By Theresa Christine
I am so not a morning person. I love staying up late and working on projects to midnight or even later, but alas, that means I sacrifice early morning productivity. I will just never be one of those gals who wakes up with the sun, fits in a morning jog, showers, cooks breakfast, and heads to work by 8am, and honestly, I’m okay with that.
The problem I’d noticed recently is that I’d fallen into the trap of hitting the snooze button multiple times each morning. It’s so difficult when I’m warm and cozy under my electric blanket and cuddling with my cat, but those extra nine (or eighteen, or twenty-seven) minutes of sleep actually aren’t restful. It just started to feel more like something I did out of habit than I did because I really, truly, was too tired and wanted to sleep more
I decided it was time to switch up my morning routine. Change is good, and I like to change my habits when I’m feeling the need for some fresh inspiration. For one week each, I tried out three different morning rituals and I want to share how they worked for me!
Meditate for 5 minutes
What you do: sit up in bed and take 5 minutes for yourself
The first time I tried this, I hated it. I turned off my alarm, sat up in bed with my eyes closed, and for five minutes all I kept thinking was, “Damn, I wish I were laying down right now.” However, after those five minutes were up, I opened my eyes, hopped out of bed, and that’s when I noticed a big difference. I felt completely energized, as if I’d gotten the most restful sleep ever, and everything seemed to be incredibly low-stress.
While it was really relaxing, it was difficult for me to commit fully to meditate each morning because it was almost too relaxing. It didn’t aid me in waking up in any way, and while the feeling post-meditation was fantastic, it wasn’t so amazing that I felt the strength to battle sleepiness each morning to achieve it.
That said, I would like to use this as something I do right before I go to sleep. It was a great way to clear my head and organize thoughts in a peaceful way.
A morning tarot reading
What you do: do a simple one-card reading before starting your day.
I recently got into doing tarot readings, and I wanted to see how it could work as a morning ritual. For those of you unfamiliar with tarot readings, they don’t tell the future so much as offer up advice and insight that you wouldn’t otherwise have thought of for certain situations. While shuffling the deck, you think of a question, and then you interpret the card that you’ve pulled. My question was the same each day the week that I tried this out: “What should I keep in mind when dealing with challenges that I encounter today?”
The tarot reading helped me approach every day as a new day, instead of lumping workdays and weekends together. Every morning I got advice on how to handle new challenges in my life and what new lessons there were to be learned. I was able to view certain aspects of my life from different angles. I looked forward to seeing what card I’d pull, and having a bit of that excitement each day felt wonderful!
You will need to purchase a tarot deck, and I recommend getting one that has an accompanying book. I purchased The Enchanted Tarot on Amazon for under $20, and the book not only helped me better understand each card, but also gave me a basic outline on how to do different types of readings. I continue to refer to it every time I do a tarot reading.
Overall, I loved doing tarot readings in the morning, but sometimes it felt like a bit of a time commitment to do a reading. I had to take out the deck, shuffle, turn a card, interpret it, read about it, and think on it some more. Realistically, this probably took the same amount of time as meditating, but if I wasn’t completely into it then I didn’t get much from my reading. Because of that, I’m considering doing a tarot reading for the week and having this as something I get to look forward to every Monday.
Stretch in bed
What you do: stretch out, just like you would in gym class, but in the comfort of your covers
I’m an evening-workout kind of gal, not just because I have difficulty crawling out of bed sometimes, but because my body isn’t completely warmed up in the a.m. By the end of the day, I’m a little stretched out, but in the mornings I’m still feeling a little stiff and my range of movement isn’t as big.
This little morning routine is far from a workout, though, and of all three that I tried, this is my favorite. You can move and stretch whatever body parts you feel the need to, and in any order you’d like. If it feels good, you should do it, and if it hurts then you shouldn’t push yourself–simple as that!
This is certainly a harder wake-up call to have if you share the bed with a partner, but keep in mind that you don’t have to engage in high-impact aerobics. Even doing a child’s pose, lifting your legs in the air, pointing and flexing your toes, and rolling your wrists will do the trick, without disturbing your partner.
The reason I loved this morning ritual was because it actually woke me up. In fact, within twenty seconds of starting this each morning, I felt so much more awake and ready to face the day that it was impossible to go back to sleep afterwards.
Do you have a morning ritual that you swear by? Tweet it to @HaveHeartMag!