Every morning I open my eyes, get out of bed and put on my favorite sweater that neatly hangs over the arm of the chair next to where I sleep. The sweater is such a comfort after getting out of a warm bed; it helps with the transition to daytime and the state of being awake. I walk over to the kitchen, stretch my sleepy limbs in a slow, deliberate way and turn on the electric kettle to boil some water.
It’s time for my morning ceremony.
I didn’t use to wake up like this, allowing myself the time to come to consciousness slowly, deliberately, with intention. My alarm clock would squeal against the quiet of the morning and I’d jump up, my heart already racing with the cortisol pumping through my veins.
I’d hit the snooze button and try to convince myself I can sleep for a few minutes more. After three snooze hits I would finally drag myself out of bed and run around the house getting ready in a hurry. I’d rarely have breakfast and I’d almost never have any time to just be.
Minutes later I’d be packing my body into a metro car full of people, all of eager to get on the train, carrying us to a job most of us hate via an hour long commute. Along with other obviously tired passengers, I’d try to read or listen to music. But really I would just exist in a state between being fully alert and somewhere halfway to REM sleep.
These days I can afford to wake up slowly and practice ceremonies that ground me and help me connect with myself.
I open the loose leaf tea container, bring it up to my nose and inhale. Particles of green tea and goji berries tickle my nostrils and invigorate my senses. I feel refreshed just from one whiff of this glorious concoction.
Measuring exactly two teaspoons of the dry, crumbly tea mixture I pour hot water into a teapot and set the timer. Every time my body or my mind tries to rush me through the process, I calm it down. Slowing my movements, closing my eyes, taking in what is to be another glorious day on Earth.
Drinking a full pot of tea in the morning helps me start my day with kindness to myself. It is like telling myself, “I care about you. You deserve this. Enjoy.” It helps me get rooted in who I am and what my intention is for the day. I don’t check my phone until after my breakfast and tea ceremony. I try to simply stay in the moment, mindful of my state, feelings and emotions.
Have you tried to establish a morning ceremony to ground yourself? Perhaps it includes ten minutes of journaling or sun salutations. Maybe you listen to your favorite song.
Whatever it is I have learned that carving out time for yourself in the morning sets the tone for the whole day ahead. How you get out of bed, how you spend that first hour of being awake can have a tremendous effect on your mood for the rest of the day.
So today I simply wanted to share my morning ceremony with you and encourage you to start yours.
You are truly the most important person you have and taking care of yourself in small ways can help you feel less stress, anxiety and worry.
Treat yourself with kindness, today and every day. Establish your own ceremonies, honor your highest self.