Having a "morning ritual" sounds great, but also unachievable, like drinking fresh-pressed celery juice every morning or meditating without your phone. Most of us have trouble waking up at the same time each morning, so carving out time to connect with thoughts and feelings before you start the day is not necessarily on the agenda.
But even if you don't consider yourself spiritual, there are small things you can do to attain a mindful state in the morning, explains Jhenah Telyndru, priestess and author of The Mythic Moons of Avalon. "Starting the day with as clear of an energetic slate as possible is critical," she adds. Rituals allow you to let go of outmoded perspectives, put down emotional energy saps, and meet people from a place of openness and empathy, she says. In other words, they are worth your time.
Everyone has their own idea of what a ritual entails. For some, it could be a matter of putting makeup on in the morning, while others might prefer exercising. If you're looking for a low-key activity that will energize you spiritually, ahead are some ideas from Telyndru and Sinikiwe Dhliwayo, yoga instructor and founder of Naaya Wellness.
One way you can bring yourself to a place of mindfulness when you're already rushing through your morning routine is by "harnessing the cleansing powers of water" in the shower, Telyndru says. "Every day, before I get into the shower, I stand for a few moments and take an inner inventory of my personal energy: how I am feeling physically, mentally, and emotionally," she says. Once you step in the shower, face away from the water and visualize negative energy washing over you and flowing down the drain, she suggests. When you're finished, you can use essential oils to "reinforce the energy work you've done," she says.
Choose a peaceful alarm.
Adopt a practice of gentle awakening, instead of waking up to a loud and intrusive alarm or news podcast, which can "drain our daily energetic resources," Telyndru says. "A more peaceful transition into wakefulness helps us be better equipped to face our day, and establishes a positive energetic connection with the world around us," she says. Try to wake up without an alarm clock, or find an app that lets you rise to a gradual sound, she suggests.
Eat breakfast mindfully.
Telyndru believes that when we approach a meal with a certain energy, it allows us to reinforce that intention with each conscious bite of food we take in. While you might not have time to sit down and have a full meditative meal, you can use breakfast time to check in with what you want to accomplish during the day, instead of scrolling email or Instagram. For example, Telyndru likes to "charge my morning coffee with my intentions" by holding the vision of what I seek to accomplish strongly in her mind stirring the drink 99 times counter-clockwise.
Many of us are probably reluctant to attempt meditating first thing in the morning, but Dhliwayo says she tries to right after checking her phone. "I sit for thirty minutes before I get ready," she says. "It has been immensely helpful in helping me set the tone for my day." While Dhliwayo's mindfulness practice is not guided, there are plenty of meditation apps that you can use if you're just starting out.
Pull two tarot cards.
If you're into tarot cards, consider drawing two each morning: one to represent the day's challenges or lessons, and the other to tell you what gifts or tools you'll need to meet them, Telyndru says. Leave them out in your bedroom, and before you go to bed, reflect on the cards and whether or not those experiences served you, she says. This will help you discover patterns at play in your life, and allow you to "build relationships with the oracular system of [your] choice," she says.
Write down your dreams.
Whether you dreamt you hooked up with a friend or met AOC, your dreams are often connected to your intuition, Telyndru says. It's easiest to remember your dreams first thing in the morning, so record the symbols, messages, or insights in a journal or app on your phone, she suggests. "We can actively harness the power of dreams by going to sleep with a question or situation in our minds, along with a request for guidance from the universe to come to us in our dreams that night," she says.
Move a little.
If you can commit to waking up on the early side, consider a mind-body exercise routine, such as yoga or tai chi, Telyndru says. "These are gentle ways of engaging body, mind, and spirit," she says. Not only will it help you feel "rooted in your physical form," but it'll encourage you to move through the world and your body in a more mindful way, she says.