Early mornings have always been a pleasurable part of my day as I naturally wake up early and enjoy the quiet energy of that time of the day.
From a simple pleasure, my morning routine has evolved into a powerful self care practice when I started to be purposeful with my morning activities.
When everything goes well (most of the time it does not : ), this is what my early morning lovely piece of life looks like:
- 5:45-6:15: Waking up naturally after 8-9 hours of sleep.
- Around 6:00 AM: 20 min of mindfulness practice.
- Around 6:20 AM: 10-20 min of yoga.
- Around 6:40 AM: Getting ready/dressed for the day.
- Around 7:00 AM: Making herbal tea, feeding doggie, cooking breakfast and packing lunches, checking if hubby needs anything.
- 7-20-7:50: Eating breakfast and enjoying tea while reading emails, news, or a book.
- 7:50: Kissing hubby and doggie goodbye : )
For me, the day starts well when I have an hour and a half to two hours for myself before work and other responsibilities start begging for my attention. When the day begins with meditation and yoga, I feel more centered throughout the day and I’m a more pleasant person to be around.
My morning ritual grounds me into who I truly am.
If this sounds good to you, here are a few tips to get into a great morning routine:
1. Go to bed early. In order to free up time in the morning it’s essential to be able to… get up! It’s hard to get up when we are chronically tired. And we’ll be exhausted if we don’t get 8-9 hours of sleep in average. On most nights, I wrap up my daily activities at 9:00 PM and aim at falling asleep around 9:30 PM.
Side note: I make every effort to refrain from screens between 9:00 PM and 7:00 AM.
2. Get the rest of the family on board. If you have children, arrange to do your morning routine before they get up. Since they need much more sleep than adults, there is some free time available before they get up. If you have a partner, ask for their support and suggest to take turns to take care of the kids. When they are passed the baby stage, consider including your children into your routine, by helping them develop their own morning rituals alongside you as they grow up.
3. Your morning routine does not have to be long. You can create a lovely grounding 20-minute ritual with 10 minutes of mindfulness practice, 5 minutes of gentle workout and 5 minutes of reading something inspiring while sipping a cup of your favorite hot beverage. A simple routine can already bring a lot of benefits. This is what I do when I can’t afford more time or don't feel well enough for a longer practice.
4. If becoming a morning person at this stage of your life is not an option, how about creating an calming evening routine? Same concept, but even more gentle so that you don't activate your nervous system before sleep. Quiet reflection and gentle stretching are especially suitable for evenings and can be done with the kids or after they go to bed.
- How do I feel in the morning? Physically? Emotionally?
- How does my morning look like these days?
- Do I like my current routine? If yes, what is it that I find enjoyable? If not, what would I like to do differently?
- What is in the way of having the morning routine that I envision?
- Who could support me in making some positive changes?