I’m a recent convert to mornings.
I used to hate them. I mean, literally loathe them. I always found it difficult to get up, I would just want to bury my head under the pillow and sleep for another couple of hours.
I still have mornings like that, believe me, but I’m much better with them now. I don’t feel so great if I lie in too long on the weekend and, once I’m up, I enjoy being up. I like the crispness and the stillness in the air.
One of the most important elements in my new-found enjoyment of mornings has been developing a morning routine. I am by no means consistent enough with this, but on those days when I do have a good morning, I inevitably have a better day.
Here are the three most important elements to my having a great morning:
It is so important for me to have time in the mornings. I hate rushing, and I always feel awful (and look awful!) if I don’t give myself enough time to wake up before pulling my clothes on and rushing out of the door. I like to be able to take my time with getting ready. It gives me a chance to enjoy the peace and quiet, and to contemplate the day ahead–not necessarily all of the things I have to do, but my resolutions for the day. What I am going to focus on. Usually I set myself little goals and reminders, to do with remaining in the present, keeping good posture and really listening to everyone who speaks to me. Oh, and smiling. Setting those little mental goals in the morning helps me to have a more pleasurable day.
Having something to eat or drink. I get up quite early for work, so often I will leave breakfast until I am at work, but I do love having a nice cup of tea in the morning. It helps me to feel warmer (very important, now that the weather is turning wintery!), refreshed and energised. It also helps to relax me.
Listening to a calming or motivating podcast. Even if I have just five minutes, I will often put on an audio or video clip to inspire or re-focus me. My go-to people are Eckhart Tolle, Maya Angelou, Pema Chodron and Thich Nhat Hanh. I also love Anthony Ongaro of Break the Twitch, and a lot of his videos are in shorter, bite-sized chunks which are perfect to listen to for a quick, motivational boost. It really is true that what you feed your mind matters. I find that I am far more focused, calm and balanced when I listen to people who are aligned with my values.
Of course, getting a good night’s sleep beforehand and having everything (clothes, packed lunch) prepared for the next day really helps too!
Do you have a morning routine? What do you find sets you up best for the day ahead? Is there anything you would like to start doing in your mornings that you haven’t managed to make time for yet?