10 Simple But Powerful Morning Rituals to Start a Great Day
Do you feel like you are on autopilot? Maybe you feel like unexpected tasks or events fall into your day and you end up feeling grumpy and cranky at the end of the day?
What if I tell you that you can CHOOSE to have a great day if you start creating simple morning rituals?
What!? What do you mean?
It means if you can set a tone for the day in the morning, you can smile more often and feel less overwhelmed throughout the day!
That sounds GREAT.
Are you ready to dive into 9 simple but powerful morning rituals?
Remember. It’s up to you which ritual you choose! You don’t need to incorporate all the rituals I’m going to show you.
Ready to go? – Can’t wait!
Alright! Let’s do this!!!
Did you know a smile is a great tool you can use to start a great day?
Why is that?
Well, a study says when you smile, it increases mood-boosting hormones. What’s more, a smile can decrease stress-enhancing hormones!
WOW. – I know right?
So how can you put a smile on your face?
He is a Canadian Bhangra (traditional dance of Punjab) dancer and he sends joy and hope across the world. I happened to find his account a week ago and it’s something I’m looking forward to every morning!
If you feel like his dance is not your cup of tea, watch a short clip of animals you love or comedians you love!
Anything that makes you smile is good! I recommend watching a video that is short and sweet. If it’s too long, you may not want to keep it as a morning ritual.
2. Stretch 5-10 minutes before starting work
Have you ever woken up feeling some pain in your body?
I sometimes do, especially on my upper body. So what do I do? Ignore my pain and start working?
No. Because I experienced knee surgery three years ago from overexercising, I’m sensitive to pain. So I always make sure I stretch a bit before starting my work in the morning.
No time to stretch?
No worries! I won’t tell you to stretch for 30 minutes or one hour. It can be as short as 5 minutes.
It is also proven by many scientific papers that neck, shoulder, and upper body strain can decrease productivity.
How about trying this ５- minute neck and shoulder with Yogini Melbourne on youtube?
I guarantee you stretching even 5 minutes can make your body feel lighter and help you start a great day!
If you are looking for lower body stretch from too much sitting the previous day, you can try this short and sweet stretch video!
3.Tidy up the room before going to bed (for the next morning)
This is not something you do in the morning, but I wanted to share it with you because it’s a very simple, important ritual to practice to have a great morning the following day!
So what exactly do I mean by tidying up the room?
I’m telling you, it doesn’t need to be 30-minute cleaning. All I recommend you do is pick up your outfits on the floor, clear out your work desk and coffee table if you work at home!
If you work at the office, you can pack for work the night before so that you won’t be rushing in the morning!
Believe me, it feels nice waking up in a room where there isn’t too much clutter. Because you will no longer start your day picking up trash or outfits!
4.Drink Ginger & lemon tea instead of coffee
You may be thinking, “why are you not telling me to drink tea, coffee, or matcha!?”
Well, I’m not here to tell you to quit your favorite caffeine.
You may feel like drinking coffee because you have an important meeting or tasks to get done. So why would I recommend you drink ginger and lemon tea when you have an important event?
It’s because coffee can make you feel anxious. – But how?
When you drink coffee, caffeine is absorbed in the bloodstream, and reaches your brain. Then?
You may have noticed, but caffeine can make your heart beat faster, increase blood flow, and tense your muscles.
My point is, you may be making yourself more anxious by having a couple of coffees in the morning!
So how about slicing up some ginger and lemon with hot water?
I’m suggesting you switch to drinking some lemon and ginger because I found myself feeling very anxious after drinking one cup of coffee later in the morning.
When I have a lemon and ginger tea instead, I feel calmer and more grounded.
Also, lemon-ginger tea can boost your mood without caffeine!
1. Put two slices of lemon and ginger (about 3mm)
2. Pour hot water
3. Take out the lemon after 3 minutes because it will get bitter
4. You can refill with hot water 2 or 3 more times!
5.Plan your day on Kanban Flow
Planning my day is one of the simple morning rituals I never miss. Why is that?
It’s because I don’t need to keep thinking in my head “What am I gonna do next? What else did I need to do??”.
I hate to feel overwhelmed (everyone does right?) and planning my day in the morning helps me have a better picture of my day.
So how and what do I do to plan my day?
I use a free, simple, management tool called Kanban Flow and I put all my schedules in it, including cooking lunch, 20 minutes pilates, work tasks, and studying!
I love using a plan scheduler because I can always go back and check or modify my plans!
Want to find out how to use this tool? Check this post I wrote about Kanban Flow to get you started!
6. Open your laptop and phone after you meditate
Have you experienced waves of anxiety before open your laptop, especially your work email? (I have!)
Or you opened Instagram or Twitter right after you woke up and you saw something upsetting. Unlike when people didn’t have smartphones and laptops, we are constantly exposed to loads of information.
So what can you do about it?
I strongly recommend NOT to open your laptop or phone right after you wake up.
If it’s your habit to play with your phone on the bed, you can plug-in your phone in the next room or the on other side of your bedroom so that you need to get up to get it!
I hear a lot of meditation experts saying “Meditate right after you wake up on the bed before you start anything”. But I don’t quite agree with this. – Why?
Because I can’t tolerate my morning breath or oily face right after I wake up. Seriously.
So what I recommend you do after you wake up is to brush your teeth, wash your face, make your morning herb tea or coffee then meditate!
Is there any kind of meditation that I recommend in the morning? – Yes!
I love doing intention meditation to set a clear intention for the day when I feel like my day is going to be busy, or when I don’t feel particularly well when I wake up, I do gratitude meditation to remind myself to appreciate what I ALREADY have.
Or when my mind is busy and anxious waking up, I do grounding meditation to feel calm.
MyLife Youtube Channel
It’s up to how you feel when you wake up! If you are not sure where to start meditation, you can check out my meditation guide for complete beginners!
Also, check out this meditation Youtube channel for more meditation practice!
7. Lift up your mood using Japanese incense
Do you like aroma oil? I’m a big fan of aroma oil too!
Have you tried Japanese incense?
I recently moved to Vancouver and I was looking for something to bring from Japan in Tokyo. One day, I found a store specialized in incense in Tokyo and I decided to give it a try!
What’s the biggest difference between aroma oil and incense? – I found it more deeply calming than aroma oil.
So HOW and WHEN can you use this Japanese incense?
What you need to do is to buy an incense tray (I bought one on amazon for $8), light it up, and place it on the tray! My favorite incense is Matcha! I always use this incense in the morning when I meditate and whenever I want to feel calm during my morning ritual.
The incense company I love (薫玉堂 – Kungyokudo) was founded in Kyoto and it has over 400 years of history! If you are interested in trying it, you can buy it from Japanese Amazon!
It may be hard for you to travel to Japan right now because of COVID, so if you are a Japan lover or dreaming of visiting one day, you can light up this incense and feel Japan!
8. Water your plants (or vegetables)
Do you grow plants or vegetables at home?
If you do, morning is a great time for you to water them! If you don’t have any plants at home, you can get one of those “air purifying” plants!
So how can having plants at home can help you?
It’s because you can expect less stress, fear, anger, sadness, and even lower blood pressure by just looking at plants according to one Japanese study!
One thing I noticed while I was taking care of my vegetables is, I really receive vibrant energy from my plants! Not only is it good for your plants to be watered regularly, but they can help you start your day with a positive energy!
9. Take a 5 min walk
If you are like me, you may not want to start waking up one hour early. But you still want to create powerful and simple morning rituals to start a great day?
How about going for a walk for just 5 minutes!
Only 5 minutes? – Yes!
Morning walking can be;
- A natural boost of energy
- Improve your self-esteem, and mood
- Reduce stress and anxiety
- Support brain function (because of increased blood flow in body)
WOW! Amazing! I have one piece of advice for you if you want to start walking in the morning. Try walking through your neighbourhood like you are seeing it for the first time!
You may find the fruit tree you’ve never noticed or pretty flower on the side of the road. Also you can try a different path you usually don’t walk! In this way, your morning always has something refreshing!
10. Fuel yourself (with good food)
Do you know the power of eating breakfast?
I have a complicated relationship with breakfast. I used to skip breakfast to lose weight or I didn’t feel hungry at all in the morning in the past but now I never miss my breakfast.
Why? – I find myself feeling cranky in the morning and can’t focus on whatever task I want to do!
So why do you want to eat breakfast other than not feeling grumpy until lunch time?
- help you make better food choices throughout the day
- fuel your body, brain and make you feel energized!
- reduce the risks of illness
Now you may be wondering “What is the ideal food for breakfast?”. Well, you don’t need to eat like fitness influencers or models to feel energized!
Harvard Health Publishing shares 4 simple ways to eat healthy breakfast with us. That are;
1. Choose whole grains
2. Include protein
3. Eat in, not out
4.Blend up a breakfast smoothie
What do I eat for breakfast? I usually eat rolled oats(not instant oats), with organic cinnamon, raw honey and sometimes with almonds!
I believe breakfast should be easy to prepare and something you enjoy eating!
What’s your favorite breakfast? ☀️
Remember, you don’t need to try everything I mentioned in this post. Feeling overwhelmed is the last thing you want!