Wake-up Rituals to Make Every Morning Magical
It’s 6:30 am and you abruptly wake up to the sound of an annoying alarm. It’s time to get up, but you´re really not feeling ready to start your day. You press snooze, and repeat 4 times. Half an hour later, you finally drag yourself out of bed, crawl into the shower, and then rush around your home trying to get ready in time for your first AM meeting.
This situation is pretty descriptive to how my mornings used to be, and I would often start my day tired and moody, not particularly well prepared to tackle the work ahead of me. Luckily, I have realized how counterproductive it is to start your mornings this way.
What happens in the first few moments after waking up can set the mood for the entire day. Kick starting your morning with a set of routines that you follow every single day, is one of the best ways you can gain control of some of your most valuable hours, and prepare yourself to spend the rest of the day performing at your best.
I have developed my own set of rituals to ensure that I arrive at the office happy, calm, and ready to approach whatever tasks I have to complete that day, head on. Follow this list of tips and tricks, and I guarantee you’ll be equipped with the right mindset to take on whatever lies ahead:
Wake up more naturally with gradual wake-up lights
I highly recommend using gradual wake-up lights in the morning in order to ease the wake-up process to benefit your body. By having the light come on gradually (starting 20-30 minutes before your wake-up time), your body will experience a mimicked sunrise, and a much smoother and more natural transition from night to day. There are several lights and alarm clocks with this function, in all price ranges. You can even use smart bulbs, such as Philips Hue, to set this up in your main bedroom light source.
Play some upbeat morning tunes
Creating or finding a go-to morning playlist to play from the moment you wake up is one of the best mood boosters there is to help you get out of bed and start off your day! I prefer my morning tunes to be soft and upbeat to set a calm and cheerful mood. With certain alarm clocks and most home assistants, you can set a playlist to start playing at a certain time, which is a much better (and smoother) way to wake up than to the sound of a loud alarm.
Let the sun shine in
Even though I´m very happy with my wake-up lights, nothing beats the feeling of morning sun rays hitting your skin. Opening the blinds as the first thing I do after waking up, is one of the most energizing and day-brightening rituals I have – in both the metaphorical and literal way.
Make the bed straight after getting out of it
This should be a built-in habit that you just do. Not only is it so much nicer to walk into a room that feels tidy throughout the day, but it´s also a task that will give you an easy win and sense of accomplishment that, albeit small, can be the beginning of a positive spiral for a more productive day ahead. Investing in beautiful sheets, bed covers, and decorative pillows that matches the rest of your bedroom decor will give you some extra motivation to complete this task.
Enjoy a cup of freshly ground coffee
For many people, including myself, truly waking up is almost impossible before the first cup of coffee is consumed, and coffee is the first thing I ingest basically every morning. Therefore, I find it important to ensure this isn’t just another cup of coffee, but the best cup of coffee I´ll have that day. That’s why I have invested in both a great coffee maker, and a coffee grinder, to ensure that I get the freshest cup to start off my day.
Not sure if it’s worth the spend? Think about how much you spend on your take-away coffee every morning, and the very low number of cups (30-40?) you need to cut in order to finance this investment.
Together with my coffee, I find pleasure in taking it easy for about 20-30 minutes, catching up on the news and my favorite online magazines. I recommend not reading your emails during this time, as this can lead to unnecessary stress when what you really want is to set a cheerful and serene mood.
It doesn’t matter if it’s a 2 or 15 minute session, but prioritizing a few minutes of mindfulness every morning really makes a significant difference in my day. Increased happiness, self awareness, and concentration are only a few of the benefits of meditation backed by research. If you´re new to the meditation game, I strongly recommend downloading one of the many apps available. Here´s a list of the top ones with a brief description, if you´re not sure which one to go with. My personal favorite is Headspace.
Every person is different, and there is no right or wrong in which rituals you choose to implement in your morning routine . The most important thing is to find out which small actions you can take in order to prepare your body and mind for the day ahead.
Now think of how you want to rise, write it down, follow the set every day, and get out there and kick some serious ass.
[Please feel free to share your thoughts and reflections in the comments section]