Anyone who knows me well understands that I really am not, in any way shape or form, a morning person. I’m not a total demon in the mornings, but I really struggle to get out of bed 95% of the time, and the brief time between peeling myself out of bed and having my first sip of coffee is basically a blur.
Well, this was the way I had been for my whole life, up until a couple of months ago.
As I’ve been trying to get myself on a better road to being healthier, fitter and happier this year, I found this whole ‘morning routine’ thing being suggested by people a lot. Countless times I’d been assured that getting up early to exercise would benefit my overall health and that I would be a CONVERTED morning person, so in my quest to improve the health related aspects of my life, I finally decided to give it a go.
The first few days I set my alarm in the hope that I would get up and go to a gym class. Or at the very least, I would get up and go for a walk. Suprise, suprise, it didn’t work. I was beginning to get really frustrated at this whole ‘morning routine’ suggestion. It had never worked for me, so why should now be any different?! But then I had a thought. What if my morning routine was about something else? What if I took exercise out of the equation and made a morning routine around things that I actually loved to do?
The next morning when my alarm went off I actually got up (hallelujah!). I made myself a coffee, went outside to see the dogs and watered our plants. I didn’t feel grumpy, or overly sleepy, which was a surprise. After my time outside I went into the spare room and rolled out my yoga mat, put some calm music and did a ten minute yoga flow. After all of my bones cracked like a bowl of rice bubbles, I went to the study and sat down at my laptop, turned it on and began writing. I was shocked by the clarity of my mind in writing so early in the day. I was able to get cracking on three blog drafts, and did some much needed work on my book.
By 8am I had already reached a peak level of productivity that most days I am not able to manage.
You see, the magic of mornings is that the world is still quiet, and often your mind is still quiet too. The business of the day hasn’t yet taken over, and chores haven’t been able to eclipse your goals and intentions.
As soon as I made my mornings wholly about me, and what I truly wanted to do, I was able to truly appreciate what all of those morning-people had been harping on about since the dawn of time. Self care looks totally different to everyone, and it’s easy to forget that when a large portion of the population seem to do one thing what works for them, but doesn’t work for you.
I encourage you to try and make a morning routine, whether it includes exercise or coffee or not. Pull out the things that really help you to feel calm and fulfilled. That may just be getting up and reading a few pages of a book before you start your day. It could be watching the sunrise from a window. It could be applying for that job you’ve had you’re eye on but have been too anxious to get to. Embrace those pockets of time where everything is still blanketed in calm, and you will make it a lot easier to carry that feeling throughout the day.
How do you start your day?