Thursday, September 11, 2014

Your Morning Routine

Every year, various periodicals and magazines publish articles about successful people's morning routines. The articles generally highlight a mixture of a healthy breakfast, checking late breaking news or mediation and/or exercise, including yoga, running or swimming.

Through the titles, the articles inadvertently imply that successful people wake up early. I'm sure there are countless successful people who either wake up later or don't even wake up in the morning, because they are either night owls or just prefer it. However for the most of us who work a 40-60 hour/week job, it's typically for us to not have a morning routine.

As our morning lives are ofter intertwined with preparing lunch, cooking breakfast, completing the dishes, sorting through the laundry, checking email, sending the children off to school, showering, sneaking in a game of Candy Crush, or finding the perfect outfit for the day, it can be difficult to have a regular morning routine.

Lately, as I've been trying to cherish the earliness of the morning hour and not just rush off to work, I've found the easiest way to add a morning routine is to take the few minutes when the coffee pot is brewing. I turn on the pot and use these 5-8 minutes as "me" time and mentally prepare myself for the day; by stretching and focusing on the day ahead. I remove myself from electronic distractions, such as TV, cell phones and the radio and completely focus on the day ahead as I stretch out my body and awaken to the world around me. Since I'm an early riser, there is typically no one else up on my street and I'm able to enjoy the peacefulness of the neighborhood. 

5-8 minutes may not sound like a lot of time, but it's a short enough period of time to easily integrate into your life, yet long enough to get a good boost of personal reflection to help power you through the day.

Tips to help find "Me" time: 
  • It can take 60 days to develop a habit. At first, It may be challenging to remind yourself to take "me" time at first. However, using the time it takes for your coffee to brew is a good reminder. If you don't brew coffee in the morning, use the time that it takes for your tea to get ready or simply just pause and reflect for 5 minutes.  
  • Unplug, remember we already spend on average 11 hours a day with digital media. If you can't pull yourself away from your iPhone in the AM, check out the application, "CALM." It has short 5-10 minute guided meditations and nature sounds to "add a sanctuary in your pocket." 

  • It can wait. The dishes, laundry and urgent emails will still be there in 5-8 minutes; it's okay to put them on hold and wait until you get your day started. 

 What's your morning routine? Leave a comment and share any helpful tips below. 

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