As soon as I said “morning routine” you heard your alarm clock in your head didn’t you? And did you cringe? I cringed.
I used to be really good at getting up with just enough time to take a quick shower and skate out the door to get to work at a decent time. That was when I was young and wild and free. After having kids, I realized that ish doesn’t fly anymore. I tried. I really did. But I ended up less “skating” into work (effortlessly grabbing a yogurt on my way in and gracefully grabbing the door for the person behind me in my cute heels), and more like belly flopping across the finish line (or starting line, really, in this case) with a mashed banana “kiss” on my leg.
I realized I needed more margin in the morning. With the additional responsibility of getting a kid ready too, my brain was a frazzled mess as I hit the ground running, and I carried that energy around all day. I was still good at my job, but I was anxiety-ridden and TIRED.
I decided to start small. Margin-lite, if you will.
You know what’s coming, right? I’m a millennial mom. Put the pieces together, guys…
The answer was obviously yoga. 😉
And as basic as it may sound, it has helped IMMENSELY. I’ve been doing 10-15 minutes of yoga after I shower every single weekday morning for the last 4 years. NO JOKE.
As a starting point it’s extremely doable. My advice? 10-15 minutes of light & gentle physical activity. Don’t want to do it? It’s already DONE. Get the blood flowing. Turn your head upside down and stretch your muscles. Especially if you’re going to be sitting in front of a computer all day, give yourself this one warm-up so you don’t shrivel into a hunched-over, sad worker bee.
Tara Stiles has great short yoga videos on YouTube. This one is my go-to.
**The links here were not sponsored in any way, they’re just tools I use personally and I thought they might be useful for you too!!
Next, and more recently, I’ve added something else that has completely helped in a more subtle way…
There’s a concept known as “morning pages,” which I found out about after starting The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. I would highly recommend the book for anyone looking to tap into their innate creativity (which, regardless of occupation, EVERYONE could use!).
So I adopted the habit. Every morning I write whatever pops into my head for about 15 minutes while I sip my coffee (after yoga).
I’ve been doing this for about 4 months now, and I’ve realized that my mind is a repetitive, boring place. BUT! Because it’s so repetitive, I’ve also come to recognize what actually matters to me and it’s become slightly easier to prioritize and dream about things I could do to align myself with the high priorities. Travel is one theme for me. Relationships/friendships are another. Photography and creativity come up a lot too. I use it to identify gratitude I have for my existing situation as well, because #abundance.
It’s also great to just get the various nonsense out of your head and onto paper. #housekeeping
We’re up to a 30 minute buffer between you and the rat race for those of you counting. I’d recommend setting your alarm for 30 minutes earlier and doing it before everyone else gets up. It’s just straight up easier than having someone yell, “CRISS CROSS APPLESAUCE” when you sit on your yoga mat and try to focus on your breathing.
Bonus tip: If you’re feeling extra saucy you could throw on a Ted Talk while you’re getting your clothes / hair / face game on. Ted Talks rule.
So now we’ve reached the point in my morning where the kids get up and start demanding more syrup for their waffles / refusing to put on socks / torturing each other. Which I have no advice for. Send help.
At least I’ve had a few minutes to get my zen on, which makes it a whole lot less stressful to skate everybody’s asses out the door to catch the bus.