Welcome to August’s installment of Mel’s Favorite Things. ?
I’m dedicating the last post of each month to share some of my faves, from books to recipes to life hacks and beyond. Basically, if I love it (and think you might, too,) I’m gonna share it here.
This month’s topic is My Favorite Morning Rituals. Personally, I prefer the word “ritual” to “routine” because rituals have more of a sacred feel to them and I want to live aware of sacredness in my daily life. You choose what works for you.
I try not to overwhelm myself with too many ‘to do’s’ first thing in the morning. What’s important to me is that I have habits that fuel my spirit, soul, and body for the day (check out this blog post I wrote about holistic morning routines.)
I’ve had all sorts of routines over the years, depending on my life season and schedule, but always come back to some variation of the following. The list below is in chronological order of how I currently run my mornings most Monday-Fridays.
My (Current) Favorite Morning Rituals:
- Oil pulling/drinking water—oil pulling is when you swish a tablespoon of oil (I use coconut oil) around in your mouth first thing in the morning as an oral detox. I do it for 10 minutes minimum (20 min is even better.) Spit it out at the end, don’t swallow it. There are lots of articles about the benefits of oil pulling so research them if you’re interested. After oil pulling, I drink a full glass of water to hydrate before exercising.
- Exercise—I’ve experimented over the years with exercising at various times of the day, and hands down, early mornings are my best time. I’m energized by the movement and less likely to eat badly when I’ve started out the day with exercise (because why undo all that hard work?!).
- A healthy breakfast—I’m on a celery-juice-followed-by-a-smoothie tangent at the moment. I’ve been doing this pretty religiously for well over a year now. I make celery juice first (it’s really good for you!) followed by a smoothie (there’s tons of great recipes on Pinterest if you need inspiration.)
- Gratitude—without fail, I take time to practice gratitude every day. It doesn’t have to be long, and I don’t always write it down. But I always meditate on 3-5 things (people, objects, situations, life events, the Texas live oak in my front yard, etc.) that I’m grateful for. I cannot overemphasize how much this one practice has changed my life. (Check out my blog post on gratitude.) Honestly, if you do nothing else on this list, add this one!
- Prayer/visualization—I always take some time to pray, ask for Guidance, and use my imagination to visualize desired outcomes (relational, lifestyle, service to others, healing, blessing, etc.) that I’m wanting to see in and through my life. I’ll often pair it with Bible reading or some other inspirational text.
- Journaling—I do this about 3-4 days per week at the moment, but have had seasons where I’ve done it daily. Free flow, stream-of-consciousness writing is fantastic for clearing out mental cobwebs and clutter. I’ve also had countless insights and inspiration come to me while writing this way. (Check out Julia Cameron’s book The Artist’s Way for her practice of Morning Pages if you’re wanting a great resource.)
When I’m in a rush, I can shorten the exercise and journaling/gratitude/prayer times to accommodate my schedule. However, my ‘ideal scenario’ is to do all of it over about two hours. (I say ‘ideal scenario’ because it often doesn’t happen, especially with kiddos at home! #momlife) But hey, a girl can dream, right? ?
Side note: I do NOT sleep with my phone next to my bed. I charge it overnight in my bathroom. Not only is it healthier to not have all those nasty EMFs right next to you while you sleep, but it eliminates the temptation to ‘just check my phone’ before getting out of bed.
Now, let’s assess. We all know that a morning that starts well improves the flow of our day.
Ask yourself the following:
- How’s my current morning routine flowing?
- Am I feeling set up for success?
- Is there anything I need that I’m not currently getting?
- What’s one small change I could make to improve my mornings?
Grab some of the above ideas or download my free PDF of 26 Morning Ritual Ideas. It includes some of the list as well as other things I’ve tried over the years. Just scroll to the bottom of this page and click on the link to download.
Here’s to mornings that set you up for daily success!