8 Morning Rituals To Start Your Day Feeling Great

morning rituals

Is it time to give your morning routine a makeover? These 8 morning rituals may give you a few ideas on how you can start your day a little differently. 

The things you do, and the thoughts you think first thing in the morning, can either make or break the rest of your day.

I have found that if I have some sort of ritual or routine that I do every day, it helps me avoid the yucky funk of overwhelm and blah that I tend to get into first thing in the morning.

According to Ayurvedic philosophy, when you focus on morning rituals that work to align the body with nature’s rhythms, you balance the mind and body, create self-discipline and improve self-esteem.

Who couldn’t use that? I am going to share with you 8 morning rituals (habits) that I have implemented into my day that REALLY make a difference in the way I feel physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Don’t feel like you have to start them all at once. Adopt one or two things that ring true to you, and try it for a few weeks. Then implement something else when you are ready. Don’t be surprised if you begin to see mornings and life in a new light!

morning rituals

8 Morning Rituals

1- Get Up Early

I know for some of you, this may not seem too appealing, but read on. If you can roll out of bed before the sun comes up (at least 20 minutes before sunrise), you will experience the amazing energy that is in the atmosphere at twilight.

I love the lighting just before the sun comes up, the birds chirping, and the stillness in the air.

When you wake up early and give yourself some extra time in the morning, you are going to be much more grounded and ready for an awesome day.

If you get up rushed, feeling behind because you pushed the snooze button one too many times, or if you lay there in bed dreading what is ahead of you, you are setting yourself up to experience that same energy the rest of your day.

I find that after I wake up, it is best to just throw the covers off and pop out of bed. If I just lay there, my mind starts racing, and then it’s easy to start spiraling down into the pit, the pit of OVERWHELM. Does anyone else have that problem?

There will be some days that you will want to just stay in bed for another hour, but from my experience, that just makes it worse. You are better off just getting up and get moving.

morning rituals EFT

2- Tap Out The Bad/Tap In The Good

If you find yourself on the negative side of things in the morning, or if you can’t get motivated to even get out of bed, the best way to change this around is to take a few minutes to TAP IT OUT.

For those of you not familiar with meridian tapping or EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) this is a quick and easy method of releasing negative energy from your system. Read more about how to do it here.

By using this technique you can quickly locate what it is you are feeling, tap it OUT and then tap IN some good yummy positive affirmations that will leave you feeling motivated and ready for your day. If you don’t take care of those crusty emotions first thing, you will find yourself attracting more experiences to feel crusty about throughout the rest of your day.

A good way to replace negative thoughts is to think about what you are grateful for. Why not start your day thinking of a few things that are good in your life instead of focusing on the bad?

Remember, what you put your attention on grows, GOOD or BAD. When you feel gratitude towards someone or something you will attract more of that.

There are several ways to have an attitude of gratitude;

  • prayer
  • meditation
  • writing in a gratitude journal
  • or it can be as simple as making statements in your head or speaking them out loud while tapping.

Start your day thinking about something or someone you are grateful for and tap it IN. See what happens, you might be surprised!

morning rituals lemon water

3- Drink A Glass Of Lemon Water

Your body is the most dehydrated in the morning and when you are dehydrated, your blood is thicker, so your organs have to work harder.

It is so important to get water into your system, with or without lemons.

Drinking warm lemon water first thing in the morning is one of the easiest things you can do to improve your health.

  1. It doesn’t take long to prepare
  2. it’s inexpensive and there is nothing better than to wake up to the fresh invigorating smell of lemon.

 

Here are some of the many benefits of drinking a glass of lemon water daily:
● Helps keep the body at a normal pH level.
● Prevents bacteria buildup in the body.
● Relieves symptoms of indigestion, heartburn, bloating, and constipation.
● Digestive aid and liver tonic.
● Clears mucus and phlegm.
● Helps maintain healthy body weight.
● Help dissolve kidney and gallstones.
● Gives your skin a healthy glow.

Get more facts and details here.

morning rituals meditation

4- Meditate

Meditation is something I have struggled with a bit, but the more I do it, the easier it is getting.

There are so many different styles of meditation out there. I recommend trying several different methods and finding what works for you. You can spend anywhere from 5 – 90 minutes meditating. Some even do it longer than that.

I recommend starting with a short guided meditation. One of my first experiences with a long meditation was not good. Before I was finished, I thought I was going to have an anxiety attack. (It was a 90-minute meditation). It takes some time to work up to being in a place of total stillness. I love it now! 

I believe you can also get into a meditative state without having to sit in the lotus position. (Common way to sit while meditating).

Walking, painting, or just taking a few moments to sit and quiet the mind are great ways I believe you can meditate.

Whatever meditation format you use, I do recommend it be part of your morning rituals.

Taking time to be still, physically and mentally is a VERY HEALTHY THING and so needed in our world today.


Go easy, start with a short meditation, be open-minded and give it a whirl.

morning rituals rebounding

5- Rebounding

This is something I swear by, and it’s part of my morning rituals.

Who would have thought that bouncing on a little trampoline could do anything for you?

Well, I am here to tell you, by experience, that it can!

Rebounding provides benefits to nearly every body system, from increased flexibility and skin tone to decreased stress.

Its up-and-down movement improves circulation and lymphatic flow and gently massages the internal organs for whole-body health.

I keep my rebounder in my closet where it is easily accessed or under my bed.

Most days I will turn on my Pandora playlist and listen to 2-3 songs while I jump and then I am off for a little yoga or other things.

Some days I will jump longer and some days I will just pop on there for only a few minutes to shake things up. You can find out more about it here in a previous post.

morning rituals skin brushing

6- Dry Skin Brushing

Here is another gem that I highly recommend!

Again, it is one of those things that does not cost a lot of money, is simple to do, does not take a lot of time, and is chuck full of benefits. Here are a few of the many benefits.

● Stimulates blood and lymph flow
● Helps eliminate toxins from the body
● Removes dead skin cells
● Encourages cells to regenerate
● Helps combat cellulite
● Results in smooth glowing skin
● Anti-aging through cell regeneration
● Strengthened immune system
● Stimulated nervous system, toned muscles, and tightened skin
● Stimulates both the sweat and sebaceous glands (contributing to the restoration of moist and supple skin)

Skin brushing has been one of my morning rituals for quite some time. I can tell a big difference in my skin and in the way that I feel.

To get the scoop on how to do it, I have a few previous posts that you can check out here.

morning rituals cold showers

7- Ending Your Shower Cold

Yep, you heard it right, and you may be asking why in the world would I torture myself with cold water first thing in the morning.

Here are four good reasons why you may want to add this to your morning rituals.

1-Better Circulation

Warm water makes the blood rush to your skin, and cool water makes the blood rush to your organs and glands.

This switching between hot and cold triggers better circulation throughout your whole body.

COLD water stimulates blood flow to the CORE of the body, thus bringing FRESH blood to the organs and glands and ALL parts of the Body!

This means, OXYGEN & NUTRIENTS IN and TOXINS & PATHOGENS OUT!

2-Better Looking Skin

When you shower with warm water, it opens up your pores. After washing it is a good idea to close the pores with cold water.

This will prevent the pores from being clogged with dirt and oil, preventing skin acne and other irritating skin conditions.

Another benefit is that cold water makes your blood vessels constrict which reduces swelling and the appearance of dark circles under your eyes.

3- Healthier Hair

Cold water makes your hair look healthier and shinier. The cold water closes the cuticle which makes the hair stronger and prevents dirt from easily accumulating on your scalp.

4- Mental Benefits

Cold water energizes you and invigorates your entire being with the essence of life.

Give it a try, you will definitely feel more alive! It can also lift you up if you are feeling a little down or unmotivated.

I love it because it gives you that same invigorating feeling of jumping in a cold running river or jumping off the boat to go water skiing. (a little shock, but a good refreshing shock).

DON’T TORTURE YOURSELF.  Start with a level of cold you can deal with, and slowly make it colder after each shower.

Make it a habit to end your shower COLD or at least COOL!

Let the cold water run over your scalp, face, the front of your body, then down your back, or you can just turn down the hot water and stand back and put your hands in and splash your face and the front of your body.

Give it a try!  You will be hooked!

morning rituals berry smoothie

8- Eat A Healthy Breakfast

I know everyone has different body systems and different nutritional requirements, but most everyone can benefit from a good healthy breakfast.

There are many philosophies and beliefs out there about food and nutrition and it can get really confusing about what you “should” be eating. Am I right?

What is important is that you find foods that support your system, foods that sustain you, make you feel energized and clear, and eat them for breakfast.

morning rituals berry smoothieHere is a breakfast berry smoothie that I have for breakfast frequently because it sustains me.

I feel like it has a lot of nutritional value, and it works for me.

morning rituals muesli breakfast bowlAnother one of my breakfast favorites is this muesli recipe.

Think outside the box. What you have to eat first thing in the morning does not have to be traditional “breakfast” food. Sometimes I have some bone broth, soup, or leftovers from dinner the night before.

Whatever you do, give your body some good fuel to start your day.

So now you have heard what my favorite morning rituals are, now it’s your turn to contemplate and decide what works for you.

Jan Howell

Jan Howell

Whether it’s a new recipe, a fun craft, or some handy tips for your garden and home, I hope to empower and inspire you with skills that you can use to create joy, improved health, and to do it in a simple way.

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Chair Yoga for Anxiety and Depression

chair yoga for anxiety

Are any of you struggling with all the things going on in the WORLD right now? It’s very easy to let the heaviness get you down. Anxiety and depression is a common thing right now, but there are some things we can do to help alleviate it. Living in survival mode for days on end is NOT A GOOD THING!

We all have to find ways to adapt, and one of those things is finding new ways in which we release stress. A lot of us, me included, are used to going to some kind of class: a yoga class, the gym, water aerobics, or walking with a friend. And now we can’t.

Although we can still exercise from home, or walk by ourselves, it’s not the same and takes a lot of motivation. However, as I mentioned in a previous post, WE HAVE GOT TO KEEP MOVING!

Movement can be VERY effective for counteracting anxiety and depression. It doesn’t’ have to be major movement. I know a lot of you out there are very limited on what you can and can’t do as far as movement goes. NO WORRIES. There are things you can do, even while sitting in a chair.

I just uploaded a short video to my YouTube station with some stretches and exercises to get your whole body moving. Don’t expect to sweat with this workout, those classes are coming, but do expect to feel better.

Play Video

If you want to skip to the relaxation portion of the video, it is marked in the description. 

How will this chair yoga class help with anxiety and depression?

  • It will get your mind off whatever you’re stressing about
  • Movement and stretching are proven to help with your sense of wellbeing.
  • I show you a few techniques to help relieve stiffness in your neck and tension headaches.
  • Best of all, I guide you through a 10 minute guided meditation to help you relax every part of your body.

Movement is so important and vital not only for our physical health but for our emotional health as well. Know that you are NOT alone in this. We are all in this together.

This will take effort on your part. None can move your body for you. Push through the dread, the feelings of being overwhelmed, the hopelessness, and DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.

We will get through this. Be easy on yourself, take care of yourself. Reach out and share this with anyone who you think could benefit from this.

Check out my other video tutorials, and don’t forget to love and take care of your FEET!

Until next time my friends.

Sending love your way,

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Jan Howell

Jan Howell

Whether it’s a new recipe, a fun craft, or some handy tips for your garden and home, I hope to empower and inspire you with skills that you can use to create joy, improved health, and to do it in a simple way.

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Beat the Winter Blues: Make Your Own Sunshine

sunshine

When you think about sunshine, it really does affect so many things? After all, the sun is the center of the Solar System and by far the most important source of energy for life on earth. It’s when the clouds cover it up and the days are short, that we really miss it. At least I do! On days like this, you have to make your own sunshine!

The other day my husband and I went on a short winter hike. When we started, the sun was out and even though there was snow on the ground the temperature was quite pleasant. However, halfway through our hike, the sun went behind the clouds. It was amazing how fast the temperature dropped and we found ourselves hustling back to the car.

The lack of sunshine not only cools things down, but it can affect our mood. For some, especially those who suffer from the seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a lack of sun can cause a myriad of negative symptoms. The cold, gray days can really make it tough to have a good outlook on the day. 

I will admit that I am a light freak When we remodeled our home, I made sure we had plenty of windows, and I always open the blinds first thing in the morning to let the sunshine in. So when the sun isn’t there, I admit that I struggle a bit.

So for those of you who are on the same page, I am going to share with you a few tips and things I do to beat the winter blues.

How to make your own sunshine

1 -Change the way you think about the weather.

First of all, the idea that the “lack of sunshine is gloomy” is really just a thought. Is it REALLY? Well, for some, but not everyone.

One of my most favorite mentors of all time, Louise Hay, has a quote that I love.

“There’s no such thing as good weather, or bad weather. There’s just weather and your attitude towards it”.

Perhaps this is something to think about. I know, easier said than done, but something we can be aware of and try to implement.

2 – Get up early and make your bed.

Yep, make your bed. You may be wondering how this is going to make you feel better. Well, it actually does. I swear by it. On those rare days when I linger in bed too long, no good comes of it. My brain just starts overthinking everything. I feel sluggish the rest of the day, and I feel guilty for wasting time.

However, if I get up and make my bed, it just sets the tone for my home and my day. Here is a nice post that gives 5 reasons why you should make your bed. It’s a good read.

Open your blinds. Even if there is no sunshine coming through the windows, there still will be a little light.

3 – Turn on the lights!

Make some fake sunshine. If it’s a gloomy, dark day, turn on the lights. There’s no need to be in the dark. The extra kilowatts on your electric bill will be well worth it!

Another thing you can do is get a full spectrum therapy light. I love the name of this light “HappyLight Lucent light therapy lamp” It mimics sunlight using full spectrum light at up to 10,000 lux to enhance mood, energy, sleep, and focus – but without the harmful UV rays. Set it up and turn it on wherever you are in the house to create a more uplifting atmosphere. These lights really do help.

4 – Get Out!

Call a friend, sibling, loved one and arrange to go do something. Find a quaint little café where you can sit down and chat over coffee or lunch.

Go for a little shopping spree. One year, a bunch of my friends and I loaded up in the car and we went to town and did a little shopping. We hit all the quaint shops, second-hand stores, and Whole Foods Market. Yes, we get excited for Trader Joe’s and Wholefoods because they don’t have these stores in our neck of the woods. 

The months of January and February are a fun time to hit gift stores because they’ll have all their Valentine stuff out.

5 –  Go to a movie

If you don’t get out much, skip Netflix and actually go to the theater where you can order a bag of popcorn and be out with other people. If being around people is not your thing, and you just want to stay home, then cuddle up with a cozy blankie and enjoy a bowl of homemade popped popcorn.

6 – declutter

Getting rid of stuff you don’t need is really quite invigorating and refreshing. The winter months are a great time to do this.

Find an area of your home that has clutter, play some upbeat music and get to it! 

The KonMari Method is quite popular right now. Marie Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, is a good read for getting organized. Several years ago I used this method to revamp my clothes closet. It was the best thing ever! 

7 – Move your body

Moving your body is critical for your wellbeing, especially in the winter. Even though it may not be as convenient to hop on your bicycle or jump on a hiking trail, there are still things you can do to get some kind of exercise.

Find a local exercise class or search for classes online. There are so many options on the internet. Even though it may be cold outside, bundle up and go for a winter hike, snowshoe, or even a stroll around the neighborhood.

If you find it difficult to exercise because of some limitations you may have, (I can relate to this) I do have a YouTube station with some low-key, gentle yoga classes that you can watch. 

Better yet, DANCE! Find some upbeat music that moves you, crank up the volume, and let loose. (If you feel a little self-conscious, you can shut the blinds). I used to be so timid and self-conscious when it came to dancing, but not anymore. It really is freeing!  It may feel awkward and uncomfortable at first, but seriously, if it’s been a while, DO IT!

There are some significant benefits from dancing. My husband and I like to crank up some good 80’s music and we have fun dancing. It takes us back to our college days. Good exercise and a great emotional release after a long day.

Here are some fun little clips of my husband dancing. He was so kind to let me share this.(No, he is not intoxicated, just loves to dance). GIGGLE OUT LOUD!

Play Video

This obviously isn’t the original music he was dancing to. We had to dub in other music because of copyright issues on youtube. It’s still fun to watch him. No inhibitions-how would it be? 

Beat the Winter Blues: Make Your Own Sunshine8 – Reconnect with a hobby or interest

Get out your paints, sewing machine, guitar, or whatever makes your heart sing and do it.

9 – assemble a jigsaw puzzle

This is a great time of the year to get out a card table and put together a jigsaw puzzle. Believe it or not, there are some interesting benefits of jigsaw puzzles. Read this, and you might find yourself on the way to the store to find a cool puzzle to put together. There really is something magical that happens when you start putting a puzzle together.

puzzle sunshine

9 – assemble a jigsaw puzzle

This is a great time of the year to get out a card table and put together a jigsaw puzzle. Believe it or not, there are some interesting benefits of jigsaw puzzles. Read this, and you might find yourself on the way to the store to find a cool puzzle to put together. There really is something magical that happens when you start putting a puzzle together.

10- make cookies or cake

What, cakes and cookies? Believe it or not, there are reasons why baking makes you feel happier, and it’s not all about the delectable treats in the end.

Who doesn’t love a good sugar cookie? (Edible sunshine) Even if you are watching your calories, don’t do sugar, or can’t handle wheat, there are options and recipes out there that you can make and still be able to enjoy a little baked goodness. You can always bake something for someone else.

Here are some of my favorite cookie and cake recipes.

The best sugar cookies ever!

Grandma’s Favorite Texas Sheet Cake

What are some of your favorite things to bake?

The idea here is to DO SOMETHING. No one can move your bottom, or change your thoughts for you.

You can create your own sunshine! 

Let’s embrace the gray, the cold, and find some beauty in it.

Remember, in only a few short months it will be SPRING again!

YOU’VE GOT THIS!

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Jan Howell

Jan Howell

Whether it’s a new recipe, a fun craft, or some handy tips for your garden and home, I hope to empower and inspire you with skills that you can use to create joy, improved health, and to do it in a simple way.

Read More