How do you start your day? Does your first waking thought stress you out? Do you spend mornings feeling frazzled?
How often do you wake up, turn on the TV, and immediately check your phone, send an email, then a text? Maybe you check social media, freak out over something you read, and end up feeling bad about your response?
Between checking your digital feeds, there are the kids to feed and lunches to pack. You pour a third cup of very strong coffee and send another email—all before 7am. Is that really how you want to live your life?
Your Morning Routine Shapes Your Day
Yes, I know we’re busy people, but can you see how a schedule like this could kickstart adrenaline? I sure can. I have my own variation of this story and it’s just as chaotic. When I hit the ground running, I generally feel unstable!
So every morning I have a routine that I use to untangle anxious thoughts and set positive intentions for the day. I think of it as time to connect with myself and charge my batteries.
That’s why I want to pass along a few self care ideas for creating a morning routine you’ll love. That way, you can start your day with activities that feed your energy. It’s not selfish to invest in your wonderful self, my friend. You’re your #1 asset and if you want to live fully, you’ve got to fill your tank!
1. Start your morning the night before.
The best morning rituals start the night before. So, start your morning by writing down your to-do list before you go to bed. Taking time to jot down your important tasks for the next day helps you wake up and begin your day with focus and intention. Believe me, it will make a big difference in your daily life.
2. Begin your morning routine with a gentle alarm.
If you need to set the alarm clock, make sure it’s soft and sweet. There’s nothing worse for your adrenals than the blaring sound of an obnoxious alarm that immediately leaves you feeling stressed. Instead, choose something like a subtle chime that slowly brings you back into consciousness. Good morning, angel.
3. Kickstart your day with a happy outlook.
You don’t have to be a morning person to kickstart your day with some positive thinking. This is the perfect time to connect with your soul. Our first moments are our most open and sacred. They are the bridge between the subconscious and conscious mind.
If you’re like me, it probably takes a few minutes to feel present and in your body. Rather than tuning into the outside noise, go inside first. Silently give thanks and show yourself some much-deserved love. Begin each morning by blessing your day. How lovely, right?
Here’s an example of what I say upon waking:
“Thank you for another day on this glorious planet. May I be happy, healthy, grateful, kind, and loving today. May I be of service to myself and others. Thank you. I love you. Have a beautiful day, sweet Kris.”
This simple morning habit truly changes everything because it helps shift our perceptions about ourselves and the world around us. Too often we focus on what we don’t have or what’s missing in our relationships, jobs, or overall well-being. We wake up ready to judge and criticize. Wouldn’t you rather immerse yourself in happiness?
Now that’s what I call a beautiful self care idea for your morning routine!
4. Set positive intentions every morning.
While there are circumstances in our lives that we can’t change, nothing can take away our freedom to choose our own thoughts. Your mind is your sovereign space, and you are the leader of that kingdom. This fundamental truth is one of the most important revelations we can have about our power.
Love, peace, war, forgiveness—it all stems from a thought. I encourage you to allow daily gratitude, prayer, and blessings to guide your morning thoughts. Though it may seem small to begin with thanks, in truth, it’s revolutionary. Setting a positive intention every morning helps you start your day focused on the good that lies ahead.
5. Drink a smoothie, juice, or glass of lemon water before coffee.
People always ask me if I drink coffee in the morning. The answer? Yes! But I always feel better when I put something healthy in my stomach before my tea or coffee.
Drinking a smoothie with good fats and protein, or a green juice loaded with vitamins and minerals, helps me avoid overdoing the caffeine and the crashes that come with it.
And don’t forget to drink a big ol’ glass of water with lemon upon rising. The benefits are insurmountable, and your liver and bowels will thank you. Try this tip, and I swear it will change your day!
6. Schedule a few minutes for a healthy breakfast.
Eating breakfast every morning as part of your daily routine is a great way to energize your day. Try out some of these healthy meals:
Starting your morning with breakfast makes a positive impact on the rest of the day.
7. Write in a gratitude journal.
Another great morning ritual is to write a bit in your journal. Why? One of the best self care ideas for learning about yourself is to write about your thoughts and feelings. Talk to yourself on the page. Ask questions and listen for the answers.
If you have nothing to say, write “I have nothing to say” over and over until you do. Or try something like “If I did have something to share, what would it be?” Just get the conversation going. You’d be surprised how impactful a five-minute journal session can have on your entire day.
8. Incorporate meditation into your morning routine.
Before you dive into your morning routine, take a few moments to take some deep breaths. Sitting in silence is a great way to embrace the healing space between thoughts. I always feel so comforted when I embrace meditation in my morning routine.
If you’re new to this practice, just sit in a comfortable position for 10 minutes and focus on your breath. When a thought comes (and it will), acknowledge it by saying something like “thinking” to yourself and then try to let it go (that may not be possible right away—don’t worry if that’s the case).
You can also use counting or a mantra to anchor your attention. Try counting from 1–10. Again, if a thought comes, pause, say “thinking” and resume where you left off. An example of a mantra I like to use is “I am love.” The most important thing is to do whatever works for you and don’t be hard on yourself.
I recently took a workshop with one of my favorite teachers, Pema Chodron. Pema is a Buddhist nun who has been meditating for more than 40 years. Even though I know she has a great sense of humor, I nearly fell off my cushion when she joked about being terrible at meditating! But she shared this with us out of kindness, so we would stop beating ourselves up for being sucky meditators. So, if Pema can have compassion for her practice, so can we.
9. Wake up your body with mindful movement.
In the summer I spend a lot of time hiking and swimming. I like to get up early, take a walk or jump in my pool and do some laps. On the days I start my morning routine with movement, I feel amazing.
Not just my physical health, my mental health too! My mood is perky, my attention and focus are strong, and I feel more vibrant.
It’s no wonder that some of the most successful people in the world say that exercising before work is the secret to their success. And you don’t have to incorporate heavy exercise into your morning routine for it to help.
Forget the gym if it’s not your thing. Take a quick walk in nature or a bike ride to get some fresh air instead. Do a sun salutation or gentle stretching in the living room. If that’s too much, dance to uplifting music as you blow dry your hair.
Just try to move your body a little more than you did yesterday. Even if you only have five minutes, do some squats. Brush your teeth and strengthen your thighs! Exercise is a great way to reduce stress, get your blood flowing, and kickstart a productive day.
Use these self care ideas to make morning rituals a part of your healthy routine.
When you spend time focusing on healthy habits that leave you feeling refreshed, rejuvenated, and grateful, it makes a big difference in your life. I hope this blog post helped you brainstorm ways to incorporate mindful practices into your day.
Your Turn: What morning rituals help you start your day in a healthy way? I wanna know what works for you and I know our community will, too!
Peace & roosters,
You don’t have to do self-care solo, sweetie! Come try the support we offer in Inner Circle Wellness—my complete self-care solution with wellness coaching, healthy recipes, fun workouts, and more. If you want to stress less, move more, and feel better, it’s for you! Come see what the Inner Circle is all about.
I just love your Zen-like approach to life… you give such insight & inspiration Kris! You truely are a god-sent! Thanks for these peaceful day practices xox Oh, and I can’t wait for your new book! Congrats…. xox
I start my mornings with meditation while I’m still in bed. In that quiet time when your not really asleep but not really awake either. I find my mind is the most at peace at that time. Also, it’s nice to stay under the warm covers. I just sit up and rest my back against my pillow. Sometimes for just five minutes, sometimes for 20.
After that I scrape my tounge, floss and brush my teeth. Nothing ever makes me feel cleaner.
I have a glass of warm water and while letting the fluid go through my system I do some breathing excercises to get my blood circulating.
When I start my mornings this way I always feel more grounded and I don’t get stressed or upset as easy. When I don’t do it, I feel kind of weird all day. It feels like I’m missing something.
Thank’s Kris for a great post on the importance of a morning ritual. ❤️
Writing in the morning is a great idea! Thanks:) <3
Dr. Richard Schulze, whose affirmations I love, recommends this one:
“BEGIN and end each day by saying ‘It’s great to be alive and I love myself and I love my life’.”
Sometimes I just breathe for 15 minutes, deep and from my belly. I couldn’t do that before I had cancer – I’d try to relax or watch a movie and just end up pacing my apartment, worried about little things and unable to stop my brain from spiraling them into huge what-ifs.
Now that a huge what-if happened, I still worry about some things sometimes, but I temper it with reality and awesomeness, and I can take a deep breath and just be. It’s a big improvement in the quality of my life.
So: “It’s great to be alive and I love myself and I love my life!”
I very much enjoy your emails/posts/blogs. They always brighten my day!
Do you start the morning with warm lemon water or oil pulling ?
These are lovely suggestions! I start the day with a green smoothie, afterwards green tea, and then head out for an hour or two hike in the Appalachians. I’m very grateful for life and nature. I yearn to write and meditate, yet have not made time for them yet. Blessings
Bless you Kris! Thanks for sharing. Here’s my morning routine and if I ever don’t do it – wow – what a difference in my day!!
My feet hit the floor and I say thanks for another day. Stretches to wake up and loosen up and go rinse that mouth! A glass of chocolate almond milk followed by coffee outside or looking out the window if weather is bad. Brief meditation on what I feel led to (using several Chopra series). A few more stretches and exercises and I’m ready for breakfast and the rest of my day.
I give myself permission to take as long (get up early) or as little time (sleep a little longer) as I want according to my schedule.
Keep doing what you are doing. May you always be blessed!
Many blessings to you Kris for this wonderful advice and suggestions to help make our days and lives better. I do much if what you offer here, and can incorporate even more of your great ideas now. Turns out you are often on my gratitude list every day! Thank you so much!
Janel, that is so sweet! Thank you honey. Gratitude right back at ya. 🙂 x
Loved this post, Kris, and am so looking forward to the meditation album. Love all your words of wisdom, help and advice – the things that you actually practice rather than stuff that other people are doing and selling (sorry!)
Keep the words of inspiration coming – that, among many other things, is why we love you! XX
I completely agree with you. So many people on the internet are telling you what NOT to do and pushing
their product so hard. Kris, you are a peaceful and inspirational presence. Waaay more worth reading.
This pic of you is the best I’ve seen!!
You are glowing- beautiful!
I totally agree. Kris is one hot sexy woman! I hope I look as great when I get to her age!
I love writing in the morning! My favorite trick is one I learned from my 9th grade English teacher. If you are stuck, simply write, “I can write,” over and over again until you have something to say.
I love your spirit Kris Carr! I have tried a few of these morning rituals but am not very good at consistent routine. This motivates me to set my alarm 30 minutes earlier and start a morning ritual! I preordered your book and a treadmill here’s to a more vibrant Pam!
I start my day in the best way….as soon as I wake, I reach my hand out almost in a panic to check my dog is still there, then I pet her, kiss her and thank God so much (every morning) by saying out loud to her (my dog)….’I am SOOOO lucky to have you, thank you thank you thank you God, I love everything about you and everything that you do, thank you thank you thank you’. I then sometimes count flown the maximum years she can live for in the morning, and then I try not to think about it. I also pray to God to protect her with Angels & Fairies and to exhalt her in the highest. Extreme perhaps I know, but I cannot tell you how much my life has changed & I have changed since I got my little pooch, 9 years on and I thank God everyday for this blessing and never get mad at her, even if she accidentally poops on the carpet! My dog is a little angel sent from heaven, and is my morning ritual to cuddle her, make sure she is comfortable, AND to keep my own vibes high through out the day as our pets get distressed (well, my dog does) if we are not fully respecting & loving ourselves. Thank you Kris X
Beautiful post Kris. I start my mornings by meditating while still in bed for 15 minutes. I follow that up with a prayer – giving thanks for another day, asking that my day go well and to bless my family with happiness, health and safety. It definitely sets my day up for success, all before I even step out of bed! 🙂
As a psychologist I deal with heavy talks every day…. First thing I do every morning is cuddle for at least 15 minutes my big black flat coated retriever. He is a very enthusiastic kisser and loves to throw himself on his back so I can stroke his belly like forever! This gives me a wonderful loving feeling and helps me to stay in this loving feeling throughout the whole day.. When I come home the ritual repeats…
I love this! Amazing what those little fur-healers can do, eh? 🙂
I so agree! The best part of waking up for me is to my little rescue Italian Greyhound mix and my rescue Siamese. Two sweet friends that love to snuggle in the morning. I was out of town recently and I SO missed this morning cuddle ritual, it just starts my day with love. Then onto green and fruit smoothie and jasmine tea. I am so thankful for each day.
Ditto! I snuggle with my loving rescue pooch and the inherited-rescue mini-panther cat, grateful to have them in my life!
Thank you for the tips Kris, really like the one about alarm tones and writing in the morning (seems like a great way to set an intention for the day). My juice and smoothie practice has been inconsistent of late, need to get back to it again. In addition to walking my wonderful dog, I also am trying to practice yoga or stretching in the morning and agree it fills me with positive energy.
Hey Kris! Isyart my day with about an hour (more some days) of prayer, meditation, visualization and affirmations. I’ve been doing this for several years now (after my diagnosis of an autoimmune disease) and it really makes a difference in my approach to life and each day. Then once I get out of bed, I oil pull, dry brush and shower. Then I have my green smoothie. As you know, even with all these good practices, not every day is perfect…but it DOES make it that much better, especially when symptoms are flaring. Peace and blessings, Casey
Can I ask you a question about oil pulling? I don’t understand how it’s possible to swish the same oil in your mouth for 15 minutes. I feel like that would seem like an eternity. Do you do other things while you’re doing it?
Michelle, I found the best thing to do is begin oil pulling immediately upon waking up while doing morning tasks (bathroom, make bed, set out supplements, etc). By the time I’m finished, I’m also done with oil pulling. I do it for 20 min & the time goes quickly. It’s hard to do it at any other time of the day & first thing on an empty stomach is suppose to be ideal for detoxing. Hope that helps!
Hi Michelle, yes I do take are of other things while oil pulling, like getting dressed or prepping my breakfast, feeding the dogs, and even doing my morning stretching! 🙂
Hi Kris – what alarm do you use? I totally have one that is blaring but the alternative is the alarm on my phone- but I don’t like keeping my phone near me at night -if I do I look at it during those restless moments. Thanks!
Just wanted to jump in and suggest the alarm I have. It’s called a “wake up light” from Phillips (there are also other brands). It wakes you up by slowly increasing light, like the sunrise. It also has a sound alarm and you can pick between a few gentle sounds like chimes, birds or piano music. I absolutely love it and it makes mornings so much more peaceful. Hope this helps!
I’m a work in progress so one the good days.. I wake up, take a moment to process my dreams, reflect upon them and remind myself that I choose to be good, do good and for gods sake embrace a higher tolerance level for the unmindful ignorant who live in bliss it seems. Then I try my best not to let the loud intrusive “city living” noises and smells (my neighbors seem to smoke 24/7 ugh ugh) get to me, as I am highly sensitive.
For starters I’ll go with a Aloe Vera juice sip or two, maybe three, then a wheatgrass shot and on to making some prepped smoothies for the day. At times that’s a Vega One one nutritional shake as a base, with additional goodies that I add. Other times I’ll do a Green Goddess to feel one with nature. Inspired by Kriss:)
I find myself coping with frustrations, when it comes to a healthy lifestyle.
We “can” control our morning rituals, implement more positive mantra’s, organic food&drink, exercise and all that harmonious jazz but are still bombarded with outer pollutants, EMF&EMR (electromagnetic frequencies and radiation from our electrical gadgets & WiFi: in my research I’ve found it distorts our own signal, causing the immune system to weaken, cancer developments, depression and chronic diseases), Chemtrails that go into the Earth that we get our organic foods from, (scientists have found microscopic Metal particles in honey and other products), smokers and GMO. It makes aiming for a purity a little like superman without sunshine. How does one create the armor to cope with these modern day enemies?
Thank you for being the female Warrior that reminds, inspires and awakens.
What is oil pulling?
Thank you so much for this Kris! For me it’s baby steps right now. I found a Breville juicer at Goodwill a few months back (for $12!) and have finally started using it. Total game changer. I have young kids, 3 and 5, and I get up at 5am to have some time to myself before they get up (my 3 gets up about 5:30). Right now I’m just working on practicing grace with myself. But I’m definitely going to add in your morning affirmation. Baby steps 🙂 Just pre-ordered your book, can’t wait to branch out with my juicer!
Great post-would also love to see one on evening rituals. Thanks!!