The magic of a morning routine
I love mornings- the potential of the day, simple, quiet and peaceful. If you knew me in university you would think I am talking about someone else who loves mornings because I certainly did not love having to get up for an 8:30am dance class or lecture. I used to roll out of bed, throw some clothes on, chug my coffee and run out the door.
I do love my sleep but over the years I have learned to make the most out of the mornings. To start my day off in the best way for my body and lifestyle. Now when I go to bed I am actually excited for my cozy morning routine.
My morning routine is usually about 40 minutes -1 hour, and if I have to head out the door early that day, well I will just get up even earlier so that I can still give myself this time. With the nature of running my own business I find I am often working every day. Which I do not mind when I am doing what I love BUT starting my days off in this way and giving myself this time helps me avoid that dreaded burnout. My morning routine helps me ease into the day feeling present with my body, grateful and at peace.
The Magical Ingredients:
Get up early
My husband Jason often has to leave for work by 7am and he likes to join the mindful movement portion of the morning so we often get up around 6am. I love it- more morning magic to soak in and enjoy!
No checking/responding to messages/emails or social media updates. This makes a HUGE difference in the way I feel in the morning. As soon as I look at my phone it takes me into my to-do lists and whatever else that may come up depending on the content I am taking in. So in order to be present, at peace and with my body, I do not look at my phone until after the morning routine. (I got a wrist watch so I could keep track of the time and not have to check my phone)
Water makes everything better. Seriously, if I feel a headache coming on, water. If my stomach hurts, water. If I am feeling anxious, water. So it just made sense to me to incorporate drinking water to be one of the first things I do to start my day. I drink at least 500ml of water (sometimes more).
Mindful movement is the piece that helps me connect to my body and enjoy the simple feeling of moving with my breath. Mindful movement can be whatever you want it to be. In the past I have done some simple stretches in bed, pilates or some mobility exercises. Right now I am really enjoying yoga by Emily from LakeShore Flow. I am subscribed to her online portal and she has all kinds of yoga/meditation videos. I get bored easily in a standard repetitive yoga class but Emily puts together unique and interesting flows and poses that both Jason and myself really enjoy. If you are looking to add movement to your morning, try a few different things and see what works best for your body/what you need right now.
Coffee and Meditate (+ a dash of kitty snuggles)
I almost put “Make Coffee” as a separate "ingredient" because the actual act of making coffee is something I really enjoy. Some would say I am a coffee snob- my husband being one of them (for example, I cannot drink it unless it is nice and hot, as soon as it is lukewarm I give the rest to Jason). I have spent a lot of time finding the coffee beans and method of brewing I really enjoy. I have a gooseneck kettle for my pour over coffee (which in my opinion gives the best full-bodied flavour). We have a little coffee bar in the kitchen which is my pride and joy and I really just enjoy the whole experience. I pour the coffee into one of my favourite mugs and then sit with my coffee on the couch. This is where I meditate. It is nothing fancy, it is just where I take in the sensations and just be present in the moment. Sip the coffee, taking in the flavour. Snuggle my kitties, enjoying the sound of their purring and the feeling of their fur. Take in some deep belly breaths and tune into my body.
Journaling is a beautiful outlet and a way to get to know myself on a deeper level. I started out journaling using the “5 Minute Journal” where the prompts get you to think about what you are grateful for and what would make the day great. I then moved on to free-writing but I found it was sometimes too intense or I was lacking inspiration with no prompts. I am currently working with a prompted journal called Creative Purpose by Mushroom Journals and it has been a great experience so far. It asks really interesting questions that encourages me to think critically, feel grateful and gain a deeper understanding of my creative self.
The order may change depending on what time I wake up or other factors. I have those days where I struggle to get out of bed and I do not have as much time before I have to head out somewhere. So instead of rushing through everything, I may choose just to do the water and coffee/meditate and then sprinkle in the mindful movement and journal at some other point throughout my day. On those days, I know that my body needs the extra sleep and I do not beat myself up about it or let it throw my day off. If anything, I am grateful to incorporate a little bit of extra movement and/or journaling throughout my day.
Please remember that this morning routine is what I have found works for myself but it is not the only way. I am hoping that in sharing this with you that you will take what you would like from it and maybe feel inspired to add a little something to your mornings/day and see how it works for you.