In his book titled Daily Rituals: How Artists Work, Mason Currey details the morning routines of some of the greatest icons of our times. Georgia O’Keeffe, for example, once revealed “The morning is the best time, there are no people around. My pleasant disposition likes the world with nobody in it.” After moving to New Mexico in 1949, the painter was wont to rise with the sun. She would then proceed to build herself a fire and brew tea, then retire to bed once more to peacefully watch the dawn break over the southwestern desert.
Speaking as a most enthusiastic early bird, I can personally (and most ardently) advocate for the myriad of benefits associated with establishing a strong morning routine. For me, more than anything else, it has become a ritual dose of daily self-love. Realistically speaking – whether you are a self-proclaimed “morning person” or not – most of us nine-to-fivers aren’t at liberty to engage in prolonged, luxurious A.M. modi operandi. I’m here to tell you that it is possible!
Look, I get it. From meditation to lighting candles, journalling and sex (good for you!), morning rituals are so personal. But in the spirit of International Sleep Day, I wanted to share with you the things that have worked for me. To use as a foundation and to edit, add and subtract at your will.
Tomorrow morning is a new day and ‘new you’ is going to refrain from hitting that snooze button.
Yes, you! We can totally do this.
The Airplane Mode
For the love of Manolo Blahnik, please refrain from rolling over and reaching for your phone before rolling out of bed. Please! Every ‘like’, email ping, and text from an ex is not only setting the tone for your day, it also has quite a significant impact on the physical wiring of your brain. Literally: a recent study by EQ Consulting found that wake up swiping immediately kicks our brains into high-stress mode, leading to niggling feelings of paranoia, anxiety, fear and irritability – all of which have been linked to a weakened immune system.
So here’s what you do: Activate airplane mode after that inevitable evening Instagram scroll desire has been sated. Then, leave it on until at least half an hour prior to exiting the house. Yes, it may feel jarring to us perpetually connected 21st century dwellers. Just suck it up, and do it. It will rapidly become a most welcome reprieve, especially when replaced with the below.
The Slow Wake-Up
When we’re in deep sleep, we are in complete and utter peace, free from the ego and the thinking mind, our bodies in a state of rest and repair. Naturally, vaulting oneself out of the cosy confines of one’s bed in a panicked, groggy flurry has to be one of the most jarring things we can go through (and on a daily basis, no less). Make a concerted effort to go to bed that little bit earlier. Set your alarm for that little bit earlier. Open your eyes and simply take the time to breathe in and out deeply a couple of times. It sounds simple, facile even, but it works. Because a little ambience never hurt anyone, I’ll also light my little oil burner, and add a few drops of Aesop’s Catherine Oil Blend. Breathe, stretch, and rise – now, that’s far more civilised.
The Morning Tonic
We all daintily sip a morning beverage. Some of us even like to spill it down our fresh-pressed white shirts on the way out the door. Whether you are as enthusiastic about coffee as I am or prefer one of its many non-caffeinated counterparts, take the time to both prepare and relish it. At the risk of sounding like a true millennial, concoct yourself a tonic with all the trimmings – whether it be a bulletproof blend spiked with adaptogens or your herbal tea of choice (a few recipes for your drinking pleasure here, FYI). The point I am trying to make here is that it’s important that do this part on your own. For me, it is akin to a morning meditation; gently and methodically measuring out doses of ashwaganda, cinnamon and organic ghee. I will then blend and pour into my prized mug and plop myself window-side, sipping slowly, mindfully and letting the morning soak in.
The Skincare Application
If you’re not sold on the airplane mode or the overwrought coffee blend, then I’m almost certain that most of you will agree with me on this one thing: quality skincare is très essential. You have also most likely heard of the magical properties of the *trendy* jade roller (angelic beauty Bella Thomas schools us on that here). Personally, I like to refrigerate mine the night before, and come morning-time – post washing and pre-makeup – I roll it systematically all over my face – upwards and outward, my darlings.
Not only is it unbelievably refreshing, but it also stimulates blood circulation, reduces inflammation and gently presses all of that quality skincare further in. On that note, I’ve recently become utterly dependent on the wonder that is Lesse’s Ritual Serum Facial Oil. It sinks in like after a good old-fashioned rolling, but best of all it has done downright magical things for my complexion. Did I mention it also smells like heaven? Almost better than that elaborate morning tonic you’ve just consumed.
Words, Katie Dyce. Image, Ingrid Kessa.