Morning Rituals

Ideas and Inspiration to Get Energized


By Leslie Koren

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Who doesn’t wish they hopped out of bed each feeling energized and ready to tackle whatever challenges lie ahead? In Morning Rituals, author Leslie Koren is here to help, with practices that will have readers kicking their day off right! This tidy volume offers dozens of invigorating, empowering exercises for the body and spirit: Set an intention for the day. Drink a glass of lemon water. Write morning pages. Do a set of push-ups, or a series of energizing yoga poses. Pull a tarot card. Take a moment to be still, over a cup of tea or a book of poetry. Whatever rituals speak to you, do them with intention and do them regularly, and you’ll find that your morning sets the tone for a brighter, calmer, more productive day. Each prompt includes straightforward instructions as well as ways to personalize and improvise the idea.
This beautifully photographed book will make for a thoughtful, loving gift—perfect for Mom, a recent graduate, or someone in need of a pick-me-up, or as a way to treat yourself.


Start Your Morning the Night Before

There's a choose-your-own-adventure spirit to many of the rituals in this book, but the one thing I urge you to do is consider how much sleep you need to feel good in the morning and do everything in your power to give yourself that rest. If you wake up exhausted, your morning won't be what you had hoped, no matter how many rituals you incorporate. Plus, the more often you press snooze, the more likely you'll be to skip rituals in the rush to get out the door on time. The ideas on the following pages are designed to set you up for a good night's sleep and an energetic morning.

Prepping Tomorrow's Breakfast

One reason I love to incorporate small(ish) rituals into my days—and encourage you to do the same—is that they make life easier and lead to smart choices that also feel good. Case in point: preparing breakfast the night before. It's a small(ish) act of self-care that has a big impact. Waking up every morning to something nutritious (and delicious!) means you'll be less likely to grab a coffee shop pastry or skip breakfast altogether. You start the day on better footing, with more energy and at least one nourishing decision already under your belt.

As much as I delight in waking up to a premade breakfast, I also enjoy the late-night prepping. That's why the ritual is sustainable—it's not just a gift to my future self, but it's also gratifying in the moment. Unlike the urgency that creeps up while cooking dinner, the process of prepping overnight oats or chia pudding or 7½-minute eggs is calming and meditative. I wait until everyone else is in bed so I'm alone in the kitchen, cue up a podcast episode I've been saving, and start tinkering. I purposely keep the stakes low, preparing the same few breakfasts again and again (often in batches to set myself up for the week) so there's no stress about mishaps. I've even come to enjoy the tidying afterward, a quick wipe of the counter that satisfies the part of me that's ready to wrap up the day (and makes my morning return extra pleasant).

Overnight Oats

This supereasy alternative to hot oatmeal takes just a few minutes to whip up and is an energizing way to kick off the day. Whole-grain oats help control blood sugar and reduce bad cholesterol. Plus they are delicious—especially in this creamy, chewy, slightly sweet breakfast. Grab it from the fridge in the morning and mix in whatever extras you'd like. Serves 1

½ cup (45 g) old-fashioned rolled oats

½ to 1 cup (120 to 240 ml) milk or milk alternative (such as oat or coconut milk), depending on your preferred consistency

Small pinch of kosher or sea salt

Optional add-ins, for serving:

Spoonful of nut butter

Chopped nuts

Berries (fresh, or thawed if frozen) or grated apple

Dried fruit

Coconut flakes

Sweetener, like honey or maple syrup

Mix the oats, milk, and salt in a jar or resealable container. Store in the fridge overnight. In the morning, uncover and stir. Top with any desired add-ins and enjoy.

7½-Minute Eggs

Boiling eggs for 7½ minutes results in the perfect mix of jammy yolks and cooked whites. You can eat them plain, with just a sprinkle of salt and pepper; for a heartier, dressed-up version, I like to chop them, add avocado and a dash of Dijon mustard, and eat with crackers. Serves 1

2 eggs (cold from the fridge)

Flaky sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper, for serving

Crackers (optional, for serving)

Fill a pot with enough water to cover the eggs and heat to a rolling boil. Gently lower the eggs into the water using a slotted spoon and cook for 71/2 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare a bowl of ice water.

Using the slotted spoon, quickly transfer the eggs into the ice bath to stop the cooking. Take them out after they've cooled slightly, about 5 minutes. You can leave them on the counter overnight, if you prefer to eat them at room temperature, or put them in the refrigerator if you plan to eat them later in the week.

In the morning, peel the eggs, halve, and eat them with a sprinkling of salt and pepper, plain or with crackers.

Apple-Berry Chia Pudding

Chia seeds, which originate in Latin America, are rich in fiber, protein, calcium, and omega-3 fatty acids. You can sprinkle them on yogurt or other foods or make them into a pudding by soaking them in liquid (milk, milk alternatives, and juice are most common) for an hour or longer. This apple-berry version is a filling morning meal, and just calling it a pudding makes it seem like you're eating dessert for breakfast! Serves 1

¼ cup (50 g) chia seeds

1 cup (240 ml) milk or milk alternative (such as oat or coconut milk)

½ cup (75 g) berries (fresh, or thawed if frozen)

¼ teaspoon (1 ml) vanilla extract

¼ cup (45 g) diced apple, or more, for serving

Sweetener, like honey or maple syrup, for serving (optional)

Whisk the chia seeds, milk, berries, and vanilla in a bowl until combined. Store in a jar or resealable container in the fridge overnight. In the morning, give the mixture a quick stir and add the apple and sweetener, if desired, to taste.

Relaxing with Essential Oils

People have turned to aromatherapy, and the essential oils at the heart of the treatment, for thousands of years. These oils, or highly concentrated plant liquids, are made by extracting the “essence” from flowers, leaves, stalks, fruits, and the like. Ancient Egyptians put them in cosmetics; traditional Chinese and Indian healers turned them into medicine. Today, essential oils are used for everything from relieving headaches to cleaning floors to boosting moods to—drumroll, please—getting a good night's rest. The latter use is particularly noteworthy because scent is the only one of the five senses that remains “active” while we sleep, and it travels directly to the parts of our brain tied to emotion and memory.

I'd like to say it's much easier to experiment with essential oils now than in, say, 3000 BCE, but I've also stood before rows and rows of essential oils on display, put off by the very modern problem of decision paralysis. Too many choices often make it harder to choose at all. For an easier time drifting off and sweeter dreams once you do, here are a few good places to start:


On Sale
Dec 21, 2021
Page Count
104 pages

Leslie Koren

About the Author

Leslie Koren is the author of Love Rituals, Morning Rituals, and Restorative Rituals. A longtime newspaper crime reporter, Koren took her career in a new direction when she started writing about more joyful things: cooking, design, family, and happiness. The former editor of Crain’s 5boros, she has written for various national and local publications. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband and two daughters.

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