A morning ritual celebrates the feeling of a clean slate and gets you off to a great start. Setting aside about 30 minutes of “me” time before diving into the daily grind is an excellent way to focus inward, to recalibrate and start the day with a fresh attitude and clear head.
Because as soon as you step out the door and tackle the morning commute, your 9-to-5 job, or an after-work event, the focus shifts away from you and onto matters outside of your control.
Honoring a consistent morning ritual is a commitment to your health and well-being. What’s more, it’s something you can control if you carve the time out for it.
These six rituals can be done in any order (or multitasked if you have kids or an early morning meeting!) and will help you reset and recalibrate.
1. Oil pulling
Before brushing teeth or eating anything, begin the day with oil pulling, an Ayurvedic method of eliminating toxins, from gums to skin, to your sinuses. Traditionally, sesame oil is used, though I prefer swooshing with unrefined, virgin coconut oil.
Think of it as a mouthwash: pour a tablespoon of oil in your mouth and swirl it around, through your teeth, over your tongue, and around your gums for about 15 minutes. Once done, spit the oil into a tissue or paper towel (never down the toilet or drain) and rinse your mouth with water.
Ever since lifestyle guru Martha Stewart revealed that her daily 5am ritual includes applying a mask, I try and do the same once or twice a week. I mean, look at Ms. Stewart’s skin — it’s amazing! Just make sure that any mask you use doesn’t include ingredients that make the skin sensitive in the sun, such as Alpha Hydroxy Acids and high doses of vitamin C.
Whether this is a 10-minute walk around the block while breathing in and out to a count of one-two-three-four, a video guided meditation, or using an iPhone app, simply staying focused on one point allows you to gaze inward.
In addition, setting an intention — kindness, patience, love, health, or whatever you want to see more of in your life — helps set the tone for the day.
4. Water with lemon
Drinking a large cup of water with the juice of half a lemon has a multitude of benefits. Consuming this first thing after a long sleep is an excellent way to kick-start the metabolism, aid digestion, and replenish the water lost through perspiration and respiration.
Over time, skin and eyes are brighter from the increased vitamin C-infused fluid intake. Plus, this habit helps create a healthier mindset when it comes to making food choices throughout the day. For instance, it helps when deciding on what to eat for breakfast — the most important meal of the day!
5. Dry brush
It takes a few days to get used to the practice, but slowly brushing your skin from the feet up to the heart connects you with your body, gets the blood circulating, and encourages lymphatic drainage. It helps banish cellulite so focus on your butt and back of the thighs if these are problem areas for you.
Afterward, hop in the shower and then lather on moisturizer.
6. Visual journal
Ever since I was a kid, I’ve loved to make collages. Little did I know that this hobby would continue throughout my adult life … and, for good reason. As renowned yoga teacher Mandy Ingber details in her book, Yogalosophy, creating a vision board connects you to your hopes and dreams.
When I come across quotes or words that resonate with me, I write them on a piece of paper and paste them into my journal filled with images of places I want to go, foods I want to eat, and photos of designs that inspire me. Every morning, I flip to an image or phrase that captures my attention and try to hold true to its meaning throughout the day.
These six morning rituals will keep you feeling fresh and inspired all day long! Rise and shine!