Have you ever noticed how the first things you do when you wake up in the morning can make a huge difference to the rest of your day?

As important as showering and drinking your first cup of tea of the day is, there are some more unusual ways you can start your morning, too. Here’s our advice on creating seven new morning rituals that will make your day….

1. Be mindful of your movement

We’ve all heard about getting out of bed on the wrong side. But how about getting up on the right side (or at least, in the right way)? There is one way to get up in the morning that your body will appreciate after a night of bed rest: roll over onto your right side, then push yourself up into a sitting position before standing with a straight back (no hunching). It’s the gentlest way to get up, takes the pressure off your heart and back, and is a great, easy ritual to start your morning.

2. Drink a glass of warm lemon water

We’re not suggesting you abandon your morning caffeine hit – but how about making another drink part of your morning ritual, too? Drinking a glass of warm water with lemon first thing in the morning is a great way to get your body going. The lemon will help get your digestive system ready for the coming meals, and makes the water tastier. You can add a bit of honey to it as well if you want to create a sweeter taste. If you absolutely need caffeine to start the day, try to make it a treat—for example, use higher-quality tea, or consider upgrading your coffee machine to a sleek little model.

3. Set your goals for the day

This morning task doesn’t have to take up as much time as your imagine. In fact, why not think about your goals for the day while you’re doing your morning stretches or drinking your lemon water? Make the goals feasible and manageable, and limit them to just three or four. These could just be small things like packing lunch instead of eating out, going for a run, or finally getting round to scheduling an appointment at the dentist’s.

4. Take a water massage for body and mind

While you’re taking your morning shower, you can use the opportunity to cleanse more than just your body – give your mind a thorough rinse out, too. As you’re under the water, try to focus entirely on positive thoughts, and use the pressure of the warm water to stimulate your muscles. Be aware of how the warm water and soap feel against your skin, and enjoy a few moments of spa-like indulgence!

5. Meditate

And while we’re on the subject of enjoying the moment, how about expanding this mindfulness further with a morning meditation? Most people who start their day with meditation will tell you that it sets the rest of the day up beautifully. And don’t feel restricted by the time you feel you “should” commit to meditation – a successful practice could last just a few minutes. Even thirty seconds of calmness can increase your spiritual wellbeing.

6. Find something to be grateful for

Taking a moment for gratitude can be the perfect way to complete your morning meditation. Finding a reason to be positive in the morning will prepare you to feel more appreciative throughout the whole day. During or after your meditation, think of something you’re thankful for, or challenge yourself to respond to difficult situations with patience and kindness for the whole day.

One final word of warning: don’t neglect the classics! Showering, stretching, making a nutritious and delicious breakfast shouldn’t be forgotten when you bring in your new rituals. And remember, too, that you don’t want to make your morning into a litany of to-dos—pick what works and is meaningful to you, and  don’t feel pressured into doing more.

Image: credit.