Autumn Leaf colored pencil art in my Perpetual Nature Journal sketchbook. Great for hobby artists and beginners.
Seven Morning Rituals for Creatives
These days everybody seems to be doing morning rituals or maybe its just that now they are called morning rituals, but we used to do these things anyway.
I gave this a lot of thought because preparation for my day is essential to me as well.
To be honest there are many things I do in the mornings, but there were only a few rituals that are important for me.
After giving this topic quite a bit of thought, I distilled it down into the seven main things that I practice, and which support my creative life and my self-care through art as a artist.
I’m going to share these seven things with you now and of course you may have other things that you do to support your creative life, but I just want to give you a glimpse into how I get organized mentally, physically and spiritually for the day.
I wake up at around 5am each day. I do set an alarm for 7am, but I’m usually awake before then. When I wake up there is no immediate rush and I like to keep things calm.
1 Breathe Deeply
The first thing I do when I wake up before I even opened my eyes or got out of bed is breathe.
Now of course this is quite a laughing matter because we’re all breathing all the time anyway, but the point here is that you are focusing on your breathing.
Whilst I’m lying there, I take ten specific breaths and when I’m taking these breaths, I’m doing a count. As I am breathing in one, two, three.
I count to three breathing in and then when I breathe out, I count at the same pace for five – one, two, three four and five.
It’s actually on the exhale that the breath is longer and I fully empty my lungs.
After you’ve done the very first in/out, on your second breath you really breathe in deeply because you must fill your lungs as they are now totally empty.
Fully breathe in one, two, three to fill up your lungs which is then followed by a controlled breathe out for a count of five.
I do ten deep breaths this way. It is the very first thing I do.
2 Stretch in Bed
My second morning ritual is to stretch in bed.
At this point I have opened my eyes, but I’m still in bed.
I haven’t got up yet and I roll onto my back and go for a full body stretch.
I stretch my fingers wide, my arms wide, I stretch my toes wide, and my legs wide.
I make like a big starfish lying in the bed which I hold and stretch.
This is much like how a cat stretches.
I also pay close attention to stretching my spine so that my head, neck and shoulders are fully aligned.
Now the reason I do this in bed is because I’m a little older than most people and I find it easier to get a full stretch when I’m lying down.
When I was younger, I would stretch standing up and put one foot on the counter and touch my toes and all of those kind of stretches.
When I’m feeling strong, I might do that, but for my morning ritual stretch, I stretch in bed.
3 Make Your Bed
My third morning ritual is to make my bed.
At this point I’ve got up, been to the washroom and come back.
Ideally you want to open the covers and let your bed breathe because the moisture from you sleeping in it overnight needs to evaporate.
You never want to make your bed immediately you need to give it 10 to 15 minutes to air, so now I fling open my bedsheets let the bed refresh well.
Now I go into the next step and make tea.
Do step 4 here
But when I come back from having the kettle on and making the tea I bring the tea back to my bedside and I will then make my bed.
I straighten the bottom sheet I order the top sheet and I shake out the duvet.
I plump up the pillows and prop them up against the top of the bed.
Always make sure that the opening of the pillow faces away from the door.
Smooth all the sheets.
I don’t go round folding hospital corners or anything like that and I do let my top sheet just hang as I don’t like it tucked in at night.
First Win of the Day
The point here is that you have already got a win when the bed is made, and your bedroom looks tidy now.
At this point I do not put clothes, books or other junk on my bed.
The bed remains almost sacred as this is a “made bed” and let’s celebrate it.
Now I move on with my day to set the world on fire
4 Make Tea and Rehydrate
I drink tea first thing in the morning.
I may have a glass of water at my bedside for in the night and often I will finish that first.
The tea I love is Twining’s Earl Grey with 2% milk.
This is a tea I’ve been drinking for thirty years and I still enjoy it.
In fact, I almost never drink other teas except a green tea with lemon now and then.
Imake my morning tea and slowly drink it.
By this time, I’m usually looking out of the windows at the new day. I love to catch the sunrise if I can, but this does depend on what time of the year it is.
I take about ten minutes to sip my beverage.
5 Wash and Cleanse Your Body
Next is washing.
Typically, I will have a hot shower, wash my hair and brush my teeth.
However, if I did have a hot bath the night before I’ll skip the shower.
I’ll do my light makeup and towel dry my hair. I rarely wear perfume.
I don’t wash my hair every day but do it about twice a week.
Next, I get dressed and add jewelry and select a handbag and shoes to complement my look.
Evening Prep Tip
I usually choose the outfit that I’m going to wear each day the day the night before.
This is a step during my evening ritual.
Not having to decide what to wear every morning helps delay decision fatigue early in the day.
Next, I blow dry my hair and fringe which is by now only slightly damp.
In this way I don’t overheat stress my fine hair too much.
Now I am ready to start some creative work like writing, art or perhaps recording a video.
6 Clean and Tidy for 5 Minutes
I’m not the tidiest person on Earth.
I can make a mess.
I like to schedule five minutes right at the start of the day for a quick tidy up.
For five minutes I do a quick cleanup as follows:
- Sponge down the bathroom vanity
- Put laundry in the washing machine
- Wipe down the kitchen counters
- Unload the dishwasher
- Take out the garbage
Sunday Five Minute Clean Up
Once a week, usually on Sunday, I add the following to my cleanup routine:
- Water my house plants and trim off any dead leaves or blooms
- Wash and clean my hairbrush
- Clean my jewelry
- Polish my shoes
7 Art Journal for 15 Minutes
Now I sit at my desk and work in my journals.
I have several journals and it depends on what I am doing later in the day where I will focus.
My current journals are:
- Morning Pages
- Art journal
- Sketch journal
- Perpetual Nature Journal
- Seasonal Christmas Journal
- AHAtober journal
- Family Anecdotes Journal
- NaNoWriMo journal
- Books I am writing journal
I never know until I sit down which journal I will reach for.
I have a jotter made from newsprint paper that is at my right-hand on my desk.
This is where I note what has to happen each day.
Appointments or shopping will go on here.
Other things like emails to respond to and groceries or other things to buy will be written on this jotter.
I usually prep my jotter the night before especially if there are activities which I have to do that I don’t want to forget.
This jotter is also where I test my pens and markers before I write or draw in my journals.
Morning Routine Timeline
From waking up to finishing journaling is about 45 minutes to an hour.
The Workday Begins
Now I note the time on my jotter and begin work.
I will plan a tea break around 11am and would typically have some avocado toast then as well.
This is the first food I consume each day. It is a brunch and covers both breakfast and lunch.
If I have a lunch date with family, friends or collaborators I will skip the brunch.
The next time I eat is around 5pm as I like to finish all meals for the day before it gets dark.
This is a method from Doctor Mike Hansen which I’ve recently adopted.
It supports good sleep and avoids overloading my body overnight resulting in indigestion and broken sleep so it can repair itself properly.
Bonus Tips – What to Avoid in the Morning
I have some firm rules for morning activities, and yes, sometimes I do slip up, but in general I try to stay on track.
In the morning until 11am, I avoid all technology.
I do not:
- Touch my phone
- Check emails
- Turn on the TV
- Listen to the (bad) news
- Turn on the radio
I avoid all digital input to my brain and I concentrate on analog input and expressions only.
This comes from studying or reading physical books, reading poetry, handwriting, journaling with a pen, sketching, painting, coloring, designing, creating art or other crafts like crochet.
Thank you for sharing a part of your day with me.
Alison Hazel is a mature woman who shares her ongoing journey about becoming an artist later in life. She creates simple art that anyone can make. She hopes to inspire you to reach your creative potential in the area that suits you.
Go here to read more about Alison’s story.
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