Ask anyone who knows me well and they'll tell you I'm a morning person. I love the still and quiet. I love to enjoy the cool air, tip toe around to make a cup of tea and soak in the day before business sets in.
I haven't always been a morning person but I decided to embrace early mornings midway through my university degree when I had a lot of early shifts and lectures. In doing this I found that an artfully crafted morning routine, or ritual, can make the start of the day something to look forward to and embrace - I just needed to set down the perfect foundation for the day and do it my way.
Now that I work from home I find my pre-work morning ritual even more important. It separates my relaxing home time from my work time and this is vital for maintaining sanity when having a home office. This is the basic structure of how I start the day. It does vary on the crazy mornings, but I try to stick to it as much as possible.
Technology can help
I love tools that assist me in maintaining healthy habits and rituals. I use fabulous to keep track of the different components of my day and ensure that I don't spend ages 'wasting' time in the morning. It offers gentle reminders for the next milestone in your ritual with pre-determined time periods set by the user. There is nothing like the satisfaction of ticking off another task as I go through my usual routine.
Rising with the day
I ideally like to start the day with a lot of time to spare, so this means getting up with the sun. I get up early with a gentle alarm and ensure my phone has been switched to flight mode before I go to sleep the night before. This means there are no distractions from notifications and emails received before I have had a chance to awaken and centre.
In my experience the easiest way to shake sleepiness off is 10 minutes of exercise first thing in the day (I do the bulk of my workouts midday or in the evening). Once I am out of bed I do 10 minutes of circuit type body weight exercises or high intensity dancing. It gets endorphins flowing and the heart rate up and often reverses moodiness if I have 'woken up on the wrong side of the bed'.
Beauty and self care
Every morning I schedule 20 minutes for self care and a beauty ritual for the day. This involves a quick shower with essential oil based shower gel, along with facial/beauty routine. I stick to the same basic weekday beauty structure Monday-Friday and always try to use products that are good for the skin and good for the planet (I have another blog post with these specifics coming soon - keep an eye out).
Quiet time with a cup of tea
Once I am dressed and prepped for the day I brew myself a cup of matcha or oolong tea and sit down for 20 minutes of quiet time. To me this looks like prayer, meditation and a devotional but if you're a non religious person I still recommend a reflective time set aside before your start to the day. This can look like quiet introspection, meditation, mantras or investigating self help practices. It's such a great way to set into the day so you are aware of yourself, your feelings and expectations.
To do lists are my favourite thing since sliced paleo bread! I find listing everything I need to do/get during the day works to reduce anxiety and increase motivation to get stuff done. Every morning I set two to do lists. One for home and blog related tasks and then another for work. In my experience its helpful to set realistic tasks and goals and prioritize into 'must do', 'good to do' and 'can do' tasks. This means the high priority tasks get targeted first and if a 'can do' task isn't completed I don't get too down on myself.
Making a social media window
In all honesty, I love hanging on social media, especially Instagram and Twitter. After I have completed my self care and reflection for the morning I take my phone off flight mode and check my favourite feeds and notifications before I begin my work day. It gives me a little window to the outside world but once I'm done with my social media break I turn my data and wi-fi off again until morning tea break. This keeps me from getting distracted while at work.
Hydrating and nourishing
While I go through my morning tasks I try to get through a litre of warm lemon water before breakfast and do any prepping for my breakfast that needs to be done, like soaking chia seeds or grilling sweet potatoes. This means I can enjoy my first meal of the day while checking work emails which is how I usually start my work day.
This essentially is the bare bones of what my morning ritual looks like and is the first of a new series on the blog called 'Nourish Thyself' where I'll be looking at practices, products and tools I use to cultivate wellness and mindfulness in my everyday life. The series will be encompassing a wide range of topics but there is a general theme of being healthy and happy. What do you do in your mornings to set a healthy structure for the rest of the day? What topics do you want to see covered on Tea & Sage coming up?