Morning Ritual: Hey I’m walkin’ here!

I don’t know why that eyebrow can’t cooperate.

I got up at 6:30 today and walked at 7. Be proud.

This walk is an important step toward establishing a morning ritual.

The benefits of morning routines are well-established. Your fave successful person has one. Google it.

But routines are just so…routine, you know? Just the idea of a routine makes me feel trapped. A cog. It’s very uncool.

But ritual? It sounds so much sexier to my illogical monkey brain.



I made a list

Yesterday I wrote a list of things I might do in such a ritual:

I never started drawing in my notebooks like this until I started using emoji in text.
  • Wake up ☀
  • Bathroom 🚽
  • Change and take pills 💊
  • Run one lap 👟 (around my neighborhood)
  • Stretch and write ⌨️
  • Gratitude and intentions ❤️

The word “ritual” got planted in my head thanks to @mysticxlipstick‘s full moon and new moon rituals. I’ll talk more about spirituality in a future post, but doing these rituals felt kind of good.

Now I realize that rituals are natural human behavior, not necessarily tied to religion or spirituality, but initially I was hesitant to buy into the woo and give it credence.

Rituals are natural

As it turns out, I’ve been doing rituals my whole life. As a latchkey kid in middle school and high school I used to come home, pour a bowl of cereal, and read the newspaper comics my mom left on the dining room table that morning. I needed this time to decompress from being surrounded by loud annoying kids all day before even thinking about homework.

A lot of my rituals over the years have included food. My first quarter at UCSB I’d roll out of bed, go to my 9am lecture MWF, get breakfast solo at the dining hall, and then shower and prepare for my day. I didn’t think of it as a ritual at the time, but this routine gave my (undiagnosed) ADHD-addled brain time to start up in the morning before asking it to deal with people.

Rituals can be used for anything. Some rituals are a coping mechanism, as we often do in mourning. They can be a celebration, like lighting the candles at Hanukkah. Religious examples are everywhere, but there are plenty of non-religious rituals like a sportsball team huddling at the beginning of a game, or a family sitting down together for dinner with or without prayer.

My goal is to establish helpful rituals I’ll look forward to and enjoy, because then I’ll actually do them.

Why this list though?

Here’s the list again:

  • Wake up ☀
  • Bathroom 🚽
  • Change and take pills 💊
  • Run one lap 👟 (around my neighborhood)
  • Stretch and write ⌨️
  • Gratitude and intentions ❤️

Well “Wake up” is kind of crucial. “Bathroom” and “Change and take pills” are pretty self-explanatory. The rest I’ll explain in separate posts, so you’ll have to wait and see.

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Software engineer, armchair novelist

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