Can we talk a bit about morning routines? I’m not particularly fond of getting up in the morning lately, to be honest. Not sure if it is because of autumn and the darker days we’re experiencing now, or what it is. Either way, I just want to sleep, sleep and sleep some more. But I get up anyhow; because a good morning routine sets the mood for the entire day, doesn’t it?
From talking with friends, I realize people often skimp on the whole morning routine in order to sleep as long as possible in the morning. They don’t prioritize a good breakfast or a peaceful morning; they just grab with them something edible on the go or throw some food into their bodies as they sit down by their desk at the office.
Most days are workdays
And I totally get it. I mean, I love sleeping as much as the next guy (probably more, but who’s keeping tabs?). But, I don’t want to spend my whole work week dreaming of weekend where I finally can sit down and enjoy the morning hours. Hence, I make it a priority to start everyday in a quality way, as it were. I love slow mornings, so I make it my priority every single day.
For me, a good morning entails the preparation of a decent breakfast, sharing this meal with Chris and even have time for coffee. And, since neither of us likes to be in a hurry in the morning, we have our alarm clock set for 5.30 am each work day. It seems like an un-godly hour, I know. But, work begins at 8 am, and we like to take our time to wake up properly, having breakfast, drinking coffee, and spending some time together before preceding to go our separate ways for work.
(Admittedly, these days we usually slumber in bed half an hour before getting up, listening to the radio and/or drowsing. Mostly the latter.)
Early birds…and worms?
Right now, I work mostly from home, and as such it is even more important to me that Chris and I prioritize this relaxed and social morning routine. Sometimes, Chris sees how tired I look when it’s time to get up and convinces me to sleep in. And, at times, I don’t think twice about accepting that offer and roll around to go back to sleep. But, each time I give in to this, I regret it afterwards.
Preparing breakfast for one when you’re used to preparing for two, and at the same time feeling like you overslept, is not exactly what I call a good way to start any day. It makes me feel grumpy and lazy, and the rest of the day’s mood gets affected. Heck, it also affects my productivity. So… No matter how tired I am at 6 o’clock in the morning, I drag my drowsy self out of bed, throw some water in my face, shovel down a couple of glasses of water and begin preparing breakfast. Because, you know, early birds and worms and all that jazz…
(We probably do not need to speak too loudly about how our breakfast includes watching a twenty-minute house-hunter or renovating show on TV, which we pause in the middle to prepare coffee… Ahem. Moving on…)
Now that you probably know more about my morning routine than you bargained for initially, let’s summarize:
The benefits of a good morning routine:
1. That fact that it is a routine
When you do something often enough to the point where it becomes a routine, you follow suit. Having incorporated a good morning routine, you have reduced your chances for oversleeping, for instance, which gets you to work in time.
2. Less stress
A good morning routine reduces stress. The 45 minutes Chris and I take to eat breakfast, talk together and drink coffee is one of the highlights in my day, both in terms of socializing and finding a calm center in an otherwise hectic work-week.
3. A good morning = a good day
I realize that a good morning doesn’t necessarily mean ‘an early morning’ to everyone, even if it does to me. When I get up early, though, which is an essential part of my workday morning routine, I get things done. I am also happier and more collected through the rest of my day. If my morning is off, so is the rest of my day, and I can’t have that. If I don’t get a good deal of work done before noon, it’s more likely that I get no work done at all. And while all work and no play might make Anita a dull girl, not getting any work done makes Anita even duller, let me tell you.
4. It gets you into bed at night
Some nights I have no desire to go to bed, because hello, there’s just too many fun things to do, right?! Like playing guitar, getting some design work done, or (let’s be real…) simply catching up on some Netflix series. Having an enjoyable morning routine (which you only manage to keep up if you go to bed in time), gives you something to look forward to after a good night’s sleep. I have said to Chris on more than one occasion that: “Ok, we must hurry to bed now, so we can wake up again and have breakfast and coffee!”
There are probably several other benefits of a good morning routine. The four listed above are the ones that stand out the most to me as of right now. I guess my keyword in terms of my morning routine is calm and slow-paced. A relaxed and stressless morning routine with the one I love grounds me and gets me ready to tackle whatever the new day has to offer. There are a couple of things I mean to add to my morning routine; a three minute workout, for instance. But right now, getting up in time for breakfast and coffee is good enough.
What does your morning routine look like?