A sunny morning can put a spring in your step but a hot summer morning can make us feel sluggish. That’s why we’ve listed out some practical and effective tips and tricks that you can incorporate into your morning routine for a fresh start. Treat them not as a fixed menu, but as a buffet from which you can build your own perfect morning routine. Get up, try them yourself and enjoy the feeling that you're going to ace the day.
Take an ice shower
Need some convincing? These benefits are pretty compelling...
Reduced stress levels. Regularly taking cold showers imposes a small amount of stress on your body, which leads to a process called hardening. This means that your nervous system gradually gets used to handling moderate levels of stress. The hardening process helps you to keep a cool head, the next time you find yourself in a stressful situation.
Increased willpower. It takes a strong mind to endure the cold for extended periods of time. By incorporating cold showers into your daily routine, you are strengthening your willpower, and that can benefit many aspects of your daily life.
More robust immune response. Scientific studies have found that taking a cold shower increases the amount of white blood cells in your body and they protect your body against diseases. Win-win.
Higher level of alertness. Cold showers wake your body up, inducing a higher state of alertness. The cold also stimulates you to take deeper breaths, decreasing the level of CO2 throughout the body, helping you concentrate. Cold showers thus keep you ready and focused throughout the day.
Burn calories. Research has shown that cold showers, in addition to increasing metabolic rate directly, stimulate the generation of brown fat. Brown fat is a specific type of fat tissue that generates energy by burning calories.
But there is more… Cold showers give your skin and hair a healthy glow. Of course, every new beginning is exciting and requires practice. Your body is your temple, so listen carefully to it! Do you want to give ice-cold showers a go? We created this handy Ice Meditation, suitable for beginners, intermediates, and pros to guide you through.
Want to give an extra boost to your shower session? Then try our Ice Shower of The Ritual of Samurai, designed to give you the ultimate cleanse and cooldown in warmer weather. Featuring refreshing Japanese mint and cooling bamboo extract, it creates a pleasant tingly sensation on your skin as it refreshes it.
In need of a delicious energy boost, for which you do not need to set your alarm clock early? Renaud Goigoux, chef of our brand-new restaurant Rouhi in House of Rituals, created an energising chia pudding.
This breakfast is full of nutrients and fruits. Chia seeds are loaded with antioxidants, fibres and are high in quality protein,” says Renaud. “The pudding is perfect to serve with nice fresh summer fruits like rhubarb and strawberries. And what’s great about this recipe is that is can be prepared the night before!
Recipe for 2 people
Preparation time: 30 minutes + overnight
- 60 gr Chia seeds
- 230 ml Unsweetened almond milk
- 1 tbs Elderflower syrup
- 1 stick Rhubarb
- 100 gr Strawberries
- 80 gr Sugar
- 100 gr Water
- 1 tbs Elderflower syrup
- Combine the chia seeds, the milk and the syrup together. Let sit overnight for best results (otherwise keep it in the fridge for 2 hours).
- Peel the rhubarb and save the skin.
- Add the rhubarb skin, sugar and water to a pan and bring it to boil. Then let the syrup cool.
- Cut the rhubarb into ½ cm pieces.
- Then take off the crown of the strawberries and cut them in half.
- Cook the rhubarb in the syrup approximately 15 min (I like them tender and mushy).
- When it’s boiling add the strawberries and the elderflower syrup and let it down cool again.
Get your favourite bowl, add the pudding together with the compote and enjoy your energising breakfast.
Brush your teeth mindfully
You are encouraged to do it at least twice a day anyway, so why not take a moment to notice what you're doing? It will make you feel calmer and happier. During the first minute, ask yourself the question: am I brushing and rushing, or am I taking the time to get the job done well? Maybe you are an ‘aggressive brusher’, but did you know that rushing through your session influences your state of mind?
When you brush calmly and with attention, you will feel that way too. Here is something you can play with - ask yourself the question: am I applying the right pressure and getting every tooth? If you use a manual toothbrush, grip the brush with your thumb, index finger and middle finger only. For electric toothbrushes, the motor shouldn’t sound like it is going to take off like an airplane. If it does, you are pushing too hard. Being mindful when brushing isn’t only good for your oral care, it’s a great way to sneak in a 1–2-minute mindfulness exercise or meditation in the morning. This works with other minor morning chores, too, like doing the dishes, or making up your bed.
Open the curtains and welcome the day
This tip may be the easiest to incorporate into your morning routine. The first minute or so of your day is very important, if you start with a calm mindset, you will benefit from this during the whole day. If you’re not into ice cold showers (or a morning person in general), then try the following:
Just be there. Embrace the moment. Take a deep breath and open the curtains. You may also want to add in a mantra, an affirmation, or a simple ‘Thanks for this brand new day’.
Affirmations have been scientifically shown to work, especially for future-oriented thinking. Put simply, they are positive phrases or statements used to challenge negative or unhelpful thoughts. It has been shown that they decrease health-deteriorating stress and help you to be more resilient to difficulties when they arise. Whether it’s social pressures, health information that makes us feel uncomfortable, or feelings of exclusion, a broader self-concept can be an extremely helpful thing to have. Since affirmations can produce such positive results, they are worth experimenting with. Practicing positive affirmations can be extremely simple, and all you need to do is pick a phrase and repeat it to yourself. So, get out of bed, stand in front of your mirror, smile, and say your favourite affirmation to yourself out loud. It may feel a bit bizarre in the beginning to say how awesome you are, but trust us, you will enjoy the benefits.
We bet that this one will surprise you, and you’ll love it as well. This one is what millions literally wake up for: coffee.
If you love your morning coffee, it’s best to drink it at 9 am, or wait at least 1 hour after waking up. Why?Well when we wake up our bodies produce a spike of cortisol. Cortisol, better known as the ‘stress hormone’, plays a role in our circadian rhythm to keep us alert throughout the day. If we drink coffee immediately upon waking up, the caffeine will interfere with our cortisol production and our body will produce less of the hormone in the future. Obviously, we don’t want that. So do drink and enjoy your cup of energy every morning, but try to brew it after your cold shower, affirmations or your energising breakfast.
And why not cool off with an ice coffee by adding some ice cubes into your energising drink? Extra tip: place your cup in the fridge a couple minutes before you want to sit down and enjoy your coffee, so the glass is chilled.