By Emily Cunningham

What's Your Morning Ritual?

Having a morning routine is about more than just getting you out of bed and launching you into a day. For many people it’s an important, even spiritual time to gather your thoughts and get into the right headspace to be your most productive version of yourself.

Personally, I am so not a morning person. Like, if we could just shift the hours society deems acceptable to be awake to 10 am – 2 am, my life would make so much more sense. That said, when I do manage to haul my behind up and at ‘em at a reasonable hour, I find that my mind is actually clearer, my work is better, and I have more energy.

It turns out, I’m not alone.

Countless newspapers, blogs and other media have documented the impact of having a morning routine on a person’s success and general wellbeing. Simply collecting good habits and putting them back to back at a time of day—for many people that only time of day—that you can truly call your own, will slowly help you bring other parts of your life under control.

The key across the board is just to have some sort of routine, while what you do can vary from person to person. The New York Times asked readers to share their morning routines and found that the most frequent mentions were coffee, prayer or meditation, running/walking, exercise, breakfast, and planning the night before. Others I’ve found to be common include drinking water, making your bed, showering (sometimes cold showers!), reading the news, writing or journaling, and beauty and self care.

A big no no is opening your device and getting sucked in to social media or e-mails before you’ve had adequate alone time with your best self. However, stepping into the 21st century, many people have actually incorporated apps into their routines to keep them on track and guide them through their morning activities. Some great ones are Headspace - a meditation guide, 7-minute workout, Couch 2 5k – to help beginning runners get started, and Healthy In A Hurry – a helpful tool for keeping your morning meals healthy and creative.

If you’re like me and need to add a little structure to the early hours of your day, try experimenting with some of these suggestions and find the routine that fits best with your needs and interests. We can start together.