It was a mix of the Wim Hof Method and Tim Ferriss podcasts that got me into morning rituals. When I stopped working 9-5 with no major plan in place, I asked myself the question what do I really want to do tomorrow morning? Thinking too long term at that point felt a bit daunting, so I took up the Wim Hof Method course.
At a time when I suddenly had no routine, creating a few morning rituals for myself was exactly what I needed to help give me some structure, more confidence and clarity to move forwards in the right direction.
It’s almost been two years and I’m now fully self employed. Although a lot of things and people have helped me along the way, a big part of of the process involved starting my day in the right way. Here are some of the things I’ve been doing each morning over the last few years (some consistently, and some not so consistently), which hopefully you might find useful too.
Even if you don’t choose any of these things, sometimes when you live a life where you don’t have much routine or you make a sudden leap to being self employed, having just a few rituals that stay the same every day can help you feel more motivated and grounded.
1. Wim Hof power breathing
I started the Wim Hof Method course at a big transition point in my career — going from full time employment to being self employed. The technique is a mix of breathing exercises (Wim Hof power breathing), physical exercise, cold techniques and meditation. I still practise three to four rounds of power breathing every morning after my yoga practice. It helps to keep my energy levels up and gives me such a deep feeling of relaxation and peace — especially when I meditate straight afterwards.
You can read more about my experience of the Wim Hof method below and learn how to do the Wim Hof power breathing.
2. Yoga and meditation
I used to get up at about 5:30 for a while and then cycle for 30 minutes to go to Triyoga and practise Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga Mysore style before I went to work. I now mainly practise a mix of Hatha, yin and Ashtanga vinyasa at home and also watch Ekhart Yoga videos to inspire my practice.
3. Pint of hot water and lemon
This one speaks for itself. Sometimes I add raw ginger. One of my old housemates got me into drinking hot water and I haven’t looked back. It’s so good in the winter.
4. Cold showers
I fell in love with the cold when I lived on the Arctic Circle in Finland for five months, and would sometimes go cold water swimming in freezing lakes. When I started doing the Wim Hof Method, cold showers and ice baths were a part of the process. I might not be doing ice baths all the time, but I always finish my morning shower by turning the shower from hot to cold which really helps me to wake up fully.
5. Gratitude diary
Keeping a gratitude journal is something I’ve done on and off for years and have started to do it again since starting a new online course to help me with some more of my goals. I write down five things each morning or evening that I’m grateful for and why.
This, above anything else helps to put everything in my life into perspective, especially if I really want something to happen and it’s not happening fast enough. My gratitude journal brings me back to appreciating what I have right now and where I’m at.
While Viktor Frankl might not talk about gratitude journals in his book Man’s Search for Meaning, it’s a book I recommend anyone read because it helps you to realise that it’s how you respond to life, no matter what situation you’re in, that makes a difference.
Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom. — Viktor Frankl
6. Dream diary
I just finished doing Andrew Holocek’s Dream Sculpting course to help me lucid dream (lucid dreaming article coming soon!)
Admittedly, I haven’t done this for a while, as I started to remember more of my dreams without writing them down, but it’s a good habit to get into if you are teaching yourself to lucid dream.
Amongst reality checking, waking myself up at 5am and fully immersing myself into everything lucid dream related, one of the things I did was keep a dream journal each morning, to get me into the habit of remembering at least a few dreams every night. It’s one of the first steps to teaching yourself to lucid dream.
Finally, some of the links in this article are affiliate ones, which means if you buy the a course or book mentioned, I will make a commission.
What morning rituals help you start your day? Share your thoughts below.