I used to hate mornings. I would talk about how I loathed getting out of bed, how I couldn’t function until I had a cup of coffee. I would hit snooze 10 times, or set multiple alarms. I would then work myself and the kids into a frenzy of complete chaos, yelling and madness getting out the door on time.
Much of this, looking back, was a result of my nighttime routine. I would crack a beer, uncork a bottle of wine, or mix up a cocktail as soon as I got home. I needed to “relax” after a long day, or “unwind” while cooking dinner, or maybe it was the weekend and that justified a drink in and of itself. One would lead to two, two to three. I would clean up dinner, get the kids to bed, and then lose hours of my time scrolling social media or watching crap TV. I’d tuck in much too late, and the cycle would start again the next morning as soon as the alarm went off.
I started to evaluate my morning routine closely last year when I went through a Morning Refresh program. The woman that presented the program led us through creating a morning routine that carved out a window of time to allow us to connect with ourselves first, before diving into the day, and making time for that prior to the responsibilities and demands of children (this particular program was geared towards mothers). Participants could do anything – yoga, reading, writing – whatever it was that you felt you could accomplish that was strictly for you.
I got a lot out of those five mornings. I felt energetic even before my first sip of coffee, I felt more calm and, having made time specifically to tend to myself, I had more time for the girls, and more compassion. When I wasn’t rushing around trying to make sure that I was ready for my day, I was better able to help prepare for theirs.
Now that I’ve re-evaluated and worked on my relationship with alcohol, which you can read about here, I want to revisit curating my morning routine. I’ve done some great work on my nighttime routines. I stopped drinking daily. I go to bed with a warm cup of turmeric milk mixed with honey and cinnamon, or a simple glass of water. I use a diffuser with essential oils. Oftentimes, I read before bed. I complete a gratitude practice every night. I fall asleep earlier, and more easily.
I’ll just be getting back from an eight-day trip with my husband when this post lands, and it seems like the perfect opportunity to work on building new habits. I would love to hear how you start your day. What sorts of things do you do in the early hours, to set the tone and pace for your day?