While I think morning routines are amazing...
For so long I pressured myself to create a standard morning routine.
You know the type that is pictured on instagram where you exercise, meditate, make a green smoothie, read inspiring quotes and are already ahead of your to do list by the time the clock hits 9:00am? A list of things that you do each morning without fail so that you start your day with the right mindset?
I’d read about the benefits. I’d listened to countless podcasts on the topic and, to be honest, when I managed it I did feel more energised and productive.
The only problem was that, in practice, it caused me more harm than good. I felt like my mornings were a flurry, a rush ticking off boxes and I would feel lazy if I didn’t achieve something (perfectionist alert). If I didn’t get to bed on time (life happens, doesn’t it?) it caused me stress, and, inevitably some part of the routine would take longer than I’d allocated time for and I’d run out the door spilling green juice through my bag as I ran for the bus (please tell me I’m not the only one?). I’d be lucky if I managed to exercise before work once a week, and when I was really honest with myself it seemed quite counter-intuitive to my health.
Funny enough, when I really thought about it, I've always had a morning routine, just not the type described above.
I’ve always been an early riser and one of my first memories was sitting at the top of the stairs, next to our cat, calling out for Dad to make me a cup of warm milk. My father, being the patient man he is, would accede to my request at some ungodly hour so that Mum could have a few moments rest. This was such a special time of the day for me and one of the only times I had time to spend with Dad alone before the world and my sisters woke up. We would share a cup of tea and go for walks around the block with me chattering endlessly about whatever was on my mind.
Now, as an adult I’ve realised that my mornings are rooted in that first cup of tea. Putting on the jug and sipping it’s comforting warm liquid, often alongside breakfast, while I have a few moments to myself is my morning routine. It doesn’t matter what I’m doing, in fact I let how I’m feeling and dictate that. Sometimes, it’s scrolling through social media, sometimes it’s searching for inspiration or ticking off a to do task and sometimes, it’s just sitting there bleary eyed waiting for the caffeine to kick in so that I can function half normally.
The thing is, that for me, my morning routine isn’t about achieving something, it’s about spending those first few moments of the day anchoring myself so that I can spend the rest of the day achieving things.
It’s the quiet everyday moments that are so precious to me and that brings me so much joy for the rest of the day.
And you know what? If I get some exercise or mediation in as well, that’s great, but I see this as an added bonus not a chore. When I found this mindset shift, it made a huge difference and I finally gave myself permission to relish in this ritual I love.
I’d love to know how you like to start your mornings?
Do you prefer to get everything done first thing? (if so, that’s amazing!) or do you, like me, prefer a slower start to the day?
Whatever your practice, I hope it’s filled with little moments of joy!