Do you have a morning routine? If you’re anything like me, it probably goes something along the line of… Alarm goes off. Press snooze too many times. Shout at child to get dressed. Shout at dog to go out for a wee. Drink coffee with bleary, half closed eyes. Jump in shower. Use shampoo as shower gel and shower gel as shampoo as you’re still half asleep. Pull some sort of outfit on – at least it’s clean. And just about manage to leave for the school run/work on time…
To be honest, I just thought everyone had a chaotic start to the morning like me. That was until I met Andrea and Nick, who told me that they got up at 6am most mornings to meditate. It kickstarted their day, making for a more gentle and positive beginning. So, determined to try and begin my days in a little less frenetic way, I decided to quiz my friends, some of who are real grown-ups and also follow a routine. Here’s what I learnt – and what I’m currently trying to incorporate into my morning. Wish me luck…
My organised friends not only go to bed early, but they also get prepared. One friend in particular is a stickler for going to bed at 9pm every week day night, so that when she wakes at 6am, she feels refreshed and ready to tackle the day – rather than the snooze button. She also gets as organised as she can the night before – kids’ lunches made, her clothes chosen and ironed, bag packed.
This latter bit of organisation is really working for me at the moment, but Netflix is really interrupting my early bedtime. Must try harder.
The thought of actually sitting still for 10 minutes is a slight paradox for me when it comes to the mad morning routine, however, I was determined to learn from our lovely TGIOF founders and try and meditate every morning. Experts say it helps clear your mind and set you up for the day. However, I’m not sure those experts had to contend with howling huskies, loud children and a husband looking for socks.
Being proactive though, I decided to swap the meditation session for a gentle bit of yoga instead. A few downward dogs and some spinal twists and not only did I feel calmer, but my body felt more like it wanted to get up and move.
‘You’ve got to put some bangers on in the morning,’ one mate told me. Apparently, it helps get her moving and also changes her mindset from very asleep to very awake. Music is known for a being a mood booster and playing your favourite tunes can not only change your outlook, but also give you a physical energy boost.
We love music in our family so this wasn’t hard to incorporate and actually listening to a bit of uplifting music – our current favourite is Rudimental – made me feel a lot happier and a lot more willing to deal with the small child’s cries of ‘where are my pants?’
Until I went freelance, I was really good at having breakfast in the morning, either at home or once I got to work. However, now home is also my office, I’m not always so good in the brekkie stakes, which is a shame as it’s my favourite meal of the day. I am now trying to eat a nice healthy breakfast – sat down and not on the run – for at least half the week. If you’ve got time, eggs are a brilliant choice and a fabulous brain booster, but you can’t go wrong with porridge oats.
Studies have shown that children who ate porridge for breakfast scored up to 20% higher on their tests than those who didn’t. It’s super easy to make and you can add tasty toppings to change it up. My latest discovery is banana and a few little chunks of dark chocolate. It’s really decadent, fills me up and makes a happy start to the day.
What does your morning routine look like? Share your tips below
Author Theresa Cheung expalins how these four ‘M’ words can help you cope with uncertainty and get you through any challenging time.