5 morning rituals from around the world to start your day fresh

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5 Global Morning Rituals For A Fresh Start to Your Day

Reading Time: 11 minutes

Not too long ago, I was in the middle of my usual morning ritual of rushing the kids through showers, rushing them through dressing up, rushing them through breakfast, and rushing for the sake of rushing when my daughter asked, “Can we take pictures by the lake before school?” 

It sounded absurd since we were in a rush, but I am such a fan of the absurd that I said yes. I spent 15 glorious minutes taking portraits of my kids as they skipped rocks, laughed, and tumbled through grass.

Miraculously, albeit a little mossy, we still got to school on time.  

That day, I realized that my mornings were all wrong. Instead of mindfulness and gratitude, I was teaching my children time scarcity and task anxiety. 

Starting my day with that much bluster left me drained and sluggish before I started working. I’ve known I needed a change for years, and I tried to overcome exhaustion with an improved nighttime routine.

Read about the adorable little munchkins who add to exhaustion by refusing to go the (bleep) to sleep.

That day after the lake pictures, in true wanderlust fashion, I started researching meaningful morning rituals from around the world to see how I could regain control of my mornings. 

Japanese Forest Bathing Morning Ritual

Tourists performing a forest bathing morning ritual, early in the morning seen from a distance through the mist in a dense forest.

A popular morning ritual in Japan is called shinrin-yoku or “forest bathing.” It is a simple practice of walking in the forest, breathing in the fresh air, and letting nature rejuvenate your mind and soul. 

The Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries introduced the concept of shinrin-yoku in the 1980s to promote health and well-being and cherish nature’s tranquility. 

Forest bathing, recognized for its stress-reducing benefits, has emerged as a popular wellness and eco-tourism activity as people worldwide have begun to appreciate the therapeutic effects of spending time in nature. 

If you live in a concrete jungle like me, this sounds difficult. Luckily, the idea of forest bathing can be translated to any green space near you. A city park or your backyard can do the trick. 

How to Perform A Forest Bathing Morning Ritual

My favorite thing about this morning ritual is that it requires no special equipment or rigorous physical activity. It is about being in nature and tuning in to your five senses.

Here’s a simple guide to get you started:

Find a Natural Area: Choose a space that resonates with you. It doesn’t have to be a dense forest; a park with trees or a rooftop garden works just fine. 

Leave Your Devices Behind: To fully immerse yourself in the experience, it’s crucial to disconnect from technology. 

Leave behind anything distracting – cell phones, cameras, or music players. 

Breathe Deeply: Take deep breaths once you’re in the natural space. 

So many of us are shallow breathing and white-knuckling our way through adulthood. Slowing down your breath is an incredible way to tell your body everything is fine

I’m a big fan of guided walking meditations, which are available on apps like Calm and Headspace

Walk Slowly: Wander through the area without any purpose or direction. The goal is not to reach a destination but to observe and connect with the natural surroundings.

Engage Your Senses: Touch the bark of a tree, listen to the birds singing, watch the sunlight filter through the leaves, taste the freshness of the air, and identify any natural scents, like the fragrance of pine or the earthiness of the soil.

Find a Spot to Sit: This is an excellent time to reflect or meditate. “Grounding,” which is putting your bare feet or palms to the Earth, is also a great way to connect with everything around you. 

Stay as Long as You Can: The longer you stay, the more benefits you’ll gain. Aim for at least 15 minutes, but if you can spend an hour or more, that’s even better.

Safety Considerations for Early Morning Solo Nature Walks

I should have mentioned this earlier in the article, but in all things, especially an early morning solo nature walk, please consider safety first. 

Let someone close to you know your intended route and estimated return time. This ensures that someone is aware of your whereabouts in an emergency. 

Whenever possible, choose well-maintained trails and avoid venturing off the beaten path. Stick to areas familiar to you or with clear signage and maps available. 

It’s also wise to wear bright, reflective clothing, making it easier for others to see you in the low-light conditions of early morning. 

Consider equipping yourself with a headlamp or flashlight to illuminate your path, reducing the risk of trips and falls.

Be aware of your surroundings and potential hazards, such as slippery surfaces, uneven terrain, or wildlife encounters. 

Turkish Tea Time Morning Ritual

Various glass Turkish teapots are filled with the warm amber of freshly brewed tea.

Another one of my favorite morning rituals involves my favorite beverage: hot tea. 

In many parts of Turkiye, drinking a cup of Turkish tea with some light breakfast food, such as a simit (a Turkish bread ring coated in sesame seeds) is common. 

This simple ritual nourishes the inner self and strengthens the connection between friends and family. 

My multi-tasking, smoothie-flinging, toast-burning, mad dash of a family breakfast seemed awful in comparison.

I decided to give morning tea time a go for a few weeks. The hardest was convincing the family to wake up a little bit earlier so we could use our dining chairs in the morning for once.  

 I found that for tea time to go smoothly, I had to be awake, alert, and put together considerably earlier than usual to prepare a balanced breakfast. It was a stark change from shambling to the kitchen with only one eye open and screaming internally while waiting for the coffee to brew. 

That said, it took me only a short time to get hooked! Having an hour of quiet to myself while I set my family up for a successful day 

If sluggishness and disorder are part of your morning routine, consider creating your own tea-time (or coffee-time) ritual. 

Creating Your Own Tea-Time Morning Ritual

To set up your tea-time ritual, curate a collection of beautiful tea sets that resonate with you. 

Choose an assortment of teacups, saucers, teapots, and other accompanying accessories, such as a tea strainer or a sugar bowl. You can purchase a pre-made set or mix and match individual pieces to create your unique tea set design.

Next, designate a special place in your home or outdoor space for serving tea. This could be a cozy living room corner, a peaceful garden spot, or a quiet balcony. 

Make the area comfortable and inviting with cushions, soft lighting, and any necessary weather protection.

Finally, incorporate a transformative element into your tea-time routine, such as deep breathing exercises or grounding practices. Before indulging in your tea, take a few moments to focus on your breath, inhaling deeply through your nose and exhaling through your mouth. 

If you share your ritual with family or friends, engage in discussions that uplift and inspire, setting the stage for a positive outlook on the day. 

Topic Ideas for Your Tea-Time Ritual

Gratitude Reflections: Sharing moments or things each person is grateful for can amplify a sense of appreciation and contentment among family members.

Dreams and Goals: Discussing personal aspirations or plans can foster a supportive environment, encouraging each other to enthusiastically pursue their dreams.

Positive News Sharing: Each family member can share a piece of positive news they came across recently, spreading happiness and optimism.

Acts of Kindness: Reflect on acts of kindness you’ve performed or witnessed, reinforcing the value of compassion and empathy in everyday life.

Nature and Outdoor Adventures: Sharing experiences or plans related to nature and outdoor activities can cultivate a love for the environment and a zest for exploration.

Book and Movie Recommendations: Giving recommendations for uplifting books and movies can offer new perspectives and stimulate meaningful conversations.

Cultural Exploration: Discussing different cultures and their unique traditions, foods, and festivals can foster an appreciation for diversity and encourage open-mindedness.

Balinese Blessing Morning Ritual

A Balinese monk raises his arms in an early morning blessing, beside a shrine that holds the offerings of many monks who have performed this morning ritual before him.

In Bali, people practice a morning blessing called “Canang Sari.” It is an offering made of flowers, rice, and other items to thank the gods for a balanced life. 

You can adapt this ritual for your morning ritual by creating your own offering or expressing gratitude in your own way. The act of giving thanks will help you start your day with a positive and grateful attitude.

By focusing on positive things, you train your brain to seek out more of these experiences, leading to a more fulfilling and balanced life. This can lead to increased happiness, reduced anxiety and depression, and the cultivation of more robust relationships.

One effective way to make gratitude part of your morning routine is to start or end your day with a prayer or moment of reflection. Thank a higher power for the blessings in your life. Do something physical with your gratitude, like lighting a candle or watering your plants. 

You can also maintain a gratitude journal, writing down three things you’re grateful for daily. This practice keeps your focus on the positive aspects of your life. 

I’ll admit that sticking to such a peaceful ritual was hilariously challenging. 

Picture this: you’ve been up all night, holding a thermometer and a wailing kid. Morning arrives, not with the serene promise of gratitude, but with the dreaded realization that you have a meeting with your office nemesis soon. Amid the chaos, you notice the unread text message that has been judging you from your phone for the last two weeks. 

Simple Gratitude Mantras You Can Adopt 

In the many, many moments like the one above, pausing for gratitude felt strained. The intent was there, but my sanity the morning got away from me. Instead, I devised a short, personal mantra to repeat whenever things felt out of hand. 

  • “Every new moment offers me a chance to add more love to my day.”
  • “I am thankful for the strength within me to overcome this obstacle.”
  • “I release the need to control and welcome peace with every breath.”
  • “There is magic in this moment.”
  • “The love that surrounds me is the true wealth of my life.”

Yoga Morning Ritual

A tattooed woman raises her arms in a sun salutation as part of her morning ritual. She stands on the back porch of her suburban home, overlooking a wild garden and wooden fence.

Yoga has its roots in India, and it is an excellent morning ritual for starting the day with mindful movement. It helps release tension while improving flexibility and strength. 

You don’t need to be a seasoned yogi to start your yoga practice; many online classes and resources are available for beginners. 

Carve out just 10-20 minutes in the morning, and you’ll feel the difference in your mood and energy levels throughout the day.

Types of Yoga and Their Philosophies

There are several types of yoga, each with its unique philosophy and approach to physical and mental well-being. 

Hatha yoga is often considered the foundation of many other practices and focuses on aligning the body and mind through breath and movement. 

Vinyasa is a dynamic practice that links breath and movement in a fluid sequence to build body heat and strength. 

Ashtanga is a more rigorous practice that follows a specific sequence of poses designed to detoxify and purify the body. 

Kundalini yoga combines physical postures, breathwork, and meditation to awaken the body’s energy centers, leading to spiritual growth and self-awareness.

Starting a Yoga Practice at Home

Initiating a yoga practice at home can be both exhilarating and daunting.

Create a dedicated space that is comfortable and free of distractions. This can be a small, clear area of the room where you can roll out a yoga mat is sufficient. 

Free and paid yoga classes are available on YouTube and numerous fitness apps for all levels, from beginner to advanced. These resources often provide clear instructions and demonstrations, making it easier to follow along and understand the poses.

Listening to your body and moving at your own pace is essential. 

After my first day of yoga in my living room, I felt like a superhero. I had conquered pose after pose, feeling the stretch, breathing in the zen, and mentally patting myself on the back. 

Fast-forward to the following day. I was convinced my body had been replaced overnight with that of a wooden marionette. When I hobbled to my “yoga sanctuary,” the sight of the yoga mat felt like a personal attack. 

Day 2 of yoga was postponed in favor of nursing my aches and a hefty dose of reality about my current fitness level.

The Benefits of Meditation As A Morning Ritual

If yoga is not an option, meditation can be a powerful alternative for cultivating mental and emotional well-being. 

Meditation teaches individuals to focus their attention and eliminate the stream of thoughts that may be crowding their minds.

Regular meditation has numerous benefits, such as reduced stress, increased self-awareness, and improved emotional health. 

A daily practice of quiet contemplation enhances your mental clarity, reduces anxiety, and creates a sense of inner peace. 

Costa Rican Gallo Pinto Breakfast

A woman is seen stirring food in a steaming cast iron wok as she prepares a traditional Costa Rican breakfast as part of her morning ritual.

You know I’ve always got something special for my foodies! 

In Costa Rica, people make a traditional breakfast called “Gallo Pinto.” 

This dish combines rice and beans and is served with scrambled eggs or fried plantains. It is packed with protein and fiber and will keep you feeling full and energized throughout the day. 

While you may not have access to Costa Rican cuisine, you can create your own traditional breakfast with a cultural twist at home. It’s an excellent way to break out of your breakfast routine!

Gallo Pinto Breakfast Recipe

To prepare a delicious Gallo Pinto breakfast, gather the following ingredients:

– 1 cup cooked rice (preferably day-old)

– 1 cup cooked black beans, drained and rinsed

– 1/2 cup diced onion

– 1/2 cup diced bell pepper

– 2 cloves garlic, minced

– 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

– 2 tablespoons Salsa Lizano (or Worcestershire sauce as an alternative)

– Salt and pepper to taste

– Optional toppings: scrambled eggs, fried plantains, chopped cilantro, and sliced avocado

Begin by heating the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat.

Add the diced onion, bell pepper, and minced garlic to the pan, and sauté for 3-4 minutes or until the vegetables are softened and slightly browned.

Next, stir in the cooked black beans and rice, ensuring they are evenly combined. 

Cook for 3-4 more minutes or until the mixture is heated.

Add the Salsa Lizano (or Worcestershire sauce) to the skillet, stirring it into the rice and bean mixture. 

Season with salt and pepper according to your preferences. 

Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together. 

Serve your homemade Gallo Pinto with your choice of toppings, such as scrambled eggs, fried plantains, chopped cilantro, and sliced avocado for a satisfying and nutritious breakfast.

Okay, I’m not going to lie; I only tried this once. Yes, it was delicious, but I will choose to stay in bed a little longer over cooking in the morning any day!

How To Create Your Own Rituals and Traditions

A family gathers around an inviting dinner table as they share a traditional family meal. Starting a morning ritual is the first step in creating holistic family traditions.

Creating your own traditions is a profound way to bond with your family and friends while making memories that last a lifetime. 

To establish your own traditions, consider the following steps:

  • Reflect on what matters most to you and your loved ones. Think about your cultural background, hobbies, and interests that you’d like to celebrate and preserve. 
  • Talk with your family and friends about their thoughts on creating new traditions. Gather ideas and opinions to ensure everyone feels included and excited about the process.
  • Begin with simple activities or events that are easily manageable and enjoyable for everyone involved. Over time, as these new traditions become more established, you can expand upon them or add new ones.
  • To solidify a tradition, it’s important to be consistent in its practice. Whether it’s a monthly game night or a special holiday meal, consistency makes a tradition something everyone looks forward to.
  • Adapt and evolve your traditions as life changes. Feel free to modify or create new traditions that better suit your circumstances. This will help ensure that your traditions remain meaningful and significant as time goes on.

You might also be interested in: 7 Safety Habits to Adopt For International Travel

Creating your own traditions strengthens relationships and fosters a sense of belonging. It also allows you to preserve your unique cultural heritage and values. 

Start your next family tradition with unique pieces for your home, hand-selected by me.

Are any of these rituals part of your morning routine? Which ones are you willing to try? Let me know in the comments below! 

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Hi, I'm Chioma Ikoku, a spirited explorer and a peace-loving homebody. I founded Casa Diem Life to help you combine the excitement of travel with the comfort of home, because I believe that adventure begins at home.

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