I have always been a creature of habit, but my appreciation for routine has grown even stronger since I welcomed a dog into my life last February. Prior to Sadie's arrival, I'd start working on the computer immediately upon waking. But there's nothing like a requisite morning walk (and the impending threat of poop on the floor!) to force you to slow down and ease into the day.
Now I roll out of bed with the sun, snap the pup onto her red leather leash, and head out for a stroll. We stop at the local coffee shop for an Americano and a gab with the regulars. We've determined which houses have the yappiest dogs and which bushes smell the most alluring. Our walks have taken on ritual status, and with it has come all the benefits of any ritual: continuity, comfort, peace.
Of course you don't need a dog to establish and enjoy a morning routine, and you don't need a lot of time either! Breakfast prep, a hot shower, even five minutes on the porch with your coffee can anchor each day. A ritual's power to ground us stems not from its particulars but from continuity of action and quality of mind. In other words, that Starbucks habit is good for you!
Images: The incredibly talented Canary Grey on Instagram.