I am one of those “in between” type people when it comes to mornings. I don’t thrive on late nights; that is, unless I am on Pinterest looking up holiday decorating ideas in July or ways to improve my dog’s emotional wellbeing, in which case, I will pin away while tucked ‘neath my covers until I have to peel my eyelids apart. I don’t however, thrive on waking up at 5 AM to get an intense-metabolism boosting- get your day started out right- workout, either. I have always been the type who gets to bed on time (ish), and then wakes up exactly ONE hour from when I need to be starting work (you read that right- not leaving for work, starting work!). As I type this, I realize how insane that is.
When my alarm goes off, it is go time, baby. I jump out of bed, throw up my hair in a bun (hey, I showered last night, alright??), pull on whatever scrubs I think I did not wear last in the rotation, brush my teeth, force my dog to pee while I make a shake for breakfast and I am out the door. This all takes 20 minutes, 30 minutes maybe if I have to convince my pup, Dallas, that he really does need to go potty after not having gone for the past eight to nine hours. And this has worked for me! At least, I guess it has worked for me? I am a successful occupational therapist, I manage a household, my schedule (work schedule, workout schedule, cleaning schedule, cooking schedule…need there be more schedules?), my husband’s insane pilot training schedule, keeping in touch with family, maintaining friendships, and keeping an active 8 month old beast of a puppy content. So this must be working, right? Why mess with an oh-so-rushed, but hey-it’s-working, routine?
Simply put, this rushed, whirlwind of a routine is not what I want.
I would LOVE to get up to a clean and organized house, get in a good workout, have time to meditate, have a lunch packed, drink my coffee while sitting on the couch on the patio enjoying the sunrise, but… LET’S BE REAL. Achieving a peaceful morning just seems too difficult! There is so much planning involved, so much preparation, and if I’m honest, the thought of waking up any earlier than I have to makes me want to smush my head between closing elevator doors.
I imagine that many of us, most of us, struggle with these conflicts within ourselves. Whether it is achieving any kind of normal and decent bed time that isn’t going to leave you feeling like a zombie, or establishing a consistent “wake up time” that helps you feel like a real person for the day, we all struggle. So, as an experiment for the rest of you, I am bravely going to sacrifice my tornado routine for 30 days (hey it takes 21 days to make a habit, but I figured I’d add a few extra for good measure), to find my peaceful morning. I have chosen five things to do (from about fifty thousand, I might add), that will hopefully, God willing, add some calm to my mornings.
1. Get organized at night.
This sounds vague, but here are the details: making sure all dishes are put up, laundry is folded, and rooms are generally clean so I can wake up ahead of the game; planning my lunch for the upcoming day; making sure all scrubs are available for the choosing (teal, royal blue, purple, black, or navy–ah! what a decision); laying out workout clothes (more to come on this below!); and ensuring that work bag, planner, keys, sunglasses, etc are together and ready to go!
2. Get hydrated.
I am a camel. Ok, not really, but I drink A LOT of water during the day (and yes, this makes me run to the potty every hour, but, oh well). The thought of going eight hours (or more!) without water sounds like death to me, but, as I have learned, that is what happens to my body every single night. GASP! Hydration is important for so many things, from mental clarity and energy level, to weight loss and skin brightness. I never realized how dehydrating sleeping actually is! So, my plan is to drink one glass (I do not measure things people, so I am just going to say a standard tall drinking glass full) of filtered water immediately upon waking, and one mug of warm water with lemon before leaving for work.
3. Get positive.
After drinking my first glass of water for the day, my plan is to accomplish two things that will help frame my day in a positive way. First, I am going to read and repeat (and repeat, and repeat) an affirmation. Affirmations are positive statements/thoughts that you can either create yourself to instil confidence, calm, joy, etc into your day, or you can pick from any variety of sources online (in “Part Two” of this blog post, I will include my favorite affirmations to date). Second, I will create a small goal to focus on for the day; my goals are not going to be difficult to achieve (solving world hunger, for example) and will emphasize positivity (such as, I will make someone feel special today).
4. Get moving!
This item is twofold. Exercise/stretching in the morning is proven to improve mood, clarity, and productivity, as well as metabolism (hallelujah!!). Who wouldn’t benefit from these “side effects”? Getting up and going will also allow me to exercise my dog, who, as a 50-60 (who the hell even knows anymore!) pound, 8 month old goldendoodle, has boundless energy from God knows where. Don’t get me wrong, Dallas is NOT the type of dog who needs to run 5 miles twice a day in order to sleep at night, but I do find that he is happier, eats better and is more obedient when exercised. The plan is to run (ok, ok, or WALK) an approximate 3 mile loop in the AM to get both of our hearts pumping, muscles working and circulation flowing.
5. Get calm.
After exercising, I plan on taking a relaxing shower, actually doing my hair/makeup (minimal- my hair is curly so it air dries and I never wear more than mascara to work anyway, but the thought is nice), enjoying my mug of hot lemon water on the couch, and some snuggle time with my main squeeze (Dallas, of course), before gathering my pre-organized belongings and heading out the door to conquer the day!!!
So there it is, ladies and gentlemen.
My five step plan to finding my calm morning. I know that in the next thirty days I am going to curse having done this, try to snooze my alarm, forget to pack my lunch, try to “forget” to exercise… but hopefully, I will come out on the other side with a solid routine that I never want to ditch! Over the next few weeks, I will be updating you on how these steps are working (or not working) for me, and I would love your feedback on anything else you would like me to include that might have worked for you!
That’s all for now, time to go organize! Until next time, #findyourpeace.