I’m fascinated by what people do in the mornings. Fresh off a night’s sleep, it’s our private time before we go tackle the world.
Those pre-dawn hours are the one part of the day that is somewhat sacred: no one calls, no one checks in and no one drops in.
We all have an idea of what people do in the other parts of the day. But the morning – it’s special time. It’s the chance to get myself ready for the day however I want. Still huddled in the privacy of my home – a personal locker room before the big game.
Certain things I do everyday. They are my non-negotiables. There are things I do some days because they should have been done days ago and I need them done to clear my head for the day.
Years ago a colleague said, “You probably vacuum before work” and he was right. Not every day, but there are mornings.
If you’re reading this and you’re still in those baby days (mama’s and dada’s) or trying to catch up from those baby days – don’t be me. I was worried that I’d lost it. That I would never be able to return to my early rising habits. I regret beating myself up because while I wasn’t rising early I was doing something more important – raising babies.
Give yourself grace.
It wasn’t until my youngest was nearly 18 months that I could even attempt to get back to any morning routine that began before 7.
Even then it was really hard (but so worth it).
If you are not currently on the early morning train and considering it, know that it took 6 months for my body to fully adjust to waking up on its own at 5:30am. Now there are days I consider 5:30 too late and there are nights where the kids don’t sleep well and 6 is too early. I just try again the next day.
Here’s what I do with my time in the morning:
- Fumble for my phone to turn off my alarm.
- Reach for for my glasses. I’ve heard if you get Lasik, this is the hardest habit to break. I’m too much of a chicken to find out if that’s true.
- Drink a full glass of water. I fill it the night before and place it next to my bed. This is brings it to room temperature and makes it easy to gulp down. (Yep, big gulps. My husband and brother hate listening to this habit, but I swear it wakes my body up.) I started this in law school. Since then I have come across many articles touting the benefits of a glass first thing in the am. Every day for 15 years now.
- Clean myself up. put in my contacts, wash my face, then brush my teeth.
- Get dressed for my morning. Whether it’s a work-out morning or a writing morning or a chore morning.
- Go downstairs. This is where there’s a divergence depending on the day:
- Work out. If it’s a work out day, I head straight for the gym, outside for a run or downstairs for basement routine. Do not pass go, do not collect $200 – I have to get it done.
- My time. If it’s not a workout day, my coffee is already ready thanks to the
coffee fairyauto feature. I pour a cup and do the following:
- Empty the dishwasher
- Update my bujo (one day there’ll be a post about how much I love this habit.)
- Reflect in my Gratitude Journal
- Meditate – I’m just adding this one to the mix. I’m trying to make it a habit. This friend is making a lot of progress here.
- I’ve been known to do (usually a result of shirking my responsibilities on the weekend to play with my kids instead. A valid reason for skipping chores):
- Make Dinner – tread lightly here, recently my husband found my hair in our black bean burgers after a morning cooking sesh. But girl, did I feel like a million bucks the rest of the day. Dinner was ready.
- Go to the Grocery – Did you know that Harris Teeter doesn’t have normal grocery lanes running until 7am? Try self-checking out a week’s worth of groceries for a family of 5.
- Greet my kids. This always comes faster than I think it should. It’s not that I don’t want to see them – I do! But I cherish that solitude and the peace of the morning.
From there, whatever I do – I have that secret comfort and confidence of knowing that I started the day doing something for myself. Put on your own oxygen mask first.
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