My alarm goes off and my mind is already racing. I take the dog out and hope she’s going to relieve herself quickly so I can get inside and start rattling off pieces of my morning To Do list:
-Put lunch together
-Get dressed. This one’s always a fun game. My wife, Christina, is still sleeping at that point, so I’m trying to get dressed in the dark without waking her.
-Kiss Christina goodbye.
-Pour coffee and head off to work with my work To Do list starting to run laps around my head
I hoped to get all of this accomplished in about 30-40 minutes. This isn’t abnormal for most human beings, but the go go go of the morning can absolutely be hectic enough to be the birthplace of your anxiety for the day. How can we avoid it? How can we go to bed the night before comforted by the thought of having an easy going morning when it’s time to wake up?
Create a morning routine!
If you proactively create a structured morning that you can trust to go smoothly every day, then you can start your day with less hectic tension and set the tone for your day in a positive fashion. For me, I started getting up 10-15 minutes earlier than I had been to let my morning routine play out casually and without the stress of too many time constraints. This way I don’t have to bolt out of bed and sprint through my morning.
I also incorporated meditation as a daily practice. I would highly suggest giving meditation a try to start your day. It allows you to clear your mind of cluttered thoughts and gives you clarity for your day. If meditation is not your thing, then I implore you to read, write or do something that isn’t responding to emails or scrolling through Facebook. Social media and email are reactive activities, causing you to react to a message that someone sent you or a post that you didn’t agree with. By using meditation, reading or writing, you are using your brain on your own terms instead of letting other forces (i.e. other people) dictate your brainwaves for the morning. It also allows your mind to settle right before you head off to work.
My morning routine starts early, but it’s worth it. Each day begins in the same calm way, and everything I try to accomplish after my routine benefits from it.
4:40 a.m.: First alarm goes off. I usually snooze it once to cuddle up next to my wife before I commit to getting out of bed for real.
4:49-5:02 a.m.: Second alarm sounds and it’s time to get moving. I put some food down for our dog, Maggie, and let her eat breakfast. While she’s eating, I take some vitamins, some allergy medicine and make a pot of coffee. After she’s licked her bowl clean (a few times over), we head outside to let her go to the bathroom and sniff around.
5:05ish: I put Maggie back in the bedroom with Christina and let them settle back into a slumber.
5:06: I pour myself a cup of coffee and sit down on the couch to meditate.
5:07-5:17: I meditate using the Headspace app. Even if I don’t feel like I’ve slept well, meditation seems to recharge me regardless.
5:17-5:37: Time to take my first sips of coffee. After letting it sit for 10 minutes while I meditated, it’s perfect drinking temperature. I use this time to slowly sip my coffee and use the 5-minute journal app to set goals for the day as well as reflect on the days prior. Within the app, I write down the three things I’m grateful for and set three mini goals that I want to accomplish in that day. It doesn’t take strenuous thought or deep reflection, but it makes a true habit of gratitude and reflection.
5:37-6:00: I wash up, get dressed and make sure all of the pieces of my lunch are ready to go (all of my lunches are prepped on Sunday, making each morning’s lunch production minimal), and kiss Christina goodbye.
Out of bed by 4:50, out the door by 6:00. Yes, I get up earlier, but my morning is MUCH less stressful. I can sip some coffee, create a calm state of mind, and have a good head on my shoulders as I head off to work. I no longer feel like I’m rushing.
Taking the extra time to sit down, breathe, and set the foundation for my day has been life altering. I almost look forward to my mornings now that I have proactively created an atmosphere in which I’m doing what I want to get the day started.
So if you find that you’re always rushing in the morning, constantly stressed about getting to work on time, or miserable as you leave the house; consider creating a morning routine of your own. Get up 10-15 minutes earlier than you usually do, and take your time as you ease into the day. There’s no need to wake up in a full sprint.
If you have any other morning routine staples, leave them in the comments below or find us on Twitter or Instagram and reach out: @getpastmediocre !!
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