I have a morning routine I started a couple months ago. It's imperfect, and free of any sponsorship, but it's the most important part of my day because it sets the pace for the rest of it. If I have a productive, stress-free morning, I walk into my job with a positive attitude and enough energy to meet everyday challenges.
My Morning Routine
I finish making coffee after my sequence, and I get myself ready for the day. I don't spend much time at all picking out what I'm going to wear. Since adopting a capsule wardrobe and reducing the amount of clothes I own, I spend very little time planning that. It's important for the sake of productivity that I'm ready before my husband wakes up the kids. Once the kids are awake, we both work to get them ready. I use this time to water my plants, also. After he leaves, I clean up and get the kids out the door. I drop them off at their separate daycare buildings, and if I'm lucky, I'll drink some of my coffee before leaving the house. I always eat breakfast, but it's usually once I get to work.
Realistically, my meditation and yoga routine has been happening 2-3 times per week. My goal is to make it all 5 days per week, beginning this coming work week. A morning routine is like eating breakfast. If I have it, the rest of my day falls in place. If I skip it, I feel disheveled and hungry for something. I'm irritated, and stressed, but if I take the time to care for myself, I am positive.
Living With a Commute
One recent accomplishment is using my commute to focus on the cognitive challenges I am facing, and in the same manner as my new yoga experience, I now incorporate basic stress-relievers into my routine to start the day positively. Sometimes I'll listen to music and choreograph routines in my mind. If the music brings my mind in a direction that makes me focus on negativity, I change the genre. Also, I'll sing in the car. Singing is incredibly relaxing, and it's something I do for myself. It incorporates breathing and emotion. Other times, I choose to drive in silence. I soak it in, because that is the only time during my day without noise.
In the future I hope to refine a post-work routine. At the end of the day, I walk through the door and am greeted eagerly by my two little girls. It's awesome. Then, my husband serves dinner (since's he's our family cook), but there's not a set routine after that point. We do a lot, like cleaning and running to gymnastics practices, but capitalizing on our time together in the evening has been a challenge. This is also prime-time during the week for a workout, so I'm looking forward to warmer weather bringing the opportunity to include the girls on bike rides, runs, et cetera. In the meantime, I'll continue to keep my morning routine as it is. This start to my day is refreshing, and proving to be beneficial for my health, mentally and physically.
How do you spend your mornings? Do you feel spending them that way is helpful, or is there room for improvement? Challenge yourself to identify areas of improvement, and set a goal to make change.