In a world with constant stress, memes-a-plenty, and news that never stops, sometimes you might just wish you could send yourself to savasana mode. Here’s a one-way ticket to that state of mind courtesy of Athena Calderone, founder of the Eye Swoon blog and author of Cook Beautiful, who has created a swoon-worthy ethos in her well-edited Instagram. The feed will send your stress levels plummeting, and at a time when the new year asks us to start fresh, banish bad habits, and quite simply reset, that could come in rather handy. Here, she turns an eye to how to create mindful morning rituals.
How many days do you begin in a frenzy, responding to a mountain of emails before you brush your teeth—or before you ever even get out of bed? Bad habits are hard to kick, for sure, but the new year comes with a renewed sense of power. And reclaiming the home (and your actions within it) as a source of calm—despite stressful distractions of the day—can completely change your relationship with stress and strengthen your relationship with your space.
I recently visited a friend in Los Angeles and caught a glimpse of his peaceful, intentional morning routine. Something clicked. Each morning of my stay, he awoke before the rest of the house, lit a candle, meditated, and sipped tea. He claimed the morning for himself before the rest of the day ensued.
Since then I have noticed that I often start my day with a jarring jolt from a loud, boisterous alarm, followed by instantly checking my email or flipping on harsh lights. It’s no wonder sometimes the mornings can set the tone for a hectic, grating day. By starting the day off on a peaceful note, you set yourself up for success in the day ahead.
Here, tips for how to reclaim your morning and your space to bring on the Zen.
Create a meditation zone
This year focusing on creating morning rituals that start the day off on a more mellow, nurturing note. I’ve created a playlist to turn on in the a.m., begun brewing a batch of tea, and started burning Palo Santo before I even consider looking at my computer or phone. I’m also turning an eye to my space to carve out a cozy corner, complete with pillows, dimmed lighting, and meditation cushions. This will be my zone to bliss out and meditate in the morning, and my hope is that every time I’m in it, I’ll feel intentional about starting off the day in the right way.
Don’t go from sleep to stress
While meditation is a clear way to zone out and reset, it’s just as important to start your morning off without feeling jolted from your rest. Reclaiming your routine can be as small choosing a more calming alarm sound. The nervous system is gentle and will respond to soft noises. There’s no need to start the day with a loud siren sound.
Rethink the coffee, first thing
Before you make coffee, drink warm lemon water. Its alkaline properties give your immune system a boost and balance out your pH all before your jones for coffee kicks in gear.
Athena Calderone is a celebrated interior designer, chef, entertaining expert, and creator of the award-winning lifestyle site EyeSwoon. Whether layering flavors in the kitchen, setting a bountiful table, or designing a room, she’s known for her use of graceful yet juxtaposed pairings—finding yin-and-yang in all that she does. Fueled by her belief that beautiful food and design bring us together and turn little moments into lasting memories, Athena remains committed to push the boundaries of her craft. With her cookbook, Cook Beautiful (released this October) Athena shares how to achieve her impeccable yet approachable cooking style in every season.
Woohoo! You made it all the way to February. If you’re ready to revamp another area of your life, say beauty for instance, here are Jenny Patinkin’s three go-to makeup tips and these are her tips for foolproof eyeliner.