Like many of us, you’ve probably spent a good chunk of time attempting the latest morning ritual trend per TikTok’s recommendation, only to give it up within weeks (or days). Morning rituals are tough to build and even tougher to keep. We’ve tried the apple cider vinegar concoction and the celery juice chug, but finding a set of rituals that sticks remains difficult.
The beautiful thing about morning rituals (that we so often forget as we pencil in the latest viral, pre-coffee routine to test)? They’re entirely unique to you. Oftentimes, our hopes and dreams of a fantastic morning routine quickly fall flat because we’re doing what works for others, not ourselves.
We know that developing a dependable routine makes us calmer, more resilient, and more focused throughout the day, so how do we go about finding one that works for us? Well, we’ve put together a guiding framework so you can curate a personal morning plan that inspires you to get out of bed in the A.M. and commence your day on a positive note — all while taking into account the time you have to give and the practices that help you thrive.
Sound too good to be true?
We thought so too until our personalized routines made it far past week number two, so we encourage you to try it out, take the pressure off, and experiment!
If you’ve been following Alo for a while, you probably know mindful movement is our thing, but while we choose to yoga-our-hearts-out, find the movement that gives your body all of the feels. Whether that’s slow stretching, foam rolling, 35 jumping jacks, or 5 Cat-Cows, movement awakens the mind and the body, priming you for the day ahead. Start with 1 (yes, 1!) move to do every morning, even if it’s just a supine twist in bed before rising and build from there.
Rather than prescribing a specific 14-minute flow that you NEED to perform every morning, it’s all about
(1) outlining how much time you have
(2) finding what movement makes you feel energized, and
(3) fulling focusing on that moment and your body moving within it.
Until you find your cream of the movement crop, test out a new movement every morning and have fun with it above all else. Alo Moves’ Alo in the Wild series provides 5-, 10-, 15-, and 20-minute classes from stretching to power flows to cardio boosts that are perfect for fitting into whatever time your morning schedule allows and whatever energy level you woke up with. Make your movement schedule work for you, not the other way around.
What goes inside of your mouth is probably the most debated aspect of a morning ritual. Should it be a functional mushroom-infused coffee? A grain-free granola yogurt parfait? A tall glass of water? Or nothing at all?
Well, the beauty is that no one is forcing you to keep buying pounds of celery to be pulverized into oblivion every morning if you despise that process (but, if it works for you, hey, more power to ya). Instead, let your intuition guide you and have a few go-tos for each of our moods.
If you wake up with a hunger the size of a lion, fuel your body with something nourishing (and per ayurvedic nutritionist Radhi Devlukia, try out some sauteed apples with antioxidant-rich spices for a light, satisfying, and nutritious brekkie). If you wake up with no hunger, give your digestive system a few hours to awaken. Above all, it’s always smart to rehydrate after a good night’s rest so whatever the fuel, be sure to supplement with lots of water.
When you wake up, it’s very easy to grab your phone and begin mindlessly scrolling through social media — funny enough, we’re probably scrolling through a new collection of morning ritual ideas that're giving us anxiety as we continue to lay in bed 10 minutes past our alarm and miles deep into our feed.
Rather than the habitual scroll post-movement and fueling, try implementing a practice of mindfulness. Simple meditation and breathwork create calmness and ease which translate into the day ahead. To keep focused, keep your phone on airplane mode for the first 5 to 60 minutes of your day. While your phone is metaphorically in the clouds, give yourself room to become fully grounded.
Alo Moves houses an incredible collection of guided meditation and breathwork that pushes the to-do list of the day far from mind’s reach. While some days the calm will come easy, other days you’ll find the to-do list monopolizing your mind. Rather than beating yourself up, accept that your mind is busy — that mindful recognition in and of itself is promoting wellness and strength for the day ahead.
Some other unique ways to promote mindfulness in your life are grounding, sound baths, mindful walks (which, for extra busy days, satisfies both your movement and mindfulness rituals), mind mapping, gardening, and for all tea lovers, a tea meditation.
Your mind begins creating a narrative for the rest of your day as soon as you open your eyes in the morning. Because your mind is so fresh and eager to absorb cues on what the day ahead will look like, it’s important to ritualize a practice that kickstarts a positive frame of mind.
While you begin outlining this ritual, it’s also important to avoid setting expectations. There’s days where we all inevitably wake up on the wrong side of the bed and forcing our attitude toward positivity not only nears impossible but also frustrates us more when we can’t seem to get there.
Just like your fueling routine, listen to your mind and set yourself up for success by finding the path of least resistance. If you find yourself on the dark side of the moon, a quick and simple gratitude practice will suffice. If you find yourself feeling happy as clam, take advantage with a few more minutes spent manifesting the amazing things you will soon accomplish.
Among the Alo Fam, some popular mindset-primers include inspiring books, positive affirmations, 5-things-you're-grateful-for practices, journaling, manifesting, and praying. These practices switch your mindset from focusing on the dirty dishes in your sink and the traffic-y commute to work to the impressive aspirations you’re making progress toward and the beautiful aspects of the current moment. Make it short and sweet or lengthy and lovely — let your attitude dictate what you’re capable of beckoning in on that day.
Once you find a morning ritual sequence that works for you, you’ll see how the inevitable daily stressors melt away more easily and the days of calm come more frequently.
If you’re like most of us, thinking there's no way you’ll have time for a 4-step process in the morning while you’re trying to find that dress you swore wasn’t dirty and swipe on a few passes of mascara before running out the door, we challenge you to set aside one minute for each of the above. Four steps, four minutes, one doable, personalized morning ritual that you can keep.
We’re always looking for new ways to expand our morning routine, so tag @Alo in your posts and show us how you're rising with the sun!