I am doing NaBloPoMo this month. 30 blog posts in 30 days. Come join me. #nablopomo2022
Before I get started with today’s post, I wanted to remind everyone that today is the LAST DAY to sign up for this year’s Secret Santa (Mug) Swap. If you – or someone you know – are interested in participating in a little bit of holiday fun, I am still accepting participants from the US, Canada, and Germany. I’ll close the sign-up form tonight at midnight PST.
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Now that this important announcement is out of the way, let’s talk a little bit about morning routines. Do you have one? I mean, I am pretty sure everyone has one, but I guess the questions I have are: is it working for you, or how would you like to change it?
My morning routine has changed quite a bit since the start of the pandemic, my transition to working from home, and the acquisition of the Peloton. I have a lot more flexibility, now that I don’t have to leave the house super-early to drive to the gym AND make it to work (all by 7:30 am).
Here’s what most (workday) mornings look like for me.
Get up around 6.
I get up around the same time every day— except for the weekends. I know, I know, it’s supposedly better for you, if you stick to the same bedtime and wake-up time, but a) who really wants to get up at 6 am if they don’t have to? and b) I am convinced (or under the illusion – you pick!) that my body knows when it is a workday and when I can sleep in a little longer. Proof? I usually wake up 5 minutes before my alarm goes off during the week, but I have no problem sleeping in a little bit longer on the weekends.
Start with some yoga.
Ok, this is a new habit (I am doing a 30-day yoga challenge in November), but I hope it’s one that will stick. It makes me feel really good in the morning. I consider myself a morning person, but I am not a cheery morning person (if you know what I mean). Gently moving and stretching my body and having some time for my brain to wake up is really, really nice.
Some days, I jump on the Peloton first (because I am working out with (a) friend(s)) and then do the yoga after, but regardless, I have been doing yoga (from at least 10-minute up to 45-minute sessions) every morning for the last 2.5 weeks and I really like it.
(Dang it, I just realized I dropped the morning meditation that I was doing for a while. I have been doing meditation here and there, but not consistently. I’ll have to see where to fit this again. But it reminds me of something that Kae talked about recently about ADDING a habit or SUBTRACTING a habit. I think it’s impossible to do everything all the time, so rotating and focusing on a specific habit for a certain amount of time sounds much more achievable.)
Complete a one-hour workout.
My workout routine is probably around an hour right now every morning – give or take. It depends on what is on my “workout schedule”, but it’s usually a mixed stack of yoga, cycling or running, strength, and stretching, with some “harder” workout days and some “lighter” recovery days.
I didn’t use to be a fan of stacking multiple shorter workouts, but I’ve come to really appreciate being able to get a variety of targeted movements in with shorter classes. (And friends, don’t underestimate the effectiveness of 10-minute workouts. Just sayin’.)
Afterward, I shower.
Have my coffee (with soymilk).
Yes. That deserves its own bullet point. It’s my post-workout reward, my comfort drink, my getting-ready-for-the-day-ritual. I try to really savor this first cup. During the summer months, I would often step outside on the back stoop and enjoy the first rays of sunshine on my face while taking my first sips. Now that it’s darker and cooler in the morning, I try to sit down on the couch for a minute with my blanket. It’s my poor man’s version of people on social media who are sitting all snuggled up in front of their fireplaces with their coffees. Haha. Well, this moment of Zen is something I am still working on in my morning routine, because more often than not I end up going straight to my desk.
Read (and respond) to emails.
I’ll do the “easy” stuff for a half hour to an hour: reading and responding to emails, and making a list of priorities for my work day. These are things that don’t take much active brainpower, but it helps to get organized before diving into the actual “work” part of my day.
I used to have a standing meeting at 8:30 am on Monday mornings for a while (what kind of person schedules that?) and let’s just say that was not the ideal way to start off my work week. I am glad that this recurring meeting is no longer on my calendar.
After getting organized, I usually get my second cup of coffee and some breakfast. I usually rotate through a few breakfast options: plain yogurt with granola, rye bread with jam (or cheese), and I am probably going to start making overnight oats again really soon. We’ve been having cooler overnight temperatures (yes, even here in California) and I do enjoy a warmed-up bowl of oats with berries in the morning.
Start my workday
After all of the above, it’s time to start tackling my work day. Sometimes, I have a string of meetings, sometimes, it’s a day of just plugging away on project tasks (I try to limit it to “two projects” per day, not more). Yes, I realize, I am lucky that my mornings are all mine. No wrangling of kids and – except for Wednesdays – I don’t even have to leave the house. I’ve really found a groove with that work-from-home situation and I’ll admit, it’s quite nice.
What does your early morning routine look like? Is it very different from mine?