5 Ways To Improve The Morning Ritual


1. Stop waking up and immediately saying the f-word.

If someone asked me if I had a mantra, like a yogi or a Buddhist, I’d say I do. My mantra isn’t “Ohm” or “Today’s gonna be a great day” or anything soothing and delightful. No, generally when I wake up in the morning the words I repeat are, “F— everything.” I usually subconsciously begin each day by damning everything. It’s not on purpose. Either I’m tired from the night before or I remember that I have a bunch of work I need to do.

That’s no excuse. How am I ever going to have a positive outlook if I wake up mumbling the f-word? My life is pretty okay.

Current ritual:

Yelling the f-word.

New ritual:

Think of something I’m grateful for. Say it out loud.

There’s no reason to immediately jump to “Everything sucks” until I can get a cup of coffee in me. Which leads me to…

2. Stop drinking coffee.

This is impossible, but it really needs to happen. I’ve started having migraines and feeling tired at around 4 p.m. I can’t imagine that being dependent on a substance, any substance, is ultimately good for you. I don’t want to need coffee.

Current ritual:

All the coffee.

New ritual:

Make a pot of tea.

This replaces the making coffee ritual and provides me with a hot beverage to drink in a mug.

3. Give myself time to eat breakfast.

This requires waking up a bit early to have time to eat breakfast but I think it’ll be worth it. As George Michael Bluth once answered to “What do we always say is the most important thing?” Breakfast starts your day off right. If I can get in a banana or a granola bar or a bowl of cereal, I will probably have more energy during the day.

Current ritual:

Wake up two seconds before I have to go. Run out the door. Don’t eat until afternoon.

New ritual:

Wake up half an hour earlier. Eat something.

Maybe I’ll even have time to relax and get my thoughts together before I start my day. I know, what?

4. Don’t look at Twitter.

Part of me always worries that I’ll miss out on something, but how healthy can it be to wake up, grab my phone and immediately open social media? It’s a sign of the times: We think we have to do this.

Look, this is a faction of my anxiety. What are the actual odds that without opening Twitter first thing, I’ll somehow not find out about the zombie apocalypse until it’s too late? Don’t answer that. This is an actual reoccurring stress dream I have. I don’t want to know.

Current ritual:

Open Twitter. Scroll.

New ritual:

Open an actual news website. Turn on New York 1. Or hell, get a newspaper delivered.

That’s right. Maybe I’ll read LONG FORM writing on an actual news website, or in an actual newspaper. I know they’re dying out. I know it’s expensive. I was a print journalism major in college. I understand extinction. But maybe it’s worth it, while it lasts, for some peace of mind and to give my eyeballs reprieve from a glowing screen once in a while.

5. Do every bathroom task for as long as you’re supposed to.

I rush through the whole bathroom thing because usually, I’m running late. This is a mistake. According to the internet, you should be brushing your teeth for two to three minutes on average. In my new morning ritual, I will ALWAYS take the time to brush that long, floss and do my Listerine — and not cut one out because I’m running behind. I will also lovingly wash my face with face soap and not pretend it’s okay to wear yesterday’s make up again. (I know. Gross. But it happens sometimes.)

I will look up how long you’re supposed to brush your hair and wash your face and I will commit to it.

Current ritual:

Slap everything together and hope for the best.

New ritual:

Clean myself.

We are but apes on this planet. There’s a reason monkeys pick leaves from each other’s hair and such — grooming is necessary. No scrimping on that part. Just wake up earlier and get it done right.

Preferably without cursing your existence first thing.

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image – Jag_cz