THE DREADED MORNINGS
Caveat: I am not a morning person!
There are two kinds of people in this world: those that get up and start their day as soon as their alarm is up or those that hit their snooze button a million times over. Most of us are the latter. We drag ourselves into the shower, conjure a quick breakfast and hurry out the door because we are falling behind. We all have mornings like that, or worst, all our mornings are like that.
If you look at successful people and try to study their habits, it all starts with a good morning routine. A routine that helps them get up do things in between – and go. Smooth and easy. My husband is a natural. I’ve always seen him with a morning routine, and it works for him. When he was still a medical intern, after coming home from a hard 36-hour shift, with no sleep, he still has that energy the next morning to do it all over again. He has always emphasized, that having a morning routine – no matter how your previous day went – is the key to setting the tone on how you want your day to be like. For him, a healthy routine jump-starts the mind and gives you that boost of energy you need to last the whole day – oh, and a cup of coffee helps too!
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Does it have to be a routine?
When I hear the word routine, the first thing that comes to mind is this – FIXED. A fixed program. By that terminology alone, you are forced to perform a sequence of tasks and follow it. If you look at all the how-to’s available out there, most of them talk about routines and habits. Getting a little morning sweat, clearing your mind, writing your plans for the day, reading an article over tea or coffee – these might look like a perfect plan, but this just doesn’t work! – well, not for me at least.
Having a full plate daily – then this so-called “morning routine” will not work. I have an 8 to 10 hour work day, 40 hours a week, an on-call shift for most days and weekend shifts every other week, so I need to get as much shuteye as I can and my mornings are very unpredictable. I needed something that works for me.
That being said, what works for someone who detests mornings and morning routines like me is this – MORNING PRACTICES. These are activities that help me get up and prepare for the day. I can switch them up depending on what kind of morning – or night – I’m having.
Here are 5 effective morning practices that helped me jump-start my busy day:
This is imperative when I had a bad night. I sit up and take a minute or two to collect myself. This will help kickoff and straighten my thoughts. I can also put in a minute of deep breathing and meditation if the time permits.
Let the sunshine in
I am a fan of this one. What I do is open the blinds and let the sunshine in! Sunshine is a natural mood enhancer, a perfect balance and the right amount of exposure will have tons of mood-lifting benefits. It gives you the feeling of tranquil, focus and determination. Don’t forget to wear sunscreen! 🙂
No social media and emails! I try not to get tempted by the call of my gadget/s; I don’t stain my mornings with what’s going on outside – yet and I try to savor this limited time to focus on myself trying to get up and start the day.
I know some might not be a “breakfast” person – myself included. However, as much as I can, I try to put something in my stomach, it doesn’t have to be a “hearty” breakfast, half a sandwich or a small bowl of cereal will do the trick. Your mind and body need that energy from an overnight fast -“break” the “fast”. I make sure that I do not run my day with an empty fuel tank!
The chicken or the egg?
This might sound cliché, but hear me out. Preparing the night before is like building a solid foundation for your mornings. Yes, it’s not a morning practice but what you do at nights is a precursor to an easy-breezy morning. By preparing my bag, what to wear and what to bring, I will cut off half of what I need to do by morning. I try to make everything accessible, so I can just grab and go!
Note: Another crucial factor would be a good night’s sleep. It is tantamount to rebooting your system, it’s equivalent to emptying your cup so you could fill it up again and for some reason, this part eludes me. Yes, I do experience sleepless nights which resulted in waking up frustrated, grumpy, exhausted and not liking my mornings. I am in a battle to overcome this and get myself out of this rabbit-hole of wakefulness. It’s still a work in progress.
Related Post: A girl who can’t sleep
In the end, it doesn’t really matter if you have well planned mornings or if you’re just winging it, what’s paramount is knowing what will help you get up and start your day. If you survive the dreaded morning burden, then you can face the rest of the day knowing the worst is behind you.
“Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” – Mark Twain
Do you have a morning routine?
Share your thoughts and comments below
Tags: breakfast, busy, calm, early morning, how to, mornings, practice, rise and shine, routines