Why you need a morning ritual

Illustration of a sweater-wearing bear walking, with a coffee cup, through Sproul Plaza and listening to music.
Jessica Doojphibulpol/File

Related Posts

I’m tired of my hectic mornings. I’m tired of moving through my morning with haste, constantly glancing at how much time I have left before I need to leave for class. At first, I tried preserving a strict structure to my morning routine, planning my schedule to the minute with the tasks I wanted to complete. This didn’t prove to be as fruitful as I had hoped. I began to resent my mornings, feeling as if they were a chore I had to get through. But I’ve realized how harmful this mindset is. The morning should be treated as a sacred time. Considering the chaos of the outside world and the toll it takes on our energy levels throughout the day, it’s vital to treat your time in the morning as an opportunity for rejuvenation and restoration. How you choose to spend your mornings should be special and personal for yourself so that you can prepare for whatever the day has in store!

Recently, I’ve come to adopt the common saying that you can’t control the things that happen to you, only the way you react to them, as my mantra. I give up control over the things that I can’t change and instead focus on the things that I can, like the way I react to unexpected circumstances in my life. When I give myself those 30 minutes to an hour in the mornings to be at peace with myself and my reality, I approach the day with more patience and grace. It allows me to react to situations in a much more positive and thoughtful way. Because I am aware of the purpose of my morning ritual — to provide serenity and restoration — it serves as a subliminal reminder throughout the day.

As of now, my ritual goes something like this:

I wake up in the morning, make a conscious effort to not look at my phone and do some slight stretches in bed. After I get out of bed, I go to the mirror and say “Good morning Paloma, I love you.” I learned this affirmation from a book called “Good Morning, I Love You: Mindfulness and Self-Compassion” by Shauna Shapiro, which I highly recommend reading if you’re interested in mindfulness and becoming your best self. Immediately after, I head to the bathroom to brush my teeth and wash my face, fully immersing myself in the experience of the self-care process. I meditate on the minty flavor of my toothpaste, the sensation of my hands gliding across my skin and the way the cold water provides a refreshing shock when I splash it against my face. Feeling more alert, I come back to my room to make my bed and clean up my area. This is the time that I “cleanse” myself.

Depending on the day, I might go for a run or a walk. I try to listen to music that makes me feel good, or a podcast to learn something new. Whenever I get some sort of exercise done in the morning, I seem to feel better about myself throughout the day. If I don’t go for a walk or a run, I’ll make breakfast and chat with my roommates while I brew a cup of coffee or tea. After this, I find a quiet place in my house to eat my breakfast mindfully without any technological distractions. Sometimes I might read a book as I enjoy my meal, but usually I simply sit in silence and savor the texture and taste of the food as it enters my mouth. This is the time that I “nourish” myself.

At this point, I begin to get dressed and gather my things in preparation for the day. Before heading out the door, I put on my headphones and begin dancing to whatever song I feel like listening to that morning. Learning to dance by myself has helped me immensely with my self confidence and taught me not to take myself too seriously, thereby alleviating much of the stressful pressure to be perfect. This is the time that I “energize” myself.

As you can see, what I do every morning may not be that radical or different from what others do. Of course, there are many more details to my morning that I can’t fit into this article, but the main takeaway is that I try to appreciate the simplicity of my time in the mornings. I guess you can say that I’m romanticizing it, but I see it more as an appreciation for the moment and the calm stillness it encompasses.

Contact Paloma Torres at [email protected].