As we still feel out the dawn of the new year, now is the perfect time to reflect on our routines for rising for each day.
Knit cardigans, fuzzy socks, sleepy hair, shower steam—what little moments of the morning do you love?
Do you love how the cold winter air feels on your skin and how your hot morning beverage feels on your tongue? Certain tools and habits can enrich the early hours of your morning, which sets the foundation for the rest of your day.
A lot of good morning essentials can be appreciated all year long, but while we are still in the early days of 2021, now is the perfect time to find new elements to add to our routines.
Here are five routines that helped me this winter:
1. The Right Kind of Alarm Clock
Try to find an actual alarm clock that isn’t your phone—or better yet, wake up with the sun. Detox from the noise of the news and your social media feed by not touching your phone when you wake up—especially within the first few seconds of your day.
A real alarm clock will allow you to wake up and connect to the real, physical world more than your phone alarm clock can. On a day where you don’t have to be anywhere at a specific time, though, allowing yourself to wake up on your own time, and maybe even in-tune with when the sun rises, is a perfect idea. Vitamin D is the best thing for a sleepy mind.
2. Snuggle Time
Leave in some extra time for yourself before your feet even touch the floor. You can do easy in-bed yoga stretches and cuddle around in your warm blankets. Stretching out your limbs and rolling around in your bed are perfect ways to get your blood pumping and your thoughts rolling at the start of your day.
These are ways to slowly wake you up without making you feel cranky or rushed. Leaving time for yourself in bed also lets you soak in the comfort and coziness of waking up, giving yourself good energy for the day. Try simply stretching out your arms and legs; roll out your wrists, ankles, shoulders, and neck; or even do basic yoga poses like extended child pose, happy baby, or cat/cow variations.
3. Watching the Hour Burn Away
Find incense with an hour-long burn. You can use this as a timer to do mindful morning activities. Some ideas are meditation, journaling, yoga, reading poetry, or cooking breakfast.
The point of the incense is to not only be a fancy stopwatch but to give you a grounded, rustic ritual for your morning. Bask in the soothing aroma and sparks of good energy while engaging in self-care. You’ll feel more refreshed, more focused, and calmer than before.
4. Matcha Time
Coffee is great, but it can also be drying and give you anxious jitters.
Matcha, on the other hand, which is a fine, blended powder of green tea leaves, will leave you refreshed and relaxed. It’ll still give you energy though—matcha contains just as much caffeine as coffee. But the amino acid L-Theanine gives the caffeine in matcha a slower, calmer, longer-lasting effect.
In addition to the L-Theanine benefits, matcha is way better for oral health than coffee is. Also, matcha is just more fun to make than coffee. You get to use a fancy whisk and watch a beautiful, frothy foam form—plus matcha is green, so drinking it will make you feel like you have your life together.
5. Waking Up to a Clean Space
Dust, vacuum, and disinfect your bedroom at night so you can wake up to a clean and refreshed atmosphere in the morning. From Feng-shui principles to the habits of Buddhist monks, experts in different fields of thought all across the world believe that cleanliness equals serenity.
And there’s no better word to describe the perfect winter morning than serenity.