Winter Morning Rituals
A good day starts with a good morning… but what does that even mean? There are as many ways to start a great day as there are people on the planet, so finding your ideal routine can be a trial and error process. Some prefer to start the day with a yoga mat and affirmations, while others go for a kick ass playlist and private pajama dance party. So what’s your flavor? I’ve called upon some of the inspiring women in my own circle to share their morning routines with you today. Get inspired, and let me know how you’re starting your day…
Anastasia Nevin, nutrional therapist and yoga instructor here in NYC, avoids the chaotic noise of email and social media first thing in the morning by keeping her phone away from her bed. Instead, she burns sandalwood incense and prepares a morning tonic. “Recently I made a tonic to soothe Vata which includes triphala, cinammon, ginger powder and lemon,” she told me in an email. Also on her morning menu? Yoga, meditation with mala beads, and her tongue scraper. Get inspired at Anastasia Health.
Shelley Thomas, an incredibly talented Brooklyn-based vocalist, focuses on being present in her body after waking. “I observe my surroundings with my five senses, and feel the beautifully healing effect of fresh sleep washing over me.” Next, she puts on music (usually the Jose Gonzales pandora station). Coffee prep involves a white and red floral-printed pot that she’s had since childhood, and once the sans-sugar caffeine fix is taken care of, she grabs her calendar and dives into emails. She whips up a daily to-do list, usually involving a trip to the gym, as well as music and language training.
But most importantly? “I really try to practice gratitude, and start the day with a positive attitude. It makes a huge difference and allows the energy of abundance to flow towards you! It is a beautiful life we have, and we can choose to enjoy every moment of it or torture ourselves with negativity. Being aware of our choices empowers us, and there is so much happiness to be found.”
Aparna Dasgupta, startup marketing & business strategist (and founder of LifeStylistNYC), starts her morning off by hitting the snooze button. Sound counter-productive? She begs to differ. “My daily routine begins during the snooze. It’s a time of immense focus. Before my eyes open, I’ve had no visual distractions at all and it’s easy to think very slowly. I use this time to troubleshoot challenges that lie ahead. Problem solving is usually 90% thought and 10% execution, so I get my planning and challenge-tackling mostly done before I even open my eyes.” While her breakfast is similar each day (“I was allergic to routine much of my life but now I’m its biggest fan. Routine frees up mental bandwidth for bigger and better things”), her work from home schedule follows a natural progression. She never crams in a lineup of tasks during the first waking hours.
“Running my own business, I work from home in the mornings, and use the calm, productive flow to get right to the day’s to-do list. I use natural stopping points to do yoga, shower, etc This yields optimal productivity, minimal stress, and energizes me for meetings and events later in the day.”
Lauren Jobson-Ahmed, “artivist”, researcher & youth advocate, says mornings are a time to reset her mind and begin a new day with intention. Whether she wakes by alarm clock or her cats biting her toes, her first thoughts are of gratitude for life, health, and the day ahead. After feeding her cats, she consciously prepares breakfast. “I am really aware of the first thing I put in my mouth: my first consumption of the day. I avoid external distractions. No phone until I’m on the subway, (but once I’m there, I read my horoscope and organize my emails). If I can remember, I write my dreams as I wait for my coffee to brew. I savor each sip.” After breakfast? “Sometimes I listen to music in my headphones while my husband is asleep, and dance as I get dressed, or iron an outfit. Sometimes I’ll be a grab anything that’s clean and run out the door like a cartoon character.”
She tries to make a wish and set an intention in the mirror each morning. “If it’s going to be a rough one, a personal favorite is, the answers are all there. If I’m feeling down, I remind myself that I got this, and if I don’t, I’m going to learn the f*ck out of today.”
How about you? I’ll be working on my own new-and-improved morning routine as well. For more ideas, check this out.