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Today my alarm malfunctioned.

I groggily woke up and through blurred eyes wondered why it was light outside when my clock said 4:20 a.m.  I slowly got out of bed and walked through my silent house to check the kitchen clock.

It was 7:05.

I screeched so loud the neighbors could hear me.

I screamed, “Oh my gosh I have a client in 40 minutes!”

I ran to my son’s room and busted through his door and yelled to him under his cozy cave-like blankets, “We are late. You have to be at school in 50 minutes.” His school is even further away from us than my office.

I frantically brushed my teeth and picked out clothes. I gave my kid some cinnamon buns that I had made the afternoon before when the day felt long and luxurious. I grabbed my keys, my phone and my water bottle and we were out of the house at 7:15 a.m.

We made it to the train panting and sweating, having run the five blocks there. Once we settled on the train and my stress response slowed, I started to feel uneasy. I realized that we would both make it on time, but I felt floaty. I felt as if I was watching myself in a movie go through this rushed morning. I wondered if the man across the subway car who was tapping his foot to music could tell that even though I was sitting down I was not feeling grounded at all.

I thought, “I must be feeling this way because I did not have any caffeine yet.” But, even after I was caffeinated I still felt unmoored.

I was so confused.

I had averted the disaster of being late, so why was I so out of it?

It hit me when I was sitting with a client and allowed myself to feel my feet (which were wearing sneakers because those were the only shoes I could find when I was running around the house) on the floor.

I realized that I had not done any of my morning rituals.

Honestly, until today I would not even have called them rituals but after going through a day without them I see how important they are.

Here are the things I do in the morning:

Make a cup of tea
Dance to a favorite song in the kitchen before anyone else is up
Read my affirmations
Drink a cup of water
Prepare my breakfast and lunch for the day
Snuggle with my kids, dog and partner
Keep my phone in my bag until I leave the door

This morning I did none of those things and my body, mind and heart felt it.  I feel like I am jet lagged, even though I got more sleep than usual.

I am so grateful that this morning happened because it reminded me about the importance of ritual.

Rituals do not have to be regimented, religious or harsh. Rituals are moments to feel present and aware of yourself and this world. Rituals allow us to be intentional about how we start or end the day. Rituals when used to support openness, compassion and grounding help reduce anxiety.

Do you have any rituals that you do in the morning or night that you love?

Any rituals you do that you did not realize you actually like doing?

I would love to hear your thoughts.


What Should I Do Next?

When you’re ready to begin therapy, we hope you’ll consider contacting The Center for CBT in New York City. We offer a safe space where you are free to be who you really are and express yourself and your values authentically. We embrace, value, and welcome people of all sexual orientations, genders, and racial identities. The Center for CBT in New York City makes beginning your therapy journey simple. You can get started any time by completing our online consultation request form. One of our team members will be in touch within 24 business hours to answer your questions.

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