self care

Early Morning Mindfulness: How to Create a Morning Ritual

February 17, 2021
Tonya Papanikolov

Hi! I’m Tonya. I’m the Founder and CEO of Rainbo. Aside from being on a journey of social entrepreneurship, I’m also a Holistic Nutritionist, educator, cook and a yogi. 

My healing journey began as a teenager and those experiences really directed my focus from a young age. I’ve been studying nutritional sciences and holistic modalities ever since and have devoted my life’s work to helping people heal through functional nutrition, mycotherapy and integrative lifestyle.

My first-hand healing experience with fungi began in 2011 which sparked my passion, reverence and belief in the magic of mushrooms. Since 2018, I’ve been building the Rainbo brand and product line of dietary supplements and functional foods. Our mushrooms are grown locally and sustainably in Canada.

When I’m not focused on building Rainbo, you can find me in a forest foraging, hiking, or finding inspiration, creativity and energy through my practices of movement, meditation, cooking, writing, and reading.

Why a morning ritual? 

I developed morning rituals and practices to stay committed to my personal growth, to manage stress and be intentional about how I spend my day. Having a morning practice helps to keep me grounded, aligned and on a path that is supportive to my health and wellbeing. When I take good care of myself, I can take even better care of those around me.

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Tonya starting her day in her Bikini Cotton Modal Super Leakproof Underwear

Everything comes down to intention, and bringing more intentionality into the things we do is a transformative act. It might mean that you feel gratitude before eating a meal, you eat away from your desk at work, you chew your food a bit longer— or it could look like journaling and self-awareness exercises. It could look like taking time to meditate or go on a walk when something is bothering you, instead of reacting in the moment (and then regretting it). Your intentions change everything. 

When creating a morning ritual it’s nice to gather inspiration from people you admire, digest it, and realize that it’s going to look different for you. It’s really about figuring out what works best for you. What makes you feel your best, in what sequence, and realizing that it’s not going to be perfect— some days will fall off and you just get right back on the next day. You’ve gotta leave room for life to happen. So don’t be too rigid about it but at the same time, stay committed to taking and creating this time for yourself! 

My Morning Ritual 

To start you off, here’s what my morning looks like. It’s my favorite part of the day.

7:00 AM:  Hit snooze button :)

7:30 AM:  Wake up, smile at my partner (it’s the best way to start the day), think about something I’m grateful for, chug 0.5L water next to my bed.

7:45 AM: 2 minute cold shower. A few times a week I dry brush my skin and put hemp oil on my body before my cold shower. It’s wonderfully invigorating and challenging.  

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Tonya in Knix's High Rise Cotton Modal Super Leakproof Underwear

7:50 AM: Dress and get ready for my day, put the kettle on.

8:00 AM: Make a matcha latte or tonic with a bunch of mushrooms and adaptogens, homemade nut milkit’s always frothy and delicious, feels very supportive and gets me ready for my day. I choose my mushrooms based on how I’m feeling that day, what I feel will support me most.

8:15 AM: Drink tonic and pull a medicine card for the day, read it and let it soak in.

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A morning matcha moment in our High Rise Cotton Modal Super Leakproof Underwear

8:30 AM: Check emails, respond to anything pressing, check my to-do list, set priorities for day.

10:30 AM: Kundalini yoga and meditation—I do this every day.

This is what works best for me in my life at this moment! It has changed a lot over the years. I used to wake up and meditate right away, which was absolutely wonderful. But now I do a full set and movement practice at 10:30 AM. The beautiful thing about morning practices is that they change with life. Stay flexible, open and find what works for you!