I know it sounds all sexy and sophisticated to say you live “in the now” or whatever, but in the real world, it helps to have a routine in place so that you can be spontaneous when it comes to the things you really want to be spontaneous about.

For example, if you want to be able to take a trip at the drop of a hat, having a bag  pre-packed makes that easier to do. And then there’s this beautiful piece of advice I got in high school, which was to think about that tattoo for at least a full year before taking the plunge. Knowing exactly what you want and being at peace with the decision and prepared frees you up to wake up one morning and say, “Today’s the day.”

large decafI’m also a big believer in morning rituals. In a somewhat similar vein, they provide us with cues that we are starting the day—and they can provide some comfort and a sense that things are going as we want or need them to. A sense of order, if you will. Or control.

Here my morning rituals:

  • Exercise—I don’t write about exercise much on this blog because I’m definitely not an expert, but I will say that physical activity is one of my morning must-haves. Aside from the fact that it helps me wake up  and feels good to get done early, I find that early “me” time makes it so much easier to deal with whatever stressors the day has in store. During particularly challenging times where I want to call bull**** every five minutes, it’s essential for staying grounded and not, like, telling so-and-so to go f*** themselves. I know a lot of so-and-so’s.
  • Hot water with lemon—A few years ago, my mom introduced me to her cold remedy of the week, which was hot water with lemon, cayenne extract, and honey. Somewhere along the way, I ditched the last two ingredients, and when I was a dietetic intern, I began starting every morning with a cup of hot water with lemon juice. I still do it to this day. Regardless of whether it’s the vitamin C or something else keeping my immune system in good fighting shape, I don’t feel quite the same if I have to go a day without.
  • Green tea—Aside from being associated to many health benefits, sipping some green tea is a gentler way to caffeinate first thing in the morning. I usually wait until I’m on the subway or at my desk to have that cup of black (half-decaf) coffee ; )

What are you morning rituals? 


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