What did you say to yourself when you woke up this morning?
“Wow, I had a terrible sleep.”
“I can’t believe I’m still so tired.”
“I don’t want to go to work.”
“Please, child, go back to sleep.”
“Just five more minutes.”
I am, and have often been, the bearer of all of these lines before I even start my day. At 31 years of age, I can tell you this now: You will never get enough sleep. You will always most likely be some form of tired. Unless your job is to taste-test ice cream, most people don’t love leaving their cosy bed for work. Your child will most likely be happy to stay awake forever and ever. Five more minutes is never enough.
I’m tired (ha) of starting my morning routine on a bad foot. I want to wake up and be glad to be awake and starting my day! Also, anyone else partial to going on social media when they first wake up? Or do you just fall out of bed with your eyes still shut, dashing around like a mad idiot, starting your intensely-packed morning routine for the day without even being fully awake? Hmmm. Me too, to both of those.
So I have tried to get into some early morning routine habits – slowly, because I’m not good at that ‘all or nothing‘ business – which I am hoping will shift to getting my day started in a healthier, slower, more purposeful direction.
Nice and simple. Spend a couple of minutes just stretchin’ those old limbs. You are not going to miss out on that extra minute of sleep – and if you are, wake up one minute earlier. It feels so good and really just resets your body after being so stagnant for hours at a time overnight. If you have a bit longer, find some routine stretches you can do every morning to focus on each part of your body. I find that I feel much better after waking up my muscles.
Close that damn Facebook app.
I’m mainly preaching to myself on this one. And you know I mean it because I said, “damn”. And not in a fun way, like “dayuuuum.” It is important to connect with the outside world, but just for the [insert period of time] before you roll out of bed, try making it screen-free – or, at least, social media free. You will survive without knowing what your mates had for breakfast or the latest crippling news from around the world, just for fifteen minutes. It will be still be there later, if you need it.
Find a group of articles, an encouraging blog, a bible study, a set of devotionals, or just a book to slowly work through, and spend just a couple of minutes being revitalized and strengthened at the start of the day. Don’t fear the commitment – you’re not trying to a conquer a whole book or become an academic genius before breakfast. Switch out the instagram pics of someone else’s paleo waffle recipe, for an inspiring word just for you.
Not everybody might be into this, especially as a part of their morning routine, but through a mutual friend I have stumbled across the concept of Morning Pages. It is the concept (and truthfully, not a new one so you have probably done it in some form over your life) of writing three full pages of thoughts every morning. It is not neat, thoughtful, clever, or, as it is said, “even writing” – it is just literally a stream of consciousness written down for your eyes only. I have started it, but more specifically along the lines of prayer journalling – my three pages are me talking to God about anything and everything that’s on my mind, in addition to spending time with him during the day. It is apparently more therapeutic to handwrite, but truthfully, I think the point is that you are clearing your head for structured and clarified thought to reign. Plus, I’m so out of practice that my hand might fall off.
Reflect and declare.
Stop and reflect. It’s time to get comfortable with being by yourself. Try, just for a few minutes every morning, to be still and rest, no agenda, not planning dinners or scheduling diaries or thinking about how on earth you could stomach paleo waffles. Just chill. I, myself, am a Christian, so my reflection time is in the form of prayer. I like to start my day with God because he’s there throughout my whole day, and I want to spend time listening and enjoying his company before I go into the company of others.
And declare. We seem fine to spout about how exhausted and crazy-busy we are all of the time, but then it feels awkward (or bragging, even?!) to speak out the incredible things that are happening in our lives. I’m not into karma, but I do believe that you can change your mindset and your day with what you speak and think. Try the simple one – “Today is going to be a great day!” Choose to be deliberately joyful about your day. Pick upcoming things that you are thankful for. Gratefulness leaves your heart full, and it’s a wonderful way to start the day. Start ahead, not behind.
These are my new waking up traditions. I may not do each of them every day, but I value each of them as important. Hopefully some of you find them helpful, or even just feel empowered to make a change to how you start your day. If it means getting up fifteen minutes earlier, trust me, you will actually be no less tired from that fifteen minutes less sleep. In fact, making time to start your day right with a good, healthy morning routine will probably dispel that tiredness quicker than sleeping the extra fifteen!
It’s going to be a great day! What is your morning routine? Do you have anything you like to do that helps you start your day right (which then spills out into healthy, productive days) or something you think you would like to start? Did you pick up any tips from Tahlia’s post on healthy morning routines a couple of months ago? Let us know in the comments!