Morning routines are a big deal in the wellness realm. We’re told of a million different ‘formulas’ for the perfect morning to help us stay grounded — a mix of this much hydration, this many greens, this amount of yoga / chanting / meditation, etc. etc. And the more options we have to incorporate, the more complicated the ‘ideal morning’ seems. I don’t want my morning to be a to-do list. I’ve been there. It was exhausting.
There’s no one right thing or sequence of things to do in the morning — self-care is different for everyone, just as what constitutes a ‘good day’ is different for everyone. But honestly, the way I see it, it just comes down to whatever makes you feel most like yourself or, in touch with your intuition. Even one small action is all I need, before I start my day. And it can be really simple. But just devoting a small amount of time is helps train my mind to know that I am taking time for me before I give my energy to the world around me. How I do that changes all the time, but here are some practices I tend to like to stay grounded throughout the day.
Move. Getting into your body (so, not zoning out and trying to get a workout over with) helps you start off the day feeling grounded. When I start my day with movement, I am so much less likely to be in my head too much. Movement in the morning doesn’t need to be a sweaty cardio thing, or even any kind of routine workout for a certain amount of time. Even just stretching for a few focused minutes and feeling into the creaks and corners, or going for a walk, can be enough. It’s just about recognizing your body and anchoring into it for the day.
Tell your body you love it (literally). I wish I could remember where I first heard this, but I heard someone explain this morning ritual on a podcast once: after you get out of the shower, rub lotion or oil on your body and say you love each part of it. This is you communicating with your cells, your nerves, and expressing self-love, verbally, literally. It’s a pretty straightforward practice, but I think there’s a lot of power in words. When we make it a habit to tell ourselves that we’re on our own side, we’re so much more likely to trust ourselves.
Visualize yourself moving through your day effortlessly. Visualization is off-putting for a lot of people, but honestly, when I wake up, I’ll often start having conversations with different people or writing emails in my head before I even get out of bed — and that SUCKS. So instead of ‘talking to anyone else,’ just, without words, see yourself moving effortlessly through your day, not getting stuck on anything. This is kind of like communing with your higher self, or your larger perspective, in a way. And it’s very confidence-supporting.
Write. This one’s great if you tend to be an overthinker. Get a journal and just free-write without thinking, for three pages. This practice was put out into the world by Julia Cameron in her book, The Artist’s Way, back in 1992, and it’s still a super-popular, well-loved practice. It’s an exercise in mindfulness, self-acceptance, and daily forgiveness. And you don’t even have to think, you just do. I love it because it helps me feel like I’m heading into the world like a blank slate. Then, I just have clearer vision.
Pull a tarot or oracle card. A daily draw in the morning can help you set an intention for the day. For example, you can ask: What do I need to know about _____ today? (it might be work, your relationship, or your own self-care). This small practice challenges you to be honest with yourself, and it gives you something to return back to through the day when you feel unsure of yourself, or listless.