The clock radio goes off and you fumble to hit the snooze button. It’s so cold, raining and dark outside that all you want to do is snuggle back down under the doona and sleep a little longer.
But what if it didn’t need to feel like this? What if you woke in the morning energised to start your day and grab hold of all that may unfold, no matter how mundane the series of tasks that were ahead.
Now while every day isn’t going to be the best day of your life, it’s still important to see the bigger picture and realise that every little thing you do adds to your overall contentment. It also makes it a little easier to breathe through those more than challenging moments when things just aren’t going your way.
I thought I would take a moment to share my morning routine with you. It has changed quite drastically over the past year since I chose to slow down and lead a simpler lifestyle.
Not everyone’s routine is going to look the same and what works for me may not work for you, but I’m one of those people who actually likes to hear about other people’s routines and then take what I find useful and apply it to myself in my own way.
So here’s an average weekday morning for me…
Setting the day with a positive thought
I generally like to get up before my children as I find real peacefulness in a quiet house. There’s something soothing about being up and about in the morning when it’s just me … the calm before the storm some might say! All I can hear is the whirring of the heater as it kicks in, the odd creak of the house and cars driving by in the distance.
Once my alarm has gone off at about 6.30am, I get myself showered, dressed and ready for the day then head into the kitchen and boil the kettle for a cup of herbal tea – usually peppermint – as a gentle way to kick start my digestive system.
I always set my intention for the day with a positive thought. I use a set of affirmation cards to help with this process. I purchased a set from Happy Mama with Amy that feature a range of beautiful affirmations especially for mums. I love them! I tend to randomly select a card from the pack, however sometimes I’m in need of a certain tone for the day so will seek out a particular card, or if one of my girls has woken up early they will sometimes pick one for me. It’s a simple but powerful way to begin the day and provides a good dose of positivity.
Creating an achievable to do list
While enjoying my tea and making some breakfast, I check my calendar to see what is ahead for the day, such as important appointments or tasks that need to be completed.
I write a quick to do list for the day – making sure I don’t include any more than three things that need to be completed on the day. Just THREE and no more! I find it is so important not to overload yourself only to chase your tail all day and feel like a failure for not achieving everything on your list.
At this time I also grab my phone for a quick catch up of my email and my blog’s social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. This allows me to put down the phone and be much more present with my children throughout the rest of the morning.
Before my girls get up, I make their school lunches. Following the birth of my third daughter in March, I did attempt to pack their lunches the night before thinking it would make my mornings easier. But I find I’m so tired by the end of the day that I have reverted to my habit of preparing them fresh in the morning. Luckily, my girls eat fairly simply and their lunches are quite easy to prepare – a sandwich or wrap, two types of fruit plus a snack and a treat. I find if I send anything too fancy it tends to come back home again anyway.
Enjoying Baby’s early morning feed
Baby’s routine is quite relaxed and the routine we have fallen into has been greatly led by her. She tends to wake anywhere from 6.30am-7.30am so most mornings I just go with the flow on this one. There is nothing better than the grin of pure happiness she gives me when I first pop my head over the cot to say good morning. I really take the time to enjoy Baby’s first feed for the day. It’s such a lovely, meditative time to enjoy that warm morning snuggle with my little one and start the day slowly and lovingly by the glow of the rock salt lamp in her nursery.
They’re up! Keep it flexible
My two older girls need to be up by about 7.30am in order to get them organised and to school on time. If they aren’t already out of bed I head to their rooms to gently them and pull out their school uniforms so they can begin to get ready. Then there’s still plenty of time for breakfast, teeth, hair, bags and have a little fun before we’re out the door for school drop off at 8.45am. Some days run smoothly, other days there are battles, but I have learned to take the good days with the bad and keep it a little flexible.
Coffee time and ready to go
Once Baby and I return home she’s usually ready for a morning nap. I save this quiet time to enjoy a morning coffee before I start to tackle the chores on the to do list I created earlier.
A work in progress …. PJ yoga
I am still trying to incorporate some morning yoga, or what I like to call PJ yoga, into my morning routine at this stage, but unfortunately it doesn’t always happen. My intention is to eventually start setting my alarm half an hour earlier in the morning, but right now with a three-month-old baby I am listening to my body which tells me I need to rest when I can.
When I was working full time, I used to get up early and walk my Labrador in the morning to ensure he had his exercise and wouldn’t go crazy or get depressed at being left alone throughout the day. As I pounded the pavement, I often felt like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day as most days I would see the same lady taking her dog for an early morning walk, the same man waiting at the bus stop and the same Council truck passing me by on the road. I guess we all have our routines.
But as life started to spiral out of control, I turned to yoga and, in addition to my weekly classes, I started to incorporate some basic morning postures to gently wake my body and set my mood for the day. The difference for me was amazing and I really hope I can begin to do this again.
Looking back, it’s quite remarkable to see the change to my morning routine compared to a year ago. Previously, every morning was quite stressed and rushed, with very little time to reflect and look to the day ahead with positivity. It was simply go, go, go … now!
Today, I wake and feel more enthusiastic to start my day. While we still have ‘those’ mornings where nothing goes to plan, most of the time things tend to fall into place eventually and we’re a lot calmer and can deal with the hiccups when they come up. I wish you all a happy morning too!
What is your morning routine? How important is to you?