When you have a peaceful, joyful morning, you’ll be able to handle whatever happens that day. Let’s have a look at why having a morning routine, and learning how to have a morning ritual can bring you so much peace.
We often wonder why we feel so stressed all the time, why we can’t seem to get out of bed, why we feel exhausted, why we feel ‘hunted’ and pushed around all through the day, …why so many people seem to be in a bad mood all the time…
Rush, rush, rush … from the moment our alarm goes off until we leave the house, or worse, until we put our head back down on our pillow in the evening. Let’s have a look at how we can take back our mornings and have a life again.
Often people tell me: “You have no idea how busy my mornings are, I can’t add something to my schedule”, “I am already running short on time in the mornings, I don’t need extra stress.”, “I really need to check my emails before going out the door” …
I know changing always feels scary. But trust that this is possible. Once you feel the benefits, you won’t want to go back to your ‘rush-rush-rush-mornings’. Last week* we talked about having an evening ritual. This will result in more hours sleeping and in a better quality of sleep. Sleeping more and better will leave you feeling less exhausted when you wake up. This new energy will help you establish a new morning routine that will give you even more energy to go through your day. The goal of changing your habits to these new routines, is to have a more energetic life, a more joyful life, a life with less stress.
Why would anyone want to change their mornings?
I think nobody would object to being more relaxed, to starting the day in a calm, peaceful mood so that no matter what happens during the day, it won’t feel as if disaster hits you head-on.
What could this new morning routine mean to you?
When you choose how your morning will look like, you are in control of how you feel, of how you’ll handle your agenda. Even though you will do exactly what you have planned for the day, the way you start your day, will determine how you experience your whole day. When you first take time for yourself, you’ll feel stronger, you’ll feel more powerful. You start the day taking action, instead of immediately going into re-action modus. Being reactive all day, stresses you out as you feel you’re constantly running behind, because you’re constantly reacting to other people’s agendas. When you choose to be there for your kids, for your job, for whatever is on your agenda, after your morning routine, you are in control. You have first taken care of your own energy levels, and when your own battery is charged you are now ready to start the day. This is essential to having a happy morning, to having a good day.
What can a morning routine look like?
The good thing is, that it is completely up to you! You choose something that you enjoy, something that will make you feel relaxed, happy, … something that will give you the power to handle the day. When you have never done a morning routine, choose something simple, easy to do as you don’t want to add stress! This can mean:
stretching before you get out of bed
taking some deep breaths before you get up
saying a morning prayer
reading an affirmation
just sitting quietly, inside or outside, with a cup of coffee, or tea and waking up gently and slowly
doing some yoga
writing in a journal
going for a short walk (even if it’s just in your garden), enjoy the waking up of the world
going for a bike ride
having a cold shower
Nothing work-related or doing stuff for someone else. This is YOUR moment. This is where you take care of your energy, where you make sure your battery is fully loaded for the day.
How can you establish your routine and keep it up?
The most important thing is, it has to make you feel good. Then, also very important, you have to start small to be able to get started and to slowly build up until you have a routine that works for you.
Choose 1 thing. You can always add or change things later on.
Put your alarm clock 10 minutes earlier so you can spend 5 whole minutes doing what you chose to do. Be very quiet as to not wake up the rest of the house. Enjoy your activity. Don’t take more time than you scheduled because then you put time pressure on the rest of the morning. Do this for at least one week. You’ll notice that it gets easier as you are creating a routine.
See how it feels. Do you need to change your activity? Or do you want to add some time doing it? You can set your alarm clock 15 minutes earlier so that you now have 10-15 minutes to practice whatever it is that you choose to do.
Don’t take big leaps or don’t add too much at once. It must be something that feels easy, that gives you energy and that is sustainable for your agenda.
When do you have a good routine?
This is very personal and everybody can have a completely different morning routine. As long as it works for you, it’s a good routine! The goal is to feel in control of your day. You start the day taking care of you which gives you the strength to tackle the day. Whether you are just taking 2 minutes to breathe consciously before getting out of bed or you go for a one hour walk, all is okay. Just make sure it feels good, and that it fits your agenda so that you can keep it up and that it really makes you feel relaxed and stronger.
Does it have to be the same every day?
I would recommend practicing the same thing for a while until you can decide whether it works for you or not. You’ll notice that the more you practice the more you’ll feel what and how long works for you. As you will start feeling more relaxed, more powerful, more joyful, you will notice it becomes easy to add some minutes or to choose 2 activities. It’s all up to you!
I wish you all the courage to start doing this. Know why you want to do this and keep it up long enough so that you can really feel the benefits. Once you are in this new rhythm, you’ll feel so much better and you’ll be thrilled to have this new routine becoming your new way of starting the day!
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* Night Time: Sweet Dreams or Waking Hours? Article by Katrien Degraeve