[read time: 5-7 minutes]
Hi, everyone! I am back with another instalment of the “Joy of…” series, where we look at mindful activities and how they might help you.
As a super early riser, one thing I am a proponent for is a morning routine. There are a LOT of morning routine “how-to’s” out there. Naturally, everyone thinks theirs is the correct way. I am also a proponent of “what is right for some may not be right for others.” So: what I share here is what works for me. Figure out a routine that works for you.
One popular routine that immediately comes to mind is the “Miracle Morning” by Hal Elrod. He uses something called the “SAVERS” technique. This stands for Silence, Affirmation, Visualization, Exercise, Reading, Scribing (aka writing). While I would love to fit all this into my morning, that is not possible as a disabled single mom of a toddler.
I do, however, ascribe to a few of the points he outlines. Everyone’s morning looks different. Me personally: I am an early riser (always have been) and I love being able to relax with my cup of coffee before rushing off anywhere.
This is the important part: relax with coffee. (As you will see in an upcoming post, my mornings used to consist of me vomiting the alcohol out from the night before. That has not been the case for almost six years now. Yay!)
And, the second mist important part: not rushing off anywhere. I hate being late – or even on time. I prefer arriving early to places, if I can. To me, there is no worse way of starting a day than by arriving at work late after being stuck in traffic and angry that I couldn’t pee before having to start my shift. (Side note: that’s a reason why I work for myself at home now, lol.)
So, what to do whilst relaxing with said coffee? Don’t go on Instagram. Keep it closed. Close Twitter. Nope, Facebook isn’t allowed either. (Or Meta, to whatever it is called these days.)
I like to sit outside, if I can, for a few moments, and hear the birds chirp. It is known that spending a few minutes in nature can improve mental health. And, if y’all knew the place I USED to live, with the constant cars, cars, people, honking, cars, car doors slamming, and cars, you’d know that I feel very lucky and grateful to live somewhere now where the only person who could potentially see me on my patio would need a high-powered telescope.
While I sit outside, I stay off my phone. Inevitably, I open it up because that is where I keep my daily to-do lists. If there is a day I decide to work out of Starbucks or the library, I can have access to my list from anywhere (oh, the joys of iCloud).
If it is the beginning of the week, I take a few minutes and jot down every event in my paper planner. I keep this as my “overview” for the week, where the meetings, appointments, and kid things are kept.
After I make my list, it helps me visualize the day. I can break it down into what tasks I find easier/ difficult, what constitutes work and what does not. (The joy of working from home means I often do laundry on my self-imposed “breaks” – lol.)
Then – Wordle! My mom got me into doing this, and I love that it helps wake up my brain at the beginning of the day. Sometimes I have to put it down and continue after I drop my daughter off at school, but I always finish it and love the satisfying “click” my brain gives when I figure it out.
I write in my gratitude journal. It is literally called “The One Minute Gratitude Journal” and, get this, it takes about 30 seconds to write in. Over time, as this book fills up, I like to look back and remember happy moments. Even when I’m already feeling good, this boosts me up even more.
Then, I make my bed. Why is this important? It has been shown that making your bed helps to lower stress and start your day off right. But, I wait a bit to make it – maybe an hour or so. Making the bed right away just tucks in all the dust mites and keeps them warm and cozy, while letting your bed air out helps kill them.
Then, shower and begin my day.
Here is the thing: no morning is the same. Some days I get up earlier and have more time to do extra things, such as write more or read a magazine article. Some mornings I have calls with friends. (Hey, when you have to wrangle kids all day, sometimes 7am is the only time we have to talk!) Some mornings I journal; others, I listen to an audiobook. Still others I’m out the door right away and on my way to Home Depot or some other big box store that I can’t stand and that’s why I go so early in the morning – to avoid all the people.
However, despite the changes in day-to-day life, I still attempt to complete the following: coffee, to-do list, visualize the day, Wordle, gratitude, make my bed. This might take me half an hour at the most. Some days it can stretch out for hours.
The joy of having a morning routine can be found in this: having a structured morning can be beneficial and conducive to a productive day. Feeling as if tasks have been accomplished before even leaving the house (I usually leave around 730am to take my daughter to school) can really jump-start my day on a positive note.
Then again, some days are meant for throwing everything out the window, saying fuck it, and going back to sleep.
What about you? Does having a morning routine make you more productive? Do you use one? Why or why not? I would love to hear your comments! Please leave them below and have a fantastic day.
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