I’m a bed-maker. Since high school, no matter how tired I was, I always made making the bed a priority right after I woke up. This simple act of shaking down my sheets and arranging my pillows signaled that sleeping was over and it was time for the day to begin. When I got home at the end of the day I would come back to a tidy room that had the feeling of “completeness.”
Making my bed is a karmic signal for my later-self, a favour that I enjoy later when I finally come home to a clean, tidy room that’s ready for another night’s rest.
I believe that productive mornings are easier to get into when you’ve primed yourself the night before. Just like making the bed, carving out a few nighttime rituals lay the foundation for a more productive morning. Here are a few rituals I do to that help me get into the right mindset for the following morning.
Know what you’re having for breakfast
For me, meal-planning takes up a lot of band-width. I like to know what I’m making and how I’m going to make it. I love figuring out meals for the day, but first thing in the morning, I want to be finding my centre, not wondering if I have any leftover bread in the freezer or what to do if we’re out of eggs. At night, it’s much easier to take a quick look around the kitchen to see if I have the fixings for a healthy breakfast. I posted one of my favourite easy breakfasts, peanut butter and jam oatmeal on the blog.
Let the house be quiet for half an hour before bed (no tv, music, or radio)
Shut it all down. You know when you lay down after a long day and as soon as the lights are off and the house is quiet your brain finally begins churning? Meetings, deadline, chores, and checklists start their march around your head. When you’re laying down to sleep, this is finally the time to rest, not resolve all the loose ends from the day. Yet it’s the most common time for these worries to pop up.
“Tucking in” the house for the night gives you some time to process all these thoughts before you get into bed. Anything that needs to be dealt with can be taken care of while you can do something about it, not while you’re trying to get some sleep.
Write down a bullet list of things you want to accomplish
One of the best ways to clear your mind is to write out what you need. Once written down, that task is one less worry to take to bed with you. Even if it's just one thing, write down what you want to accomplish the next day. When you wake up the next morning you won’t have to think about what to work on because you’ll already have a clear idea in mind.
Put everything back in its place
This is how I really know the day is coming to a close. I clean up the kitchen, hang up the coats, put shoes in the closet, turn on the lamps & light candles. Settling your house for the night is about putting away anything that served you. It’s the conclusion to a day. Tomorrow everything will come back out as you (or someone else) needs it, but for the night, let your house be in it’s most relaxed state. By the next morning is a fresh start because everything you own is where it’s supposed to be.
Every morning it’s my hope that I wake up refreshed, realigned, and bursting with energy. But hoping is different from setting intention. These few rituals start the alignment process before I go to sleep so by the next morning I feel more than ready to go.
I'm curious about other rituals that work for people. What are some ways you prepare yourself for the next day?