By Isoken ogiemwonyi
My Morning Routine – How It All Went Awry In The First Place
It’s officially December and I’m scratching my head wondering where all the time has gone. The first two quarters of this year really messed with my morning routine, and this (amongst other things) caused quite a bit of fallout for pretty much everything else.
I’ve really started to evaluate my life and I’ve been working through what I actually enjoy doing and making plans to cull what I don’t. I started a new project at the end of November and the past few weeks have literally flown by. Has this happened to you before? Like when you’ve always known you’d enjoy (and be good at) something but you don’t really have a chance/the time to really get into it.
My new project/position is SO awesome. Plays to all my strengths and I can literally feel my brain stretching which is the BEST. Adjusting to a new schedule in a different country, working across two timezones, and a busier workload have all contributed to my exhaustion – but I’m happier than I have been in a really, really long time.
However – happiness aside , re-adjusting to winter timing (I’m in Canada for a while) plus snoww (I DETEST SNOW, but more on that later). For the past week, I’ve been getting 5 hours of sleep and going to bed at 5am without fail.
Needless to say, it’s messing with my circadian rhythm and general feeling of wellbeing. So essentially, I decided to get back into a more disciplined frame of mind and establish a morning routine to help me manage my life changes better.When we take care of ourselves, everything just feels better you know? This is what I’ve been doing to get more productive, less tired and generally take care of myself better.
Start To Prep Your Morning Routine the Night Before
I use this great app called TeuxDeux to schedule my whole life basically. I start by setting up the 5 main things I have to accomplish by the end of the day. Then I put in 3 or 4 other stretch goals – things I’d like to do but aren’t time-sensitive. I also do my VERY best to plan out my wardrobe a week in advance, with my ‘7 Day Rack’ . Some weeks are obviously better than others. Lol. It has made a huge difference to me not stressing out in the morning. If I’m on a diet (which I am now) I also pack lunch. Finally, I remind myself of any meetings or deadlines I have coming up so I can wake up prepared. So now I can enjoy my morning routine – and have a more leisurely morning in general .
Set An Alarm That Works
Getting more tired means I find it way harder to listen to mu body clock – I still wake up at 7 but fall back asleep almost immediately – because, exhaustion. I’ve recently had to resort to using a super annoying alarm that ensures I have to get up to switch it off. Then my back up alarm goes off ten minutes later to make sure! Lol and I inevitably think of that Bible verse ‘ A little sleep, a little slumber …’ and that’s enough to wake me up ASAP. LOL
Another option is using a sunrise simulating lamp. They gradually light up the room like a sunrise. Research shows the light emitted from these lamps increase cortisol production in our body and it wakes us up, preparing our brain for the stressors of the day, as well as our body. Light lamps tell our brains to start producing that important hormone before we awake, so we feel wake up more alert and are less likely to hit the snooze button over and over again. This makes sense for someone like me because I like my room dark as a cave at bedtime lol.
Besides my daily caffeine shot , exercise is one of the best ways to wake myself up properly and get my body and mind right in the early hours. I like to do some light stretches in the morning and then get on the treadmill and sometimes do some weight training . I’m thinking of taking a yoga class or trying it at home for a while. My friends have recommended an at home yoga routine like Jillian Michaels Yoga Meltdown. I’ll let you know how it goes. I’m really looking forward to its as yoga is meant to really centre and soothe you, according to the internet.
Stretch Your Brain Muscles
As weird as this sounds, it’s really effective. Some mornings especially when I go to bed tired, I wake up feeling like foggy and this can last for quite some time after, which can be extremely frustrating. I find that doing something that requires brainpower is a great way to clear away the cobwebs. I like to read (not emails), usually a chapter of whatever I’m reading at the time, with my morning coffee but there are a lot of other options. Sometimes I do a Lumosity run as well
Cliched, but true. a cup of coffee usually deadens my appetite but I still go for a wholegrain meal like a parfait or a protein-centric one like scrambled eggs so I can start my day right. Breakfast is definitely the most important meal of the day and I know the difference it makes in my day when I don’t have it. My go to breakfast is 2 scrambled eggs with a sprinkling of cheese. When I’m dieting, parfait in a jar and I’m good to go.
However you choose to design your own morning routine, the major key is getting up early enough to give yourself time to wake up naturally. If we start our mornings slower and give our bodies time to fully acclimatise, we will be way better prepared for the day ahead.