On this blog, I have always emphasised the importance of having a routine. You know how some people rave about routines and claim that their morning routine literally changed their lives? Yes, I am one of those people.
I worship my routine. That’s how much I love it. I don’t know what i’d do without it.
And while I have always been a morning person, I only started following a routine religiously over the last couple of years. It started as an experiment but I stuck with it because I noticed the difference it made in my life.
RELATED: HOW TO BECOME A MORNING PERSON
Being able to start your mornings slow and getting to work on yourself feels like such a privilege on some days. Especially when days are really busy and packed with work. My morning routine keeps me motivated and productive and also allows me to be intentional about how I start my day.
And I can not stress this enough, but you need a morning routine. I mean you already have a routine in place anyway. It’s what you do every morning. But what you need is a more structured routine that works for you. And you need to be more intentional about where you are putting your time and energy in the mornings.
I am not saying you need MY Morning routine. Because everyone is different. And what suits me won’t necessarily be a good fit for you. You need a routine that’s for you. That’s why only you can make a routine for yourself because you know yourself best.
But, in this post I wanted to share some morning rituals that have worked so well for me over the years. No matter what my morning routine looked like and what sequence I followed, these morning rituals have always found their place in the routine.
Morning rituals are basically small habits that you can include or small practices that can be a part of your morning routine. I used to work in an office set up, then quit my job and hustled hard. Then I became a mom and took on added responsibility of having a child and got BUSY for real.
But these morning rituals have stuck by over the years. And the best part if that they don’t take a long time to do as well. And they make so much of a difference in how your day progresses.
So, let’s chat about morning rituals for a bit?
Slow & intentional start to mornings:
Starting your mornings slowly and being more intentional in the morning allows you to be fully present in the moment. It is one morning ritual that helps me deal with the chaos that the day brings.
It allows me to stay calm and collected no matter how busy the day gets. It is also a great practice because it allows you to gather your thoughts and focus on what’s important rather than being bombarded by social media notifications first thing in the morning.
There are so many ways to start your mornings slowly and intentionally. What you decide to do is totally upto you. It could be something as simple as drinking a glass of water.
Drinking a glass of water can be a “slow living” practice too and it doesn’t take more than 5 minutes. Before you ask “how can i drink water with intention?” Let me explain.
- Take a tall glass of water and sit in peace, probably in your favourite corner of your house. For me, it’s always our balcony. it gives me so much joy to watch my plant babies as I drink my glass of water.
- Be completely present when you take the sip and feel the water hydrating your body. Know that you’re drinking water and let your thoughts be there in that moment. Do this with the entire glass, while taking small slow sips.
- And thank yourself for doing so, because staying hydrated is so important.
You see, so simple and yet so powerful.
You could something else like stretching your body when you wake up. That works great as well. So find any activity that allows you to take your morning slow and be intentional about it.
I can not stress moving your body, enough. It completely transforms how I feel in the mornings and through the rest of the day. And yes, you still need to exercise and workout, even when you don’t want to lose weight.
Although you can workout whenever you want but doing so in the mornings gives you a fair chance of being more consistent with it. Later in the day, everything is so unpredictable, especially on the work front. And sometimes, it gets neglected because you feel tired after a long, exhausting work day.
That’s why I find it best to be active in the morning itself. And you don’t have to go crazy with the HIITs, you could do something simpler like yoga or take an aerobics class as well. I always like trying new workouts and keeping a good mix because I get bored so easily. I also like listening to my body and exercising as a form of self love and not punish my body. So on days when I feel low on energy, I usually go for stretching and light yoga.
The idea is to move and take out 20-30 minutes to take care of your body. If you find yourself saying ” I do not have the time to workout“, here’s what I do. Remind yourself that this body of yours is what takes you places and allows you to do everything that you want to do. And it deserves to be treated with love and you can surely take out 30 minutes to take care of your body that does so much for you.
Such a great reminder and I find that it always puts things into perspective. It’s almost never about how much time your have, it is about prioritising. And doing so in the morning makes you feel good about yourself throughout the day.
Knowing that you put yourself first is empowering. And it encourages you to say no to situations where you feel that your boundaries are being pushed too far or when something doesn’t align with your goals and vision.
Journalling is one of those practices that people rave about. But that’s only if you’ve given it a sincere try. because people who have never tried it can never understand what all the fuss is about.
You need to give it a try to see how impactful it is.
I started journalling about 4 years back when I bought my first bullet journal because I wanted to see what the hype was about. I thought how could decorating a notebook be a tool for self improvement. At first, I didn’t quite understand the hype, but after a few months I started feeling how much of a difference it made in my day to day life. So I stuck with it.
And it’s one of those habits that has helped me navigate some of the toughest phases of my life. There are various forms of journalling that I have found super helpful over the years and some of my favourites that I’d ask everyone to try are:
Practising gratitude and filling in your gratitude journal every morning is one habit that keeps me grounded and helps me shift my perspective and focus on the good things in life. And you know hat they say, the things you focus on, grow. Writing 3 things I am grateful for everyday allows me to see all the good that’s happening in my life.
We, usually tend to focus on the negatives, because that’s where we feel like we need to put in work. And we often forget about the good things. And keeping a gratitude journal, takes only 5 minutes but it lets you see and focus on the good. It lets you know that no matter how far behind you feel you are, you still have a lot to be thankful and grateful for, everyday.
Brain dump or free journalling is probably my favourite thing to do, especially on tough days. Giving yourself the freedom to write whatever thoughts come to your mind allows you to connect deeply with your emotions. And a lot of the times, it allows you to actually understand why you feel a certain way. It also gives you the space to understand your thought process, if you often find yourself spiralling down a negative train of thought.
It will also give you an insight into how you associate things to emotions and then form positive or negative associations with those events. I found myself holding onto hurtful things said by someone and that leading to self doubt, a couple of times. And I knew I needed to change this because what other people say is out of my control. What I have control over is how I react to things and how I let them affect me.
And reading the same thing multiple times in my brain dump sessions allowed me to understand that I need to let go of that hurt that’s holding me back from working towards my goals.
My favourite way to do a brain dump is to start writing, without any prompts for 10-15 minutes. Sometimes longer. In these 15 minutes, I sometimes fill only half a page, sometimes 4. Totally depends on what I am feeling and how well I am able to put my feelings on paper. But it always works.
Again, you cannot comprehend how amazing journalling can be if you have never tried it sincerely. And if you do want to experience the power of journalling, then I highly recommend you give it a try,
Meditation is my favourite mindfulness practice. It is a great tool to build more self awareness and focussing on the present. And when you focus on the present moment, the past events have no power to affect how you feel. Ever heard the term “living in the moment” and why people find it so free-ing? It unlocks the power to be present and only let that moment dictate how you feel. Which gives you so much power to take control of your feelings and emotions.
You could either try meditation in its obvious form. there are a lot of free apps that offer guided meditations. Put in your earphones and select a meditation depending on how much time you have. You could do even a 5 minute meditation if that’s all the time you have in the morning.
Having said that, there are other forms of meditation as well, that allow you to be fully present in that moment/activity. For me, it’s always been gardening. We do have a small balcony garden and every morning I spend close to 15 minutes caring and looking after my plants. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but in those 15 minutes, no other thought crosses my mind and I am fully present in that “activity”. And that is a type of meditation for me.
It helps clear your mind and allows you to focus on the present. And a simple meditation session helps you be more focussed and productive through the rest of the day as well. Because it helps you clear out mental space, so you feel like you have more mental capacity and more room in your mind to focus on important things.
Meditation also reduces anxiety and stress. Although to actually see the benefits, it is often recommended that you try it for at least 8 weeks. However, if you’re doing it right, you’ll feel calm and centered, even after a single session.
Top Priority Task:
The last morning ritual that I absolutely swear by is getting started on your top Priority task of the day or as I will refer it often on the blog TPT. You have the most energy in the mornings. Your mind is fresh and you’re already feeling motivated after your other morning rituals.
Then, the best thing you can do is focus or start working on your TPT. I end my morning routine to start working on my most important task of the day and usually have it checked off my to-do list before 10 AM.
It gives me a huge sense of accomplishment in the morning itself. And I take that win and that feeling of being motivated through the rest of the day. Getting your most important task of the day done also means you will be able to finish your work at a reasonable hour and have more time for yourself in the evenings. And you can indulge in self acre and take a break, without any guilt.
But how do you decide what’s TPT?
It’s all about setting priorities. For me, it’s the one thing that will help me the most in getting close to my goal. And it always keeps changing because your weekly/monthly goals keep changing. When I was starting out the blog, it used to be admin work for me. Then it became about content creation, so I used to write the blogs in the mornings.
Some days it is Pinterest. So it totally depends on what I have going on in the day and which of those to-dos is the most important.
Getting your TPT done in the morning is great because the days can be so unpredictable and sometimes life gets in the way. And getting it done in the morning relieves me from the stress and anxiety. I always know I have already got my top priority task done in the mornings, so if during the day, things don’t go according to plan or if my baby really needs me, I can take a break without letting guilt creep in. It makes it easier for me to balance my work and my life.
That’s it. these are the morning rituals that can fit into almost any morning routine and that make life so much easier. Start by including 1-2 of them in your present morning routine and keep adding. I hope you found this post helpful. Let me know in the comments what your morning routine looks like and what is the one morning ritual that you absolutely cannot miss.