You may hate me a little bit for saying this, but I’m one of those people. A ‘morning’ person. Shocking right? I suck at sleeping in (so much to do, so many people to see!) and when it comes to energy levels, focus and creative flow, mornings are definitely when I get my best work done.
My favourite thing about the morning is that it truly is ripe for the picking. To me, mornings hold a wonderful ‘clean slate’ appeal. Those beautiful few hours before you start work and your energy becomes scattered between onerous tasks and other people’s expectations, where you can snatch some ‘me time’ and think about what you want out of your day. Granted, rising early isn’t for everyone, but I tend to feel a bit wonky for the rest of the day when I sleep in. Unbalanced, sluggish, slightly off centre.
Peering into my morning routine, it’s hardly a surprise to find the beauty lies in the repetition. The ritual of turning the light out between 9:30 – 10pm each night and knowing that I’ll be launched into my day with a big blast of exercise-induced endorphins generally gets me pretty excited! There’s also something about the stillness of the morning that I relish. I love watching the day turn from dark to light, sitting at the traffic lights on my way to the gym with the radio on, sleep in my eyes, tradesmen in trucks beside me, the sun peeking out over the ocean. If I’ve got things to do on the computer (unrelated to my full-time job that is – my general rule after years of taking work home with me and staying back late in the office is to leave work at work) my best bet is to jump out of bed and punch it out early. Preferably before 6:30am, followed by some light stretching.
So this is why I love mornings. If you’re a bit of a voyeur like me and love seeing how other people tackle their mornings, you’ll love this site that details the daily routines of famous writers, artists and interesting people. Fascinating stuff.
As for my routine, I’m always on the lookout for new, brighter and better ways to do things and my morning ritual is no different, but here’s how it currently looks:
1. Wake up between 5:20 – 5:30am (to my alarm in winter and often before my alarm in summer as I’ll leave the curtains open a crack to let some natural light flood in).
2. Water. I splash my face with cool water to give my senses a jolt and let them know that, yep, it really is time to wake up, and then I drink a couple of glasses of room temperature water. With a big squeeze of lemon if I remember. I’m a huge water drinker and because I exercise in the mornings, I like to start hydrating for the day pretty much straight away.
3. Clean and potter. While I’m drinking water/ searching for my exercise gear, I’ll generally put away the dishes left in the rack the night before and put on a load of washing if need be. Probably not ideal but helps me feel organised for the day.
4. Make the bed. Once I’m dressed, I’ll make our bed. I was taught to make my bed when I was about four and a half and have done so nearly every day since. It grounds me, and sets an intention for a chaos-free, ordered day ahead. Read more about bed-making and happiness on the fantastic blog The Happiness Project.
5. Exercise. By about 5:50am, I’m out the door and ready to start exercising. My routine at the moment involves one of the following five to six days a week: group training (hill sprints, circuit training), running, gym classes like Spin and Body Attack, walks along the beach or around the national park/ headland across the road from our house, body strength training or pilates.
6. Visualisation. I return home at 7am to get ready for work and while I’m showering, I read over the affirmations and goals I have up on my vision board. Which sounds a bit woo woo, but totally isn’t. I’m a goalsetter/ vision boarder from way back but a friend recently told me how she sticks hers on the glass in her shower, facing in, so that she sees it first thing in the morning and last thing at night. Genius. I can’t tell you how much I love this! Topping and tailing your day by crystallising your vision of what you are working towards is something that makes such a huge difference to your day, and I really recommend giving this a go. Stay tuned, as looking at ways to live a better life is something I’m really passionate about and will delve into further in future posts.
Something I’m really trying to work on at the moment is incorporating more stillness into my mornings, whether it be with 10 minutes of stretching and meditation, or reading a chapter of my book on the couch before the shower/ get dressed/ make lunch/ dash out the door madness begins.
My man and I have also started turning the news off and listening to music in the mornings. Who needs to start their day knowing how many armed hold-ups there were the night prior or who lost their life in a tragic accident? I’m all about filling your skin up with the good stuff. Getting joyful. Ringing a friend for a laugh. Reading a Daily Motivator. Dancing naked in your lounge room if you so desire. Happy days.
I’d love to hear about your morning routine in the comments – what’s working for you?