It’s taken me a while to settle on a morning routine. In the past, my morning routine was very hectic. I would sleep in as long as I could, quickly take Pablo outside form him to do his business, take a nice warm shower, search for some clean clothes, rush off to Starbucks, drive to work and start my day (in the past, all while slightly hungover). This was very unproductive. The hectic nature of these mornings was very stressful. I actually didn’t realize how stressed I started off every day until I solidified my new morning routine.
The New Morning Routine
1. I wake before the sunrise
I do this for two reasons. First off, there is no quiet like the quiet before the sunrise. A morning filled with the noise of others rustling about to start their day is a stressor. If I am up and have started my routine, this noise has little to no effect on me.
Secondly, It sets the stage for a beautiful walk with the pup, but we’ll get to that stage later.
I have a hard time waking up when it’s completely dark, so I am utilizing technology to assist with my early rise. All of the lights in my apartment are connected to my home automation / Amazon Alexa platforms. At 4:45am my alarm begins to go off (starts quietly and gradually builds) and at 4:50am my bedroom light turns on at 50% brightness. At 4:55am the light builds to 100% brightness. Normally I am onto stage two of my routine before this happens.
I have been meditating 2 times a day for the past two months. I find meditating first thing in the morning sets the stage for a more relaxed day. It centers me, and brings me into a place of relaxation and understanding. I do this for 10-15 mins each morning.
3. Make my morning drink
I drink hot water and lemon every morning. This started after I read a blog post stating that doing so is has many health benefits. I’m not sure of the validity of that post, but it seems to work for me and it enjoy it, so I continue to do it. Read more about the benefits here.
4. Pabs (my pup) and I go for a walk
Rain / snow or shine. Hot or freezing. Pablo and I go for a minimum 1 mile walk around the neighborhood. This gives me a quick boost for the steps I need to attain for that day, and gives him time to, well… you know. If it’s super nice out, we normally walk 2-3 miles. This tires him out a bit. Trust me, a tired puppy is a good puppy.
5. Hop in a cold shower
Yup. A cold shower in the morning is actually quite refreshing once you get used to it. Actually, you never get that used to it, but that’s one of the benefits. If I am not already ‘awake’ by this time in the morning, this does the trick. It also has many other benefits, click here for a post pertaining to the benefits of cold showers.
6. Say goodbye to Pabs and head off to work (often by way of Starbucks)
At this point it around 7:20ish in the morning. Giving me plenty of time to get some Starbucks and make it over to work. I live approx. 7mins away from both, so there’s no real rush at this point. I usually arrive to work around 7:45am to get things organized before I officially start my day.
And there it is… The new and improved morning routine! I find this is the perfect routine for me to start my days centered and positive. I no longer feel stressed out or rushed in the morning. Since I stopped drinking, I am no longer hung over. I find I am more patient and open to others during the day.