Morning Rituals can be the difference between a day of missed opportunities and a day of limitless potential; the difference between a ‘Groundhog’ day of mistakes instead of a day filled with little moments of joy, that will return to you later as sweet memories.
You are probably now expecting me to follow suit with most articles on this subject, by telling you that the secret to happiness and wealth, is to get up two hours earlier to exercise, meditate and drink lemon water.
Well, no, not quite……. although I do always say ‘don’t knock it till you try it’.
Having tried to follow every list going I realised the importance of finding your own groove in the mornings. Whilst a Ritual is a practice or pattern, performed regularly in a set way, that doesn’t mean it can or should be recreated on a Henry Ford style happiness assembly line, where the same components are used on vastly different people with the expectancy of identical outcomes. One size does not fit all.
So don’t fret if you don’t like lemons or you don’t know how to meditate (does it make anyone else fall asleep?!), morning rituals aren’t just about healthy food or holistic traditions – it could be moments of love or laughter or even your own quiet time for some pampering with your favourite beauty products.
I used to wake up as late as possible when I worked in London, just so that I could get extra sleep – but it made me feel worse and I left in a mad rush every single day. Now I always have time for other things too, whether I’m working or not. Morning rituals motivate and nourish – making them crucial to the outcome of the rest of your day.
I wake my husband up for work at 5am every day, which feels pretty disgusting most mornings. The second he is out of the bed my cat-like stretch begins! There is something about making the stretch noises too, it just has to be done for maximum enjoyment. Yoga is commonly suggested for morning routines, as well as other exercises, I say start with whatever you can realistically commit to. You don’t have to be a seasoned Yogi to benefit from stretching, nor do you have to go to a class. If you would like to make it a proper stretch, look for some DVD or Youtube routines you can do at home.
Making the Bed
This really motivates me to get cracking with the day. I started making the bed not long after waking up, in an attempt to stop me from getting back into it! I have such an early start in the mornings, that sometimes it is tempting to go back to bed for a couple of hours, but this nearly always makes me feel worse. So it is a great way to keep yourself moving, as once the bed is nicely made, you won’t want to ruin it. I also find myself more willing to tidy the rest of the room.
I could have pretended I was a lemon water person but the truth is 1. I prefer coffee and 2. this particular ritual for me is not about health, it’s about moments with loved ones. I cherish coffee time because it is 15 mins of blissful morning chatter with the hubby, when we are both alert and ready for the day. I also love coffee! Hydration is important too, we always have a large glass of water to start the day, neither of us eating first. A bonus of this is I ultimately eat less too because often we are thirsty but mistake the signs as hunger pains.
Getting up that little bit earlier allows time for my creative space. For you this might be during your commute, or whilst your children are eating their breakfast. Ideally, you need to make at least half an hour so that you can really feel nourished, but even if it is just 10 minutes, you’ll feel so much better for it. I love to read but I fell out of the habit with the same old excuse that I didn’t have time; I realised I wasn’t making the time. Since then I read books, practice calligraphy or fit in some watercolour painting. It’s such a good brain warm up, especially if you are not naturally talented in these skills (which I’m not!).
After some creative time I always think about what I need to do and want to do during the day, but rather than write huge To-Do lists that never get completed, I simply write down the 3 biggest outstanding tasks (usually the ones you dread doing) and I also pick out the 3 quickest tasks. This system really helps you to stay focused, as you actually feel like you are getting somewhere quickly. This should take you less than 5 minutes to complete.
At some point during the above routine, I will shower and do my makeup, depending on what is on for the day. As I generally work from home, this often comes last, right before I need to leave and face the world – no one needs to see me without a lick of face paint!
After showering, this is my current morning skincare and makeup routine:
Cleanse: Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water
Tone: Aesop B & Tea Balancing Toner
Moisturise: Simple Hydrating Light Moisturiser
Sun Cream: La Roche-Posay Anthelios SPF 50
Primer: Stila Colour Correcting Cream, in Fair 01
Foundation: Garnier BB Cream, in Light
Blusher: Mac Mineralize Blush, in Warm Soul
Mascara: Revlon Lash Potion, in Blackest Black
Lipstick: NARS Pure Matte Lipstick, in Bangkok
Perfume: Chanel Chance Au Fraiche
I usually do use Vitamin A and C serums, for anti-ageing purposes but I am having a pause and rethink after some nasty breakouts. Any product recommendations more than welcome!
Rituals mean different things to different people, some might include exercise (I wish mine did but I can never keep it up!) and others might include meditation. The important thing is to try lots of different elements, until something sticks. You will know if something feels right, depending on how much of a chore it is to do it.
Remember, keep it positive and make sure that your morning routine makes you feel awake, nourished and ready to take on the day. If something isn’t quite right, change it!
What are your morning rituals?
Ps. Here are some more tips on how to feel organised instantly.