Benjamin Franklin used to say “Early to bed, early to rise, make a man healthy, wealthy and wise” and he was so right. But, if you never test yourself, at least for two weeks, you will never fully and truly understand the feelings, the sensation, the good mood that a series of activities in the first morning will cheer you up.
Some people are night owls and there is nothing wrong with it: first, we have to understand and listen to our body and our needs. If we try to become a morning person but we struggle, we feel loose and depressed all day, maybe morning it is not our cup of tea.
Instead, if you would like to wake up earlier and try to figure out the right flow for you and your body, it could turn in an ideal moment for yourself.
The first time I’ve heard about the morning routine, I was at university and I was watching one of my favorites youtube video, by Kalyn Nicholson, and I have started to understand that the morning routines wave was starting to grow in that period of time.
I’ve researched (those kinds of videos were and are still my favorites to watch) and I’ve discovered the book “The Miracle Morning” by Hal Elrod. I’ve bought it and start reading it: page by page, I was looking forward to finish it in order to practice.
Things went in another way and I’ve drop off my morning routine for a while; then I’ve tried again, and again I’ve abandoned.
At a certain point, I’ve thought that I was not supposed to be an early bird and I felt very disappointed by myself.
Today, several years passed and I understand the biggest mistake that I have done: I was not ready, probably I was too young and my daily life was too much full of things to do and parties to go.
At university, we must have fun, live freely and hakuna matata!
At the age of 25 I finally feel ready. At the beginning of 2022, I started to challenge myself: I’ve set a challenge for each month of the year, in order to build a little bit more consistency in my life.
May was the month for becoming a morning person. And I made it. And now I want to share with you my experience, which does not necessarily work for you, but for sure it could be a starting point.
Let’s start with the basics.
What is a morning routine?
To let you better understand what is a morning routine, I am going to ask a little help, by quoting google:
“It’s a set of habits or motions that you go through when you wake up. It helps to set your day up in the right way and can have some drastic effects on your focus and productivity. You could do anything from exercising and journaling to reading and meditating”.
Basically, the night before, you grab your notebook (or your phone, as you prefer) and you create your to do list for the morning. This will help you to focus on what you are going to do next morning, by going to bed with a goal in your head, which will increase the chance to make you out of the bed.
Why it is so beneficial?
Have you ever watched those American movies where the characters are having conversation during their mornings, sometimes they’re having shower, sometimes they’re writing (Elena, in The Vampire Daries) and, maybe, you ask yourself: “Is this real? Do they really find the time, in the morning, to do all these activities? I am just able to get dressed, have a coffee, get in the car and pray for the traffic”.
Well, that moment is called morning routine or, I prefer to call it, Me time
Having an hour (or better, two) to enjoy yourself and your own time will motivate you through all the day and it will prepare you to face the rough tasks.
When you think “I don’t have time for myself” well, here is your time and believe me there is not better time than this, because everyone is quiet in the house and you can absolutely do whatever you want.
This will prepare you to be open with the others during the day, to face the several problems at work and to stop feeling frustrate because you don’t dedicate quality time just for you.
It will help your focus, your mental health and you can discover hobbies that you did not know. You can also become a sportive person!
Ok, one step at a time!
Let’s go deep and discover the 5 secrets for a Slow Morning Routine
The more you test yourself, the more you understand your body, its needs and your inner goals.
For example, I am not a sportive person, I’ve never found the time for it and, during these years, I wanted to start meditating, but again, never find the “perfect” moment (the word “perfect” should be erase from every dictionary of the world. It creates too many problems).
After several tests, I understood that my body, once get up, needs movement and if I dedicate 20 minutes to yoga and 10 minutes to meditation, my day could be less stressed, especially at work.
After just two weeks, if I wake up without doing my morning routine, I don’t feel good and I feel like I’m not having my ideal day.
I have also understood that I can’t start my day looking at the screen: first, I thought that maybe I could write my blog posts in the morning, so I’ve tried and it has been a disaster. I had to close my laptop because my eyes were suffering.
I need first to do something with no commitment. For example, after my yoga session and my meditation with Meditopia App (which I highly, highly recommend you), I enjoy reading some pages of my current book or a blog post.
Otherwise, when I don’t go to work in the morning, which means that I have more time to dedicate to my morning routine, I really enjoy writing down my “morning pages”, which are just a stream of consciousness (invented by James Joyce) of my thoughts, trying to be as much free as I should. None is going to read it, so who cares for the grammar and the content: the important is to clear your mind.
These are my activities: when I finish my morning routine, I walk out my dog (I have a beautiful park near home) and I spend half an hour walking with him. I try to just walk, so no emails, no calls, no podcasts (okay, sometimes I listen to some inspiring podcasts, I admit it).
It is fundamental to learn how to do one thing at a time, because it has been shown that it is not true that we are multitasking beings, this is just a skill that our era required from us.
We are humans and, in order not to feel stressed and overwhelmed, it is very important to focus on what we are doing in this precise moment.
Hence, when I go to the park with my dog I try to focus my attention, my eyes, my love only to him: I have no time all the day for him and once I am with him at the park, he deserves all my attentions. I smile watching him play with his ball and I love my me time surrounded by nature, which is another important aspect of our life that we have totally forgot.
How do I accomplish this?
After this long introduction, here my 5 secrets for a slow morning routine: these are my activities, feel free to change them, based on your needs.
Enjoy your beauty routine
It may sound silly but, since I find my cozy beauty routine, I wake up happier and, each morning, I am looking forward to moisturize my skin. It is a simple cuddle and I’ve started to notice that my skin gets better. I discover a set of beauty products owning to an Italian enterprise, Balique, which I highly recommend it. The smells remind you freshness, nature, sweet flowers, good vegetal oils and it is the first time in my life that I finally find something that actually work for my acne.
2. Create a ritual
My personal ritual is preparing myself a cup of Matcha Latte: I’ve chosen it for its incredible benefits in terms of health and I’ve discovered that coffee does not wake me up first in the morning.
Matcha tea has a great dose of caffeine too and it works a lot to me. Before it, I always start my day with a glass of warm water, in order to prepare my body for the yoga session.
Other ideas for creating a healthy and nice ritual could also include preparing a delicious breakfast (pancakes or porridge), say a pray, light a candle, etc.
3. Work out: a must!
If you don’t have time during the day, this is the right moment. Choose your thing (yoga, pilates, running, swimming, a regular stretching session) and start doing it. Day after day, you will start to feel more energized and aware of your body.
4. Reading/Journaling/Crosswords: it’s up to you
During breakfast, especially when I have to go to work, I like reading some pages of my current book (nowadays, I am reading Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport) or a blog post, or maybe an inspiring newsletter.
The thing is: try to find something in order to enrich your own skills and your knowledges, because education is the new currency of this age. Never stop learning something new.
5. Loose yourself in the nature/ Bike or walk to work
if you don’t have time for a nice walk in a park, try to move your body to reach your next destination. We are constantly sit and, guess what, humans are made to move: we have been nomads and we used to travel long distances on foot.
Moreover, did you know that Steve Jobs used to spend at least four hours per day just walking? Abram Lincoln used to do the same thing.
It has been proved that the best ideas come up while we are walking.
What you are not supposed to do…
A few tips in order not to give up:
- If the night before you went to bed late, don’t wake up early: try to understand how many hours you need because each of us is different
- Don’t look at the screens right after you wake up, especially WhatsApp or Instagram: it could put you in a bad mood
- First work out, then sedentary activities, otherwise you will never wake up
- Don’t suddenly crave for coffee, find your delicious alternative
- Have a regular sleep hygiene: try to find your night time schedule and try to fit in it as much as you can, if you really want to feel the benefits of a morning routine
- Allow yourself to stay in the bed: I suggest you to decide (maybe one day per week or per month or every two weeks, whenever you need) to sleep with no alarm on. We are not robots and it help us understand why it is so important to us to wake up earlier
Extra Tip: The Bathroom Strategy
Maybe you already heard about this but trust me, it works: put your alarm/phone in the bathroom and don’t go back to sleep once it rings. There are several apps that helps not to crawl again in the bed, but the bathroom strategy really works, because you are ready for your cozy beauty routine.
Not all the periods of our life time are the same, seasons change, our mood too: be kind to yourself, don’t push you under pressure because maybe there is a period when it is not easy to keep going, so just go with the flow.
In winter, for example, it is so much difficult to respect the morning routine (because of the cold or the dark outside) and once a wise Welsh woman told me “ages and stages”.
If you’re 20 and you want to start a morning routine, sometimes you have to sacrifice your social life, but it doesn’t need to be. You can be both, without punish yourself because you did not respect a morning. You are 20 and you have all the right to have fun and go to sleep at 4AM
Or, if you’re passing through a rough time and you don’t feel in the mood to do something that cheers you up, it is ok. None is pressing you, if not you.
Morning routine is not a duty, it’s just something that helps people to live a more regular and slow life, in order to appreciate our body, to enrich our mind and to live a more conscious life.
I would like to conclude with one last tip:
try it for at least two weeks, maybe a month and then it may happen that you are more a night owl.
Or, morning after morning, you may really understand what Benjamin Franklin meant and becoming healthier, wealthier and wiser.
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