all should’ve listened. Former U.S. Navy Adm. William McCraven, delivered key advice at a commencement speech at the University of Texas.
“If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed,” he told the graduates. “You will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride and encourage you to do another task, and another, and another.”
Basically, one productive decision leads to the next.
Greet the morning by a five-minute full-body stretch. Not only does this reduce muscle tension and increase range of motion, but also it gently gets your blood flowing, making for easier movement.
Do something creative
Journal, meditate, work with your hands, bake, draw, knit. Studies have shown that creativity flourishes when you feel groggy. Sleepier brains have fewer inhibitions, which could explain why some of your best ideas happen when you’re in the shower.
Close your eyes and express gratitude for this day. This practice unlocks within you a view of abundance, as opposed to scarcity.