6 Ideas and Tips for How to Start a Simple Morning Ritual

By Kelley Boymer
27 Mar 2023

We all have that friend that eases into their day in a quiet, peaceful manner– a hot cup of tea or coffee in hand meditating with the morning glow illuminating their face. God, I want that, we think as we wake in a ball of anxiety and are thrust into our day. Guess what? It’s possible. You can have that and you deserve it. Instead of jumping right into getting ready for work and your important tasks for the day take some time for yourself. We often emphasize having successful days and a successful life when we should really be prioritizing our mental, physical and emotional health. A healthy morning routine is a great way to prioritize this first thing!

I recently started a morning ritual as part of my yoga and meditation practice. Honestly, there are days that it just doesn’t happen and it is on those days that I suffer. I have noticed a significant difference in my mental health on the days I make the time for my morning ritual. It is truly so important. I especially notice this difference on the days I start my day on social media. It is hard with children, work and any other responsibilities you may have to maintain a routine like this. So give yourself grace and do your best. Remember this is for you, it’s not intended to add stress, but instead alleviate it. I promise, once you make that time for yourself, you won’t regret it.

How To Start A Simple Morning Ritual

Carve out time each day.

Start with something small and reasonable. That could mean setting your alarm clock just 5 or 10 minutes earlier and utilizing that time in a specific way. Try not to hit that snooze button although it is always tempting! You may find that you begin to crave more time and decide to take 20 or 30 minutes instead. I have found waking up early to be the best way to make this time for myself. You may not consider yourself a morning person but if you start to create a habit and go to bed a little earlier, you may surprise yourself!

Find a peaceful setting for your ritual.

I created morning routine doing yoga in a small room connected to our bedroom and it did not work. I could hear my husband snoring and my baby crying and it was anything but peaceful. Make sure you pick a space where you can have the peace and quiet you need and deserve in order to make this time beneficial for yourself.

Set realistic goals.

If you start with the goal of an hour long morning ritual, you are most likely going to avoid it and then feel guilt, shame and like a failure. Womp, womp… That is literally the opposite of the goal in mind here. Remember to start small and you can always build. Keep it simple. If you try to do too much, you will feel overwhelmed and create more stress for yourself. Pick one or two things that are important to you and go with it. You can always switch it up based on your mood. Some mornings I journal and some mornings I meditate. Feel into your mind and body and find a groove that serves you.

Be easy on yourself.

If you slip up and miss a couple of mornings, that’s okay! We are our own worst critic. If you had no morning ritual practice to begin with celebrate the fact that you did it, whether it’s three times or once. That in and of itself is a success. This is meant to be a self care practice to make you feel better, not another stressful thing in your life.

Are you an externally motivated individual?

Same, same. Find a morning ritual buddy. Check in with your friend about your morning rituals and help to hold each other accountable. No shaming for slipping up on goals. Help to motivate each other and celebrate successes. Have discussions about how this morning ritual has helped and it will encourage you to keep up with it.

Personalize your morning ritual.

Everyone’s different and everyone has something that works for them. Trying to force yourself to do yoga every morning when that is not your thing is going to make you dread your morning routine and in turn it won’t last. What makes you feel good? What helps you feel relaxed, energized, rejuvenated? How do you want to start your day? Create a routine that is unique to you.

6 Ideas For A Morning Ritual

Drinking a cup of coffee/tea.

Sitting in silence and enjoying a cup of coffee or tea is a nice easy, relaxing way to begin a morning ritual. Drinking coffee in the morning helps to jumpstart your day and having this in quiet peace sounds so luxurious! It can be as simple as that. Oftentimes, we skip right to coffee. Make sure to drink water first! You can add some lemon or another fruit to your glass of water to make it refreshing and rejuvenating.

Yoga and Meditation.

If yoga and meditation are your thing, then there is no better way to start your day. This will set you up to feel more relaxed and content for the rest of the day. Ease your mind and body into the day and set yourself up for a physical and mental state ready to take on whatever comes your way. Yoga and meditation are both great ways to reduce stress, especially if you tend to wake up feeling anxious. I fluctuate between 20 and 40ish minutes. Sometimes I do my own guided practice with a playlist that fits my mood for the day and sometimes I utilize a Glo class. I love Glo, but you can also access free classes on youtube or you may have a favorite local teacher that offers virtual options. 

Journaling & Reading.

If you are a reader or writer these practices are such a nice way to begin your day from within. For so many of us, the first thing we see when we wake up is our phones. This immediately sends our brain into autopilot. Allowing your mind to begin functioning for the day by utilizing one of these simple practices is a healthier way to wake your mind and check in with yourself. If you’re looking for something to guide you through your journaling practice, try this– I’m a big Glennon fan and I just bought a bunch of these as gifts, as well as one for myself of course… Get Untamed Journal.

As always, try your local bookstore first! If you are looking for beautiful lined journals to get those creative juices flowing, I also love these personalized notebooks on Etsy. If journaling isn’t your thing read a book instead. Reading is such a relaxing and enjoyable way to start the day.

Taking a bath.

How luxurious would it feel to take a bath in the morning? I personally haven’t done this yet, but I’ve heard it is such a powerful way to wake our bodies that are 60% water. Feel free to give yourself permission to enjoy a bath! Why not?

Build a fire.

If you have a wood stove or fireplace the ritual of building a fire first thing in the morning can be so comforting and soothing, especially this time of year. It feels almost meditative and brings warmth and love. Maybe even a little bit of fiery energy that you may need to kickstart your day. You could even try making a simmer pot with some essential oils, fruits or herbs. Try peppermint for an energizing boost, rosemary and lemon for a clarifying scent, cinnamon, oranges, or pine for a seasonal feel.

Take a walk/run.

If you are the active type, getting out and moving first thing is so helpful to release some pent up energy and bring balance to your day. This will set you up for a good morning and day ahead by bringing your energy levels up. Not only is moving our body first thing good for our metabolism and physical body, but also a great way to improve our mental health. Not to mention, spending time outdoors first thing (or anytime of day) is so good for our mental and physical health. Taking a walk or run without music/podcast helps us go within and listen to that inner voice, but if you need some motivation try one of Spotify’s themed mood playlists or a podcast of your choice. Jess and I will be suggesting podcasts later this week too 🙂

How Long Should a Morning Routine Be?

Honestly, a morning routine can be as long as you want it to be! Most people set aside between 30 and 90 minutes for their morning routine but again, you can start small with just 10 minutes. You may find over time that you are craving more time to yourself in the morning and this will motivate you to wake up a little earlier or designate a little more time to your routine.

Why Is A Morning Routine Important?

A morning routine is important because it helps us to feel good in our body and mind for the coming day. It can even help us to have a more productive day. We often wake up feeling anxious about the day ahead and jump into it without grounding ourselves or doing something to help shift our mindset. This only leads us to become more anxious and stressed as the day progresses. Do yourself a favor and reset so you can start your day on a calm and content note.

Let us know what your goal for a morning routine is below. If you already started one– how is it going? We are in this together!

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24 Comments

  1. Erica wrote:

    When school started this fall, I created a morning ritual of getting up 90 minutes before my kids. I found if I didn’t, it was a bad start to the day and I felt immediately rushed and overwhelmed.

    I had been meditating and started a 5 minute journal this week. I really enjoy starting with the 5 minute journal. I like what you wrote that my morning ritual can fluctuate depending on what I need that day – meditating or journaling. Sometimes I get stuck in creating a consistent routine that I forget to be flexible.

    1.11.22 | Reply
    • Kelley Boymer wrote:

      Hi Erica! Thank you so much for sharing your morning ritual experience. I’m so happy you are taking this time for yourself, especially with little ones! The 5 minute journal sounds great. Do you use a specific one? It’s nice to have something to help guide you in your writing. I totally get stuck as well so it is a helpful reminder to switch things up! Nice job taking time for yourself, keep it up!

      1.11.22 | Reply
  2. Courtney Jenney wrote:

    Welcome, Kelley! This post is such a breath of fresh air in a world filled with, “10 UNATTAINABLE Goals for 2022” so thank YOU!

    1.11.22 | Reply
    • Kelley Boymer wrote:

      I am so happy that this felt like a breath of fresh air to you, Courtney! That was my goal! Cheers to normalizing setting attainable goals in 2022! 🙂

      1.11.22 | Reply
  3. Brittany wrote:

    Hi Kelley! I love the idea of starting a morning ritual with as little as 5 minutes. I’m going to start with a notebook and pencil on my bedside table to draw a little thing in each morning to start my day; I’m hoping it’s refreshes me more than scrolling on my phone when I first wake up!

    1.11.22 | Reply
    • Kelley Boymer wrote:

      Yay! That’s such a fantastic idea. It will help hold yourself accountable and make it very doable! I recently deleted social media apps off of my phone and check periodically on my computer instead. It has helped so much with the mindless before bed/early morning scrolling. Good luck and let me know how your drawings go!

      1.11.22 | Reply
  4. Kelly P wrote:

    Great writing, Kelley! (And great name ?)

    Hitting the snooze button one more time is never worth it, and it always leaves me starting the day more unsettled, anxious, and rushed. You’ve inspired me to put more thought into the pre-work hour, – I think I’ll start by not looking at social media the second I open my eyes. Coffee, quiet, and a slow start to the day sounds much better. Can’t wait to read more of your contributions in the future!

    1.11.22 | Reply
    • Kelley Boymer wrote:

      The snooze button gets the best of us! I think you will see such a different in your state of mind by taking things slow and avoiding social media for a bit. Let me know how it goes! Good luck, you got this!

      1.11.22 | Reply
  5. Melissa wrote:

    Welcome Kelley! Thank you for sharing that a morning ritual can be as simple as enjoying a cup of coffee in the peace and quiet. That’s my current morning ritual, to enjoy coffee without scrolling on my phone (even better is to step outside for a few minutes when the weather is nice). This helped me appreciate what I’m already doing instead of feeling guilty for not having a “better” morning routine.

    1.11.22 | Reply
    • Kelley Boymer wrote:

      You are doing great, Melissa! Keep it up. Easing into your day with coffee and sunshine is a perfect morning ritual. Enjoy those quiet moments!

      1.11.22 | Reply
  6. Cate wrote:

    I start school days on my own and read the newspaper while eating alone. Your post sparked an idea that perhaps I could move my new line a day journal to morning rather than before bed. I love my solo morning time and it truly fills my bucket for the day ahead. Lovely debut, Kelley!

    1.11.22 | Reply
    • Kelley Boymer wrote:

      Hi Cate! Breakfast and a newspaper alone sound lovely! I also do my line a day (inconsistently) at night time and now I’m wondering if I should move it to the morning as well. Maybe it would be more consistent that way! Thank you for sharing and I hope you continue to enjoy that quiet time in the morning 🙂

      1.11.22 | Reply
  7. Sarah M wrote:

    Thank you for these ideas. I’m a first time mom to a six month old so it often feels like we are still in the thick of it, but I’ve been thinking a lot recently about how to carve out some time for me in the morning in a way that is attainable. Whenever I see people’s highly specific and time consuming morning routines it makes me feel like a little bit of a failure and also gives me anxiety about starting anything of my own. The way you wrote about these concepts and made it seem enjoyable and not just centered on “motivating change” or “self improvement” makes me want to start tomorrow. It’ll probably just be having cup of delicious coffee and read some of a book, but I’m excited to give it a go. Thank you!

    1.11.22 | Reply
    • Kelley Boymer wrote:

      I can totally relate, Sarah! Our little guy is 8 months and it feels like as soon as you think you’ve mastered some stage, it’s on to the next and everything goes to shit! I decided to sleep in this morning because we had a lot of wake-ups last night and modified my ritual to a very brief yoga/meditation. You do what you have to do! I hope your quiet coffee and book time went well this morning! No need to feel guilt or anxiety about it. This time is for you 🙂

      1.12.22 | Reply
  8. Sarah wrote:

    Before I had my baby, I woke up an hour before I needed to be out the door to make it to my gym class, so that I could sit with a cup of coffee in silence and catch up on my blogs. This practice fell by the wayside when I had my baby, until he was 6 months, and I really felt the loss of that time for myself. Now that my kid has a built in alarm clock at 6:30AM, I aim to wake up at least an hour (sometimes more) so that I can have my coffee, and then squeeze in a workout & shower before he wakes up. Even though I dread the early wake-ups, having that time to myself is something I deeply cherish.

    1.11.22 | Reply
    • Kelley Boymer wrote:

      Good for you for making that time for you, Sarah! I am so impressed. It is really tricky with a little one, but possibly even more important! What kind of workout do you do? The hardest part is definitely getting out of bed, but it truly so worth it! Keep it up!

      1.12.22 | Reply
      • Sarah wrote:

        Like everyone else, I got a Peloton during the pandemic and fully joined the cult. So some days its a ride, others it’s a strength workout, some days yoga, and some days, I just sit on the couch the whole time to steel myself for the day ahead haha.

        1.27.22 | Reply
  9. Lia O'Malley wrote:

    Kelley,
    Welcome! Thank you I really enjoyed your post. These ideas seem really doable and I look forward to trying to create a routine.

    1.11.22 | Reply
    • Kelley Boymer wrote:

      Thank you, Lia! I’m glad you enjoyed the post. I hope you can try to create a routine that works for you. Good luck!

      1.12.22 | Reply
  10. Fawne wrote:

    I have been trying to break through and find a way to get my morning started without immediately going into work. I am definitely going to try these out! Thank you for this!

    1.13.22 | Reply
  11. Meg wrote:

    This was so well done and helpful! Can you write a post about a night time ritual?

    1.13.22 | Reply
  12. Cindy List wrote:

    Great article Kelley on morning rituals! I recently discovered needlepoint and it is so meditative. I start my mornings with a latte that I make here at home and cuddle up with my dachshund Stuart and stitch away! Some might think it old fashioned but honestly more woman of all ages are discovering it each day. It keeps your head out of the phone! It is the perfect thing to do while watching TV as well. Instead of just zoning out you are accomplishing something at the same time. Similar to knitting but you don’t have to count stitches! Very visual and surprisingly relaxing.

    1.13.22 | Reply
  13. kim wrote:

    I do morning pages – I make coffee and sit down and write – with pen and paper – for three full pages, both sides. No internal editing, just stream of consciousness (which is endlessly difficult for me). I think I got this from Bird by Bird, by Anne Lamont, but it was years ago so I’m not sure. I definitely feel far less clarity during my day when I skip this.

    5.6.23 | Reply
    • Kelley Boymer wrote:

      Ahhh I have done morning pages in the past too. SO helpful! It really helped me through a particularly hard time in my life. Thank you for the reminder to get back into it!

      5.9.23 | Reply

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