Hello Dear Reader,
Are you a morning person, or a night owl? I must admit, that I am much more inclined to stay up all hours of the night rather than wake up before the sun. Nevertheless, I am well aware that carving out intentional time in the beginning of the day, truly can set you up for success throughout your week.
But, I have a confession...
I still grab my phone to check emails and social media before getting out of bed. I'm not happy about it, nor am I proud.
The morning can be quite a sacred time if you wake up early enough. It's quiet, the lighting is soft, the noise is low, and it's as if the world hasn't yet realized that soon, it will again become the hectic and chaotic place we all know it to be. But somewhere between 6:00 and 7:00 am, all is calm. All is somehow, alright.
I remember when I still lived at home with my parents, whenever my mom and I would wake up early to go for a walk, I was always so invigorated for the remainder of the day. Constantly saying shocked every time I looked at the clock and it still wasn't afternoon.
Waking up slowly and early gives you a chance to not only enjoy the day more fully, but to get more things done than you otherwise would.
When we were in Big Sur, with absolutely no cell phone reception, WiFi, or service of any kind, waking up in the morning was a slow and peaceful endeavor. But it seems as though the moment we returned home, the realities of the world came knocking at our door the moment we arrived.
I've been struggling ever since to establish a balance between work and ease, and I think the answer lies in a slow, intentional and easeful morning routine.
Here are 5 things I've either started incorporating or plan to incorporate into a morning routine that will start my day with peace and productivity.
This is so very cliche as everyone seems to be discussing the importance of a gratitude journal, and I've mentioned it a time or two here on the blog and on the channel. But let's add an element and consider doing this practice first thing in the morning. Before checking phones, or making breakfast. Jot down 3 things in your journal that you're grateful for.
I find that gratitude for what is in your life takes away any feeling that you're "missing out" on what (or who) is not in your life. It forces you to see the good in your life, rather than focus on the bad. Which can be such an easy thing to do.
This is also a wonderful practice because it doesn't take much time or thought. Writing an entire journal entry where you are really going deep into your feelings is wonderful, but if you don't have the time for that, this is a great alternative as I'm sure we can all quickly think of 3 things we're grateful for. Heck, it can be as simple as being grateful for chocolate! Or dogs! It doesn't have to take much thought or energy. So it's a wonderful way to slowly start the day with intention and ease.
Boy oh boy am I a fan of a good list. Pro/Con lists, shopping lists, goal lists. You name it, I'm probably finding an excuse to write it down in list form. And I genuinely believe that writing your to-do list down in the morning helps you to stay on track with what you need to get done for the day.
One negative impact that social media has had on our generation, is that we just have so many thoughts swirling around our heads at any and all moments. There's a lot of noise going on up there. Tik Tok sounds, videos we watched, podcasts we listened to, news we heard. It's all constantly playing on a loop in our minds. And because there's so much noise, we often think that we can remember all the things we have to do without writing it down, but I know I certainly can't.
Writing a to-do list makes my life so much easier because I know exactly what needs to be done and by what time. And there truly is nothing more gratifying than crossing things off of a list.
Morning Grocery Run
This habit I haven't started yet, but that's because it only occurred to me recently. I was at the grocery store around 4:00 PM and it was a mad house. There were people everywhere, long lines, the typical mid-day/evening grocery experience. It made me think to myself, "Why don't I just go grocery shopping early in the morning?"
I know this isn't feasible for all of us, especially those of us who work full time jobs. But could it be something to consider doing on the weekend?
Imagine how much less stressful the day would be if you didn't have to deal with the zoo that is a standard grocery store. Fewer people, no lines, and you'll have the groceries you need for the week. It seems like a win-win to me.
Comment below if you have this approach to grocery shopping!
I can't express how productive I feel when I put away the clean dishes first thing in the morning. It gives me even more of a feeling of accomplishment than making my bed. You all know how in love I am with my cottage kitchen, and when everything is put in its place, I can see the beauty so much clearer. I notice that whenever I procrastinate on this chore and wait until the last minute to put the dishes away before I start cooking dinner, it makes my dinner experience so much more stressful, because I'm doing so many things at once.
And once I do it, I always end up asking myself why I didn't put them away sooner because it literally takes less than 10 minutes.
Some elements of homemaking we have in our minds that they are tedious and annoying, but they're actually very quick and easy if we just change our mindset. If I say to myself, "Ugh, I hate having to put the dishes away." then I'm going to hate putting the dishes away. But if I throw on a podcast or my favorite song and set a 10 minute timer, it's over before I know it!
10 Minute Stretch
I don't know if this is a part of the aging process, but when I wake up in the morning I am as stiff as a board! It takes at least 10 minutes of stretching and moving my body around before I can feel comfortable starting my day. While I love yoga, I have had to take a pause due to my neck strain, and switch to doing stretches suggested by my physical therapist.
Doing this helps me feel mobile and gives me a jolt of energy to start the day. I also do my best to go on a walk every morning, but stretching is what really gets me up and moving every morning. As I was researching what chiropractors and doctors call "tech neck", I came across a video where one doctor was explaining how as humans, we're simply not meant to be as sedentary as we are. Our bodies are just not meant to sit idly as we type away on a laptop or text on a phone. It's SO important to our overall health to move for at least 30 minutes a day and to keep our bodies as active as possible.
Here is my favorite yoga channel with easy stretches: Yoga With Kassandra
Okay loves, that's it for this post! Of course, there are SO many more morning habits we can incorporate to set ourselves up for success. So feel free to comment yours below! Ultimately, the best way we can guarantee peaceful lives, is to start our days with peace and some sort of routine or organization. It doesn't have to be incredibly rigid or strict, but it should give you the space to have more freedom in other areas throughout your day.