Cultivating Habits: Morning Rituals

Do you have any morning rituals? Are there specific practices that you incorporate into each morning that set the tone for your day? I've never really thought about creating a morning ritual, perhaps because 1) I hate making plans and 2) I know that I would probably only entertain it on the weekends; however, I guess that's okay too.  To be honest, I'm quite the cranky one on weekday mornings and I'm totally okay with admitting that. I'm not the person who wakes up to read the paper or have a cup of coffee two hours before she has to be at the office, no. I'm the person who hits the snooze button at least twice, which means I never wake up early enough to do anything but shower, watch an episode or two of Frasier while grabbing the first pair of jeans and tee shirt I can find to throw on, and rush out the door for work. And please - for the love of God - do not try to converse with me before 11am. That's just criminal.
Weekday mornings just aren't my thing.
But then, the weekend arrives, and it's like a sudden burst of energy and appreciation for the 48-hour break from a stressful work week hits me, and I'm ready to enjoy every minute of it at my own pace. The weekend literally pumps new life into me. I love waking up early enough to soak up the morning stillness. It's so calming to walk into my living room and have a seat on the sofa, and just appreciate the silence.
Because weekends are so important to me, I thought that maybe I should create a mindful morning practice, and dive into a few of my favorite things to get my day started.
Light an incense or burn Palo Santo and Sage. One of my newest rituals. I enjoy the smell as well as the reason behind smudging. As the sage and/or palo santo is burning, I make sure to open my windows and walk from room to room, while releasing a few positive thoughts into the universe.
Read a chapter or two from my current favorite book. I picked up a new book today - The Empath's Survival Guide. I am a true empath (I wrote about it here), but reading this book truly confirms it for me. I'm definitely going to enjoy it throughout bits and pieces of my weekend.
Prepare a breakfast smoothie. I have been trying to cultivate the habit of including healthier foods in my diet. Smoothies are nutrition-packed, so starting my day with one is super beneficial to my mind, body, and soul. I am still in trial mode as to the ingredients I add to my smoothies, but I've recently incorporated chia seeds and acai. I've tried coconut water as well, and was pleasantly surprised. Preparing smoothies on the weekend mornings hasn't been something I've done consistently, but starting now, it will be.
Stretch. Even if it's for 3-5 minutes. I need to make this happen. I'm no spring chicken, so I need to keep these muscles flexible before I begin to feel older than I am. We can't be having that.
Quick meditation. I love using the Calm app for their guided meditations, and even though I typically meditate in the evenings before bed, I want to start a quick mindful session on my weekend mornings. Truly, 5 minutes is all it takes to put that positive spin on your day.
What are some of your morning rituals? I'd love to know.

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