We’re over Prague now where the morning’s just starting off. If it’s anything like Budapest (why wouldn’t it?), it’s with coffees and rush, yelling at the kids, putting on the make-up, running for the already packed tram lines, it’s screaming with stress.
When my colleagues ask me how I am not stressful when our job is full of deadlines, obstacles and frustrations, my answer is that in big part it’s because I don’t take part in the morning locomotive.
My wake-up regime is gentler. It’s a slow start, giving my head space to recover from the dreams, to prepare for the day from the depth of my soul.
It’s not as much a routine but rocking gently with the wake-up flow, following whatever feels right at the moment. Some mornings it’s a full breakfast, other times it’s water. Sometimes it includes writing, sometimes I’m just staring into nothingness. There are no rights or wrongs in my mornings. It can take me 1 hour to get ready or 3.
Sure, I’m lucky with my work that has flexible working hours so I rarely have to suffer under the overbearing control of the clock first time in the morning. It makes a big difference, and might not be available to everyone. But everyone can take some small steps to enjoy the mornings.
- Take 15 minutes for yourself. Try it with or without phone. Mini-exercise or mini-meditation. Sit by the table with your tea/coffee and let everything go. Just let your thoughts flow without picking any of them. This time is not for you to do anything else, it’s for you, full stop.
- Prepare the night before. Have your outfit ready, smoothie ingredients in the shaker, bag ready to go. It doesn’t just save you time but more importantly, frees up your mind.
- If you find it hard not to focus on the todos of the day (which will inevitably make you stressful) try filling your ears with good music, a motivating podcast or an audiobook.
- Use fresh air. Open your windows (even in winter), go out for exercise or walk to the farther bus stop. Watch how much beauty surrounds you, no matter where you go.
The most important is that you make it your own. For some, it works better to have an actual routine that can be followed without using mind-space to think about what to do this morning. For others like me, that would be stressful, so we let the mornings takes us wherever it feels right at the moment. Some prefer exercise in the morning, others feel better doing it in the evening. Some like coffee, others like tea. No matter. This is your time. You’re free to do whatever you want with it, don’t let pressure take over this precious period of self-love. Do your own thing. Relax. Fill yourself up. It’ll be worth getting up for, I promise.