If you were to sit down right now and imagine what the best way to start your day would be, what would it look like? Are you someone who jumps out of bed as soon as the alarm goes off ready to embrace the day? Are you someone who needs to start the day with exercise? Maybe you’re that person who loves the busyness of the kitchen, getting the kids ready for school, music on, all a little chaotic or maybe you’re that person that likes to grab a quick coffee and contemplates the day ahead?
Let’s face it, you could be a combination of all these things!
So what does the start of your day actually look like? What’s the reality? If you could change something about it, what would you change? I appreciate that many of us want different things and these can feel totally unobtainable. Maybe you’re craving the silent coffee as you face the morning madness in your house or perhaps you are sitting there drinking the silent coffee whilst wishing there was noise and distraction around you? The grass can seem a little greener on the other side of that fence.
What I do know is that we seem to put a lot of pressure on ourselves to find the “perfect” morning routine and then berate ourselves when we appear not to be living up to our own expectations. The number of conversations I have with people who explain to me that their days would be a whole lot better if they managed to fit in a dog walk/yoga session/meditation/exercise class/sea swim before they started their work or their day- is that actually possible?
Let’s talk about the reality of our mornings, what you can actually fit in or do! If you want to change your morning routine and I personally am all for a morning routine as it sets me up for my day, you first need to look at what you HAVE to, NEED to achieve at the start of your day? There is no point wistfully dreaming of gentle stretches and a quiet cuppa if you hate getting out of bed early and only do so when you hear the kids up and about requiring something. Likewise, if you are a high energy person first thing and need to get up and at em, the chances of you having the patience to sit & meditate (however good it might be for you) are slim as you will be too busy thinking of all the other things you could be doing, so……..
- Work out what time you actually like getting up, what time you function best? Is it possible to get up then or do you need to change it?
- What do you need to do each morning? Are there things that could be done the night before to give you more time first thing?
- What put’s pressure on your morning routine? Is it someone else? Are you able to change that, if not, do you need to accept that at the moment your routine has to be a certain way to accommodate that?
- If you could change one thing about your routine, what would it be? Is it adding something or removing something?
- If you really want to change it, map out the steps to make that change.
Now I appreciate that once again I’m talking about my dog (I was told at the weekend I do that A LOT) but one of the things I discovered that really changes my outlook on my day is having 10-15 minutes to sit with my dog and a cuppa before I start work. He likes a cuddle, I don’t have any music on, just sit there listening to his quiet snuffles and as daft as it sounds, it really grounds me, it’s a form of mindfulness for me.
So what did I have to do to make that happen? I had to get up earlier but just 15 minutes earlier and it makes a HUGE difference to my mindset and how I start my day.
The fact of the matter is, I too had spent many years feeling I “should be exercising” “should be meditating” “should be doing some yoga” to start my day and when I didn’t, felt incredibly guilty especially when I made the fatal mistake of comparing myself to those on social media who managed to do it every day! This is all about finding out what makes you tick. What thing(s) you can add to your day (or take away) that start you off as you mean to go on, NOT add pressure and guilt the minute you get up. We all do things differently, we all need different things and that’s okay.
What does the start to your day look like? Have a think and maybe try something different?