We think mornings might just be the most important part of the day, as our mood in the morning and the intentions we set can greatly impact how the rest of the day will unfold. We can‘t always be in control of what kind of events or activities we will encounter throughout the day, but there are things we can do to help mentally and physically prepare ourselves to be strong and present for whatever comes our way. Here are a few of our editor tips on how to include some mindful rituals into your morning routine and have the best possible start to your day!
*Disclaimer- This article is meant for entertainment and inspiration purposes only. Any lifestyle or dietary changes should always be discussed with your medical provider first. We can’t guarantee the information in the blog is accurate or current.
#1. MADNESS - Consider finishing your morning shower with a cold rinse finish
If you are a morning shower person like we are at AVMM, why not add a little excitement to the start of your day and finish your shower routine with an invigorating cold rinse off? Not only is this brief blast of cold water a refreshing way to help us wake up and feel more alert for the day ahead, there are also many claimed health benefits associated with cold showers. These benefits range from helping to improve circulation and the lymphatic system, relieving mild forms of depression, reducing stress, increasing athletic recovery, strengthening immunity, increasing general energy levels, and encouraging healthy hair and skin. To start including a cold rinse finish into your morning shower routine, just start your shower at your regular temperature preference, and before finishing simply turn the temperature to fully cold and submit for a minimum of 10 seconds, eventually working your way up to 30 seconds or longer. It might be a challenge in the beginning, but we found that after a few days of cold rinse finishing, braving the cold gets easier and easier. By now we could not imagine a shower routine any other way!
#2. MOISTURIZE - From the outside in and the inside out
To maximize the benefits of the cold rinse finish for skin health be sure to make moisturizing a post-rinse priority. Currently, we are in love with nature’s springtime treasure: Calendula Oil (AKA Pot Marigold) and its nourishing effects for the skin. Calendula oil is known not only for its soothing and moisturizing effects, especially for delicate skin, but also for its antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and antibacterial properties making it an ideal ingredient for skincare products to soothe issues like wounds, rashes, and eczema. Discover one of the newest additions to our growing curation of natural skincare products, the Calendula Salve. A locally sourced and artisanally crafted skin balm. The Calendula Salve features not only locally sourced Calendula Oil, but also some intensely moisturizing ingredients including shea butter, cocoa butter and beeswax, for a beautiful blend of nurturing ingredients which will keep your skin healthy and glowing the natural way.
Enjoy a cup of warm water with a splash of fresh-squeezed lemon juice and upgrade your morning hydration ritual!
While you are moisturizing from the outside in, be sure to also moisturize your body from the inside out! And enjoy the mega hydrating benefits of starting your day with a glass of warm water and a splash of fresh-squeezed lemon juice. It is very natural for any of us to reach for a glass of water first thing in the morning since we most likely just went 7-8 hours without drinking anything at all and might wake up feeling a bit dehydrated. Drinking warm water with freshly squeezed lemon juice on an empty stomach not only deeply hydrates your body, but also has cleansing and energizing effects. Other touted benefits include metabolism stimulation, liver detoxification, and digestive tract support. Hydration is also extremely important for skin health and with the high levels of Vitamin C in lemon juice, your skin will be thanking you not only for its moisturizing but also for it’s anti-wrinkle effects.
*Make sure to be mindful of the citric acid in lemon juice and be sure to rinse your mouth with plain water after drinking anything citric to protect your teeth enamel from erosion.
Optional additional ingredients to your morning water include:
- Slices of ginger root
- Handful of fresh mint
- Sprinkle of Amla powder
- Dash of cinnamon
#3. MOVEMENT - For increased blood flow and circulation
We encourage including a simple morning movement ritual to help wake up the body, increase circulation, and get the blood flowing. Start with whatever feels right for you and experiment from there, whether it’s gentle stretching, Tai Chi, a few jumping jacks, some kettlebell swings, or fluid yoga moves like sun salutations. Find the movement that best suits you and your body, which is easiest to incorporate into your morning routine as effortlessly as possible. Not only can physical activity simply feel good, but it can also be used as a natural stress remedy. A morning movement routine can be a mindful way to focus your thoughts while connecting with your body and can be a great way to approach the day feeling more grounded and connected to self. Throw in some breath work and you might just feel unstoppable!
Editors tip: While letting my French press coffee steep, I use those 5 minutes of wait time to follow a series of easy and gentle leg lifts and squats. This simple 5-minute “coffee series” is just what I need to help me gently wake up, connect with my body, and clear my mind for the day ahead.
#4. MUSHROOMS - Discover the exciting world of medicinal mushrooms
As part of your morning beverage ritual, whether its coffee, black tea, herbal tea, or just plain hot water, try adding one or two medicinal mushrooms into the mix. Mushrooms, which are part of the adaptogen family such a Reishi, Chaga, Lion’s Mane, Shiitake, Turkey Tail, Cordyceps and Himematsutake, just to name a few, have been touted to provide a whole range of impressive health benefits. Although mushrooms are only recently the hot topic in the health and wellness world, they have been around and used for centuries. If you aren’t yet familiar with the world of adaptogens, get ready to have your mind blown.
Editors tip: My current coffee blend additions include a mix of cinnamon, cardamom, reishi, cordyceps, and chicory root tea.
#5. MOTIVATION - Create a daily gratitude and intention setting practice
“The more we are grateful for what we already have in our lives, the more we will have in our lives to be grateful for”
Before charging full-throttle into the day ahead, we recommend setting aside a few minutes of calm before the storm (perhaps while sipping on your new morning mushroom beverage) as part of a daily journal practice. Try dedicating a special journal specifically for morning musings around the topics of gratitude and intention setting. One approach is to write down three things you are grateful for as a way of acknowledging already existing abundance in your life, as well as setting three intentions for the day. What we have in mind here is not a to-do list, like work deadlines or errands, but rather intentions which would help you have a more meaningful day; like reaching out to a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while, or take a calming walk after lunch, or even just participating in a random act of kindness like smiling to a stranger on the train to work - whatever it is that you think might give your day a little extra spark of joy! The whole process can take as little as five minutes, but we feel the benefits can be tenfold the time invested.
Here's a recap of 3 products that will help you set the mood for your morning ritual:
The Thalia Robe is made from 100% cotton and is perfect for lounging at home or to be included in your self-care ritual. Made in Berlin.
Featuring locally grown calendula oil and other natural ingredients, this salve is handcrafted by a Berlin-based artisan. Also featured in our Hand Care Ritual Set.
Perfect for your pour-over coffee ritual is this three-piece stoneware set from the Berlin-based potter Lisa Kosak of Helka Ceramics.
Now we want to hear from you: how are you starting your day? Feel free to share any tips below!