Once upon a time, I used to wake up about 20-30 minutes before I had to dash out the door for work. My morning routine included hitting the snooze button multiple times, then slapping some make-up on  and rushing out the door. By the time I got to work, I was still usually half asleep and needed multiple cups of coffee and a mountain of sugar to get my brain and body into gear. I felt frazzled!

A couple of years ago I started setting my alarm a little earlier in order to cultivate some mindful morning rituals. At first it was hard to “sacrifice” the extra sleep, but slowly I started to see and feel the benefits of a healthy morning routine.

I’m not perfect. The following routine doesn’t always happen, but the majority of the time, my mornings now look something like this:

When my alarm goes off (usually at 5am), I lie in stillness for a moment and think of one to five things/people/situations to be grateful for; then I do a quick 10 second stretch before my feet hit the floor.

Now it’s time to meditate. This daily habit has only been cemented into my routine in the last 6 months, but I truly feel the difference in my day when I miss my morning meditation. Sometimes I only sit for 5 minutes, sometimes I have the luxury of 30-45 minutes of meditation… The length is not as important as the habit and intention.

After my meditation, I usually do oil pulling – the Ayurvedic practice of swishing oil around your mouth for 5-20 mins. It’s amazing! It cleans your teeth, kills bacteria, strengthens your gums, boosts immune system and many more benefits. I use coconut oil. While I’m oil pulling, I put the kettle on and make some version of hot lemon water. Sometimes I jazz it up with apple cider vinegar, ginger and turmeric, but mostly it’s straight up warm lemon water. In Winter or if I’m training or working harder and need an extra boost, I make another elixir which is: vitamin C powder, diamotaceous earth, aloe vera juice, green powder and a probiotic. (My elixirs are constantly changing depending on my needs. I also take a complete break from a lot of these elixirs from time to time, so that I don’t build up a tolerance, nor a dependency!)  I sip on both of these beverages and also drink a few glasses of room temperature water to hydrate and gently wake up my digestive system.

Some mornings I have time and the inclination to dry body brush and then have a cold shower, but it’s not a daily habit. (yet!)

At this point I usually take my phone off airplane mode and I’ll have a quick scroll through emails, Instagram and maybe Facebook. I try not to get sucked into my phone first thing in the morning… (easier said than done!)

Then it’s breakfast or some kind of coffee/matcha/chaga/bulletproof conconction depending on when and what type of exercise I’m doing that day.

I like to work out in the mornings so that it’s done for the day and work and social engagements and other excuses don’t get in the way. Exercising early also gives me a rush of energy and endorphins and a glow that make-up will never be able to fake! Some days I’ll take the dogs for a walk first thing and grab a coffee or matcha latte on the way. If I need to be at (film shoot) work super early then I sometimes have to skip the exercise bit and I’ll have coffee and breakfast once I get to work.

In between all of this concoction making and drinking, I wash my face, brush my teeth and get dressed.  Boring. 🙂

These days I’m calmer, happier and more productive and I put a lot of it down to cultivating a mindful morning routine!

Waking up even half an hour earlier will allow you some time to at least sip on some lemon water and check in with yourself before the day is just go go go. Maybe you want to do a few minutes of deep breathing; or think of 5 things you’re grateful for. It’s not important what your morning ritual is, it’s the intention behind it. Start your morning in a healthful, nurturing way and you will carry this tone throughout the rest of your day and into all areas of your life. You’ll think clearer and make better choices. Plus you can smugly tell people how much you’ve achieved before 8am! 😉

Do you have any morning rituals? Tell me about them, I’d love to know!