How I rediscovered my morning routine
I like to have routines. Or, more precisely, I NEED routines to keep myself sane. It is a coping mechanism to tone down my anxiety.
And I love mornings! It's when I have more energy so I figured out a few years ago that taking advantage of my mornings was beneficial to my health. After some experimentation I settled with the following morning routine:
- Wake-up at 5:30am: jump out of bed (I leave my alarm across the bedroom so that I have to get up to turn if off).
- Bathroom stop: Splash some water on my face, empty my bladder.
- Drink a cup of water with my stomach medication.
- Grab my headphones and phone, unroll my yoga mat on the living room floor.
- Do a 10 or 15 minutes meditation (I've been using the Calm app.
- Stretch/exercise: I alternate between a basic 15 min bodyweight routine or 15-30min of Yoga, depending on the day. Some days I need a slow Hatha yoga session focusing on stretching, some days it's a Vinyasa Flow or body weight exercises (focus on the core). I've been using the app DownDog for yoga and I love it.
- Put my yoga mat away and start preparing breakfast. I keep my breakfast lowcarb, usually an omelet with tea.
- Eat breakfast, clean dishes, pack my snacks for the day.
- Take a bath/brush my teeth/dress/get-ready-to-leave.
I'm usually out the door by 7:40am. It's enough for me to get to work at 8am. I live close to my workplace.
The above list is for the ideal day. Some days are not perfect, and I end up meditating for 10 minutes and doing some quick stretches for 5 minutes. Some days I spend more time chatting with my partner (and skipping a Yoga session) before I leave.
The most important thing to make a routine like this work is: go to bed early the day before! I have to be in bed by 9:45pm otherwise I'll loose sleep time and then I'll be exhausted during the day. When it's 9pm I'm getting into my “slow down” routine, turn off all screens, make sure I packed my lunch for the next day, get into my pajamas and read until I am ready to sleep.
I'm happy with my routine right now. I'm learning not to be too harsh on myself. There are good days and bad days. I have struggled with back pain for many years and I must keep some kind of stretching/warming up exercise in the morning. I need to move a little in the morning. And meditation helps me calm down my “monkey mind”.
Last year, in the midst of the pandemic, my morning routine was disrupted, I started having terrible back pain again, I couldn't sleep well because of the pain and therefore I didn't have energy for my morning routine. I felt sleepy and sluggish all day. I started a Chiropractic treatment for my back pain and by the end of last year I felt I could get back to Yoga and my sleep was not being interrupted with discomfort (aka pain). Better sleep meant better rest, more energy, no pain during the day (or night) and overall well being. This Spring, I want to get back to running!
By Noisy Deadlines Minimalist in progress, nerdy, skeptic. I don't leave without my e-reader.