Many months and life events have passed since – including finishing graduate school, a global pandemic, and putting my website on a long “pause.” Now more than ever, I find it vital to revisit the importance of sustaining a morning ritual.
A myriad of factors contribute to one’s state of feeling and being well that can be as personal and varied as one can imagine. What’s important, however, is to find a system of behaviors and actions that work for you while also knowing that these will transform and evolve with time.
Indeed, one of the best things we can do to support our health, particularly as we start our days, is to keep a receptive and flexible attitude toward ourselves. Below, I’ve listed five ways that can contribute to optimal, sunrise-related well-being:
Saying Thank You
It comes as no surprise that gratitude is a sure way to kickstart a ripple effect of well-being from the inside out. Being grateful means that you recognize the beauty and magic within and without you, regardless of the circumstances you might be going through.
It also means that you are responsive and conscious of your infinite power to shift your perspective to the things that bring you grace and joy. As Indian mystic Sadghuru describes, gratitude involves “being receptive to life” and recognizing how everything in the universe is working to support your existence. From the cells and breath in your body to the sun and the moon rising and setting – everything is flowing to expand your experience of life!
Let gratitude be the first thing you feel and say (better out loud) as soon as you wake up in the morning. Even if it’s a whisper, let the universe (or Spirit) know of your receptiveness and appreciation for the gift of being alive. Say ‘thank you’ and see yourself getting into the “flow” of well-being.
Own Your Space
And by this, I mean taking control of your physical space to bring in a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. Make your bed as soon you get up, remove any items that don’t belong on your night table during the daytime (as in, a glass of water or an eye mask), put your slippers away, and let the sun come through your windows. Instead of creating a set of habits, you’re building a system designed to boost an internal state of empowerment and pride.
Wash Your Face
Beyond the skin-related benefits of cleansing your face regularly, there’s an inevitable feeling of revival when you splash your face with water in the morning. Depending on your skin conditions, you might not need a full-on rinse, but a few bits of water will go a long way in making you feel awake and attentive for the day ahead.
Tend To Your Mind & Emotions
The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron dives deep into the importance of spending time each day to write and let your “stream of consciousness” speak in the form of morning pages (read more, here). Any intentional practice of spending time with and listening to yourself, from meditation and prayer to journaling, could be turned into an intimate, spiritual, and sacred space to know and love you fully.
As mentioned before, these practices might look different from time to time, and that’s okay. What’s fundamental, though, is always to have a method (behavior or action) to “tune yourself in” and prime for the day ahead.
One of the reasons behind drinking water in the morning is that you should hydrate your body after hours of sleep and dehydration. There are multiple benefits associated with drinking water in the morning, but one approach that resonates with me the most is Ayurveda’s viewpoint, which is called Ushapan. Drinking water in the morning (ideally, at room temperature and from a copper vessel) is associated with better GI health and flushing out of toxins from the body before the introduction of food. Try it out and watch your energy levels rise!