My Wellness Rituals for Morning and Night

Over the past few years, I have fallen HARD for a wellness lifestyle. It started small, but over time I’ve worked on so many of my “bad” habits that my daily life and routines are almost unrecognizable compared to just a few years back. It’s so inspiring to me how much these small changes really add up over time. In this post, I want to share some of my favorite morning and night rituals.

A.M. Rituals:
Waking up early. To be fair, this was not by choice—at first. After we became parents, we pretty much never slept in again, but I love being a morning person now! We wake up at 6:15 every morning and are typically out the door to take the kids to school between 7 and 7:30. I love that I am able to have breakfast with my family every morning and still be working by 8 a.m. I think waking up later SOUNDS nice, but in practice it never made me happy. Waking up to lots of texts or feeling rushed was never good for me. Now I always feel like I am ahead of the day!

Morning coffee. I typically have one or two cups of coffee each morning, and I no longer keep drinking it throughout the day. This has been a good change for me so I can really enjoy and savor it every morning, but not overdo it to the point that I feel dehydrated.

Drink lots of water. After my coffee, I switch to herbal tea, water and sparkling essence waters for the rest of the day. I try to drink a LOT of liquids earlier in the day. It’s made such a big difference in my overall health and mood!

Morning skincare. Each morning, I rinse my face with water, use toner and moisturize with SPF. I don’t wear makeup every day, so those steps keep my skin feeling fresh even when I’m not.

Reading blogs. People are always telling me they don’t “have time” to read blogs anymore, which I think is such a shame. In my opinion, blogs are so much better than social media because they go so much more in depth. Every morning, the first thing I do in my office is open all my favorite blogs (I use Bloglovin as my reader, so I just see the new posts each morning) and read all the posts I am interested in. It takes 10-15 minutes and puts me in a great mood! This is one of the only “me time” activities that I can rely on doing every single day.

P.M. Rituals:
-Early to bed. I am in bed by 10 almost every night lately and it makes me SO happy. I go even earlier if I am tired. When I was younger, I would have laughed at this, but I’ve learned to truly value a good night of sleep—parenting will teach you that! I LOVE SLEEP.

Night skincare routine. I remove all my makeup every night and I swap between different favorite products. You can see the full list of what I’ve been using here. I love going to bed with my shiny “glazed donut” face … that’s my good life!

Essential oils. I like to sleep with essential oils diffusing beside my bed. My favorites are Lavender, Frankincense and Fir Needle.

Drinking less. I used to drink alcohol quite a bit. Now I save it only for special occasions. This was a difficult transition for me at first because wine was the main thing I looked forward to after a long day. I did several 100-day challenges to help get me where I am now, but I finally don’t miss it.

Reading actual books. I mean, duh. This took me long enough. I listened only to audiobooks for a long time, but recently I started reading physical books before bed (and also on airplanes … I still prefer audiobooks the rest of the time). There is something powerful about reading a chapter before bed and getting away from screens. I try to put my phone on airplane mode as soon as I walk into the bedroom.

Thinking a happy thought. This sounds cheesy, I know, but hear me out. I used to have a super bad habit of going to bed spiraling while thinking about all the things I didn’t get done or need to do the next day. I went to bed overwhelmed OFTEN. To change this habit I now have a rule that morning is the time I’m “allowed” to stress—not night. So I delay worrying about the next day until I’m in a position to do something and it has helped immensely. Before bed, I spend my last few waking minutes thinking about something happy like designing my daughter’s bedroom, what kind of vacation we should plan next year … anything that’s just a “fun” happy thought.

I’d love to hear your wellness routines if you’ve implemented anything that has helped you! I definitely think my 30s are my self-care decade because I’m always feeling motivated to make some sort of change or improvement. Especially small things that are simple to try! xx- Elsie

Credits//Author: Elsie Larson. Photography: Amber Ulmer. Photos edited with A Color Story Desktop.
  • I love reading your blog and would love to add more lblog reading to my routine.. Will you tell us your favorite blogs?



  • love this post, elsie ! i also love knowing that so many people are still reading/looking for new blogs. i started one a year and a half ago and love sharing ways to live sustainably, mindfully and creatively. wellness – the kind where you actually take care of yourself – is big for me too. i gave up drinking in the summer and feel so much healthier! given the consumerist urge of society wellness can easily be seen as something you need to spend money on but that’s so wrong – gratitude, journaling, walks, hiking/nature….these small habits help keep me sane in an easily overwhelming world. some more free ideas here:

  • I also scroll through Bloglovin’ and read blog posts every morning! Perfect way to start the day 🙂

  • I loved this post so much I came back to read it again! Would you consider making a podcast about this? And maybe adding more about how you arrived at these habits? Would love to hear more. I do a lot of these too, and thought it’s because I’m getting old, or “not fun”… but reading about it through a lens of wellness totally shifted my perception. Thank you so much for sharing this with us!

  • It’s funny because a lot of what you’ve just said is what I do most days. However I don’t feel like I’m really focussing on my wellness as much. On week days I wake up at 6 am and am out the door by 6:30. I drive to my office and my parking lot is about 15 min walk from my office (which I’ve been doing while listening to podcasts). I also grab myself 1 coffee (never need more than one) and read the news and my favourite blogs. Then I dive into work head first and don’t come out of the work “water” until I’m ready to leave between 3:00 and 3:30 pm. Then I usually stop at the grocery store on my way home, pick up the kids from school at 4:30, start making dinner when we get home and we typically have inner ready around 5:30 – 6:00 pm. Then the husband does the dishes while I do lunches for all four of us. Then we do homeworks with them (one’s in first grad and struggling with reading and the other is in 3rd grade and doing most of it on his own). After that, while they’re watching tv, I go do my own studying (I’m a part time university student) until it’s time to put the kids to bed (husband bathes them). After that, it’s together time with my husband (we typically just watch a show together). We go get ready for bed between 9 and 9:30 and we usually either read or fiddle on our phones. Lights out no later than 11. On the weekends, I sleep in (usually until 8:30 or so). I’m at that time in my life (early 30s) where the kids are still young and dependant of us but also self sufficient for some things (they’ve just started showering on their own, we just make sure they don’t forget any spots) and I have a busy job and I’m also a student sooooooo yeah, I’m busy and tired and I’m expecting this will last a couple more years. So any chance I get to sleep in…….that’s self care to me 🙂

  • Hi Elsie, would you mind sharing some of the blogs you like to check in on? I also love catching up on blogs in the morning, and I’ve found the best way to find new ones I like is to look at what my current favorites recommend. I found A Beautiful Mess because John and Sherry mentioned y’all on Young House Love Has a Podcast, so I’d love to check out the blogs you’re digging!

  • I just shut down my Facebook account because I was constantly checking it and comparing my life and accomplishments to other people. In general I want to stop staring at my phone all the time and not watch Netflix all of my free time. Reading actual books is also my favourite but in Greece books are expensive and libraries don’t have a big selection of books to choose from. My new favourite habit in the evenings now is drinking tea with my husband! ❤️

  • This sort of post is exactly what I love about your blog. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and think that bloggers or instagrammers have some sort of magical perfect life based on the edited photos they share as part of their business. Reading this sincere and humble account of how you find try to find joy in the every day is really inspiring and relatable. Thank you for sharing.

  • Oh lord… My days look a lot like your “before” snippits. Maybe once I’m a parent I’ll “get it together” ????. Thanks so much for sharing… Always nice hearing what brings joy to others! ❤️

  • I love the last point, thinking a happy thought! Thanks for sharing x

    Love from Anita /

  • Seconding the request for a post on your favorite blogs – I am social-media-phobic, but I love reading blogs. Great post!

  • Thanks so much for sharing! I love the essential oil idea. I started doing yoga in the morning at home. A friend sent me a 30 Day Challenge (with Adriene). This has been really hard because i like my bed. But I get up at 5:50am and do about 30 Minutes of yoga. It sets a really nice tone for the day and I really feel like I’m giving a gift to my body, mind and soul. It’s taken me longer than 30 days but I’m committed to finishing and don’t beat myself up when I missed a day or 2 or 3. : )

  • Going to bed at a reasonable time is so important! To make it more fun my boyfriend and I have what we call ‘radical bedtime’. It’s 10:30 and it’s radical because every night when it’s 10:30 and we’re watching a tv show and you want to keep going, we say nope we are cool and RADICAL and go to bed xD haha

  • I would love to know what blogs you read! I have been looking for some new ones to add to my life.

  • I would love to see a post about favorite blogs for you and/or your team. I love them too, and all I ever get any more are recommendations for instagram accounts.

    • Yes, please! I feel like I’m stuck in the past wishing my favorite blogs were updating every day like they used to in 2012 🙂 Would love some recommendations! I always recommend your blog (of course), A Cup of Jo, and Emily Henderson.

  • So I have to admit I read this title of this post and kind of rolled my eyes…the whole “wellness” lifestyle can drive me crazy sometimes. But imagine my surprise when I read it and I literally do every single thing you do (except the essential oils) both morning and night. And I pretty much have for the last 10–15 years. Is that wellness? I’m laughing so hard over here! I guess I just thought I was kind of a boring, middle aged, married mom of 3, who tries to get enough sleep and drink a lot of water. Maybe I am more hip than I thought! 🙂

  • I don’t understand! I wake up at 5:30 every morning – not by choice, but that’s when my toddler wants to wake up. We struggle to get out the door to school before 8:00. It takes her at least 30 minutes to eat breakfast. How do you get two kids out of the house in 45-75 minutes???

    • Both our kids barely eat breakfast- so it’s like a 10 minute thing- we just let them eat as much as they will. Then my husband and I tag team getting them ready (we each do one kid).

      Honestly- my husband is very rushed and we have ALWAYS been this way. Like we wake up in a hotel room and we’d be at breakfast like 20-30 minutes later… that’s not totally normal. It might just be specific to our family. haha

  • hi elsie! would you be open to writing a blog post (and maybe a podcast episode in addition) addressing the cutting back of alcohol? how it felt during your 100 day challenges and how you got to the point you are at now with only special occasions. this is a topic that comes up with friends often, and we take breaks from alcohol together.. would love to hear more from you on your process and motivations and how you feel now having gotten to the place you are at. thank you in advance! ❤️

    • Hi! Yes it’s pretty personal! We used to drink often, but over the past year I started cutting it out for long periods. During that phase I began to realize that I enjoy it more when it’s tied to a special occasion or celebration. But when it becomes too routine I begin to enjoy it way less and it morphs into just a regular less healthy habit. My goal at first was basically just to stop drinking at home unless it was a party of like, New Years etc, and I’m feeling good with that now!

      We make mocktails at night now and that fills the sense of ritual that I love so much- because I love fancy glasses and drinks that aren’t just a can of La Croix. :))

      Hope that helps!

  • I didn’t know about bloglovin, I loved this tip so much!
    I enjoy a lot reading blogs, I have my 5 favorites, and for me it’s so hard to find new cool ones to read. This tool is incredible!
    Thanks Elsie!

  • These are such good tips for a better morning and night!
    I really need to take your advice on early to bed! Lately I have been going to bed later and later and I am really starting to feel the effects.
    I am both a morning and night person which doesn’t go together very well.

  • Aside from my morning and nightly rituals, I read my favorite blogs every single day while I eat my lunch. I’ve been doing this for almost 10 years and I will never change it. I’m always so tempted if I have down time early in the day but I make myself save it for lunch and it feels like such a treat. My coworkers have given me flack for it in the past because I don’t eat lunch with the group, but I don’t care because it makes me happy. 🙂

  • Yes, to almost all of these! Waking up early was so hard the first years of motherhood, but now I love getting a head start on my day, with breakfast, coffee and my two girls ❤️

  • 30s are definitely a decade of self care additions! Our bodies don’t have that “we’re going to be young with boundless energy forever” that was in our 20s, ha ha.

    Getting up early definitely makes my mood better even though I have a hard time actually getting up early, but once I’m up it’s awesome.. Today I was up at 6:30 to meditate and had the morning quiet to myself. I feel less rushed and hey, it’s only 9:15 in the morning now (PST)!

  • I still read blogs every morning too! One of my favorite parts of the morning, with my cup of coffee ☺️

    • Same here! That’s part of my morning ritual too! Get my hot cocoa (since I’ve started following homeopathy as my main treatment, caffeine has been off my system-ok, I cheat from time to time) and spend at least 30-45 minutes reading blogs. I loooove blogs! So much to see and learn!
      Waking up early is still a hard thing to me (but I’m single with no chilren, so… 🙂 but reading a book before going to bed after I have washed my face and put on my night cream (I’ve been using coconut oil lately and a friend of mine who makes my day cream, gave me as a present a cream made of beewax and other essential oils as my skin has been really dry recently) has been my thing too. I stopped my netflix subscription about a year ago as I could get addicted to a show. So, reading it is!

  • Elsie, your pyjamas are the cutest! Love it! 🙂

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

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