Embracing A New Day
This morning I woke up at 10am. It’s a Sunday and it feels great.
No morning routine, just a coffee and back to bed with my laptop. I’m embracing my routine-less Sunday morning and I expect to still be in my pajamas well into lunchtime, what a time to be alive!
But this can’t be everyday. During the week, I have work to do and places to be.
My dream morning routine goes like this:
6.00am: Wake up
6.15am: Have a coffee
6.45am: Go rock climbing (indoor bouldering)
8.30am: Shower and pick a nice outfit for work
8.55am: Head to work and sing along to the radio
Flawless. It makes me feel like I can conquer the world.
I’m now emerging out of a Melbourne winter and my morning routine has been hit and miss. Nonetheless, with a drop of discipline, it’s easy to get back on the routine train.
Here Are My Top Five Tips:
1. Is Your Bedroom A Sleep Sanctuary?
Research says that a bedroom, prime for quality sleep, should resemble a cave. This makes sense considering we used to live in caves. I like to give the cave concept a modern twist. You want the evening to be a cave and the morning to be a treehouse - fresh air, natural light and warmth. The trick is to achieve this in the same room.
Cave prep: The absence of light sends a critical signal to the body that it is time to rest. Keep the lights low and avoid using your phone before bed. Melatonin, a hormone produced in the brain's pineal gland, it’s also known as the "sleep hormone". Melatonin is your friend and if you stare at your phone, you’ll start releasing cortisol instead. The recommended bedroom temperature for adults is 15 - 20 degrees. Brrr, that sounds cold! Research shows that our body temp drops as we fall asleep so a cool bedroom temperature signals your body that it's time to sleep.
Treehouse prep: I like to sleep with light curtains so that natural light can flow into the bedroom in the morning. There is nothing more delightful than rising with the sun. Depending on the outside temperature, I like to sleep with a window slightly open to keep the air fresh in the bedroom. This also helps you rise from your slumber and fill your lungs with fresh oxygen.
2. What Tone Are You Setting For The Day?
Setting an intention for your morning routine gives it purpose - a reason to get up in the morning.
Intentions could be:
- To be grounded throughout the day
- To have more energy at work
- To have a level head (not lose it with the kids)
- To be creative
- To be productive
My intention is to create more fun and laughter in my day. This is why rock climbing or walking with a friend is my preferred activity. I’m not interested in vigorous exercise or being alone. I want to socialise, tell jokes, play with dogs, climb walls that I awkwardly fall off and find laughter in unexpected places. What is your intention for the day? What activities bring out that part of you?
3. The Golden Rule
What is your golden rule?
A golden rule is a great reminder to your sleepy self that there are simple boundaries to a morning routine. If you’re anything like me, I’m a different person when I’m tired. Her name is Sledda (Sleepy-Edda) and she can come up with very clever arguments for going back to bed or scrolling instagram within 10 seconds of waking up.
A golden rules gives Sledda some guidance in the morning; she is not allowed to check her phone until after her coffee. Some people have a ‘not-to-do-list’ including; checking emails, scrolling social media, eating breakfast straight away etc. I keep it simple with just one rule.
4. It Starts With The Night Before
You could have a genius morning routine planned, but if you went to bed at 2am, it’s going to be a bad time. We all have different schedules and commitments, but getting adequate sleep is your key to a blissful morning. Research shows it takes the brain 2 hours to wind down from the day. This means giving your brain a break from the blue light of your phone or laptop; emails, social media, TV and other visual stimulation.
Some ideas to create a peaceful evening routine:
- Read a book
- Listen to relaxing music
- Take a bath
- Pour yourself some tea (caffeine free)
- Play chess (no joke, it’s surprisingly fun and relaxing)
- Playing a musical instrument
5. Most Importantly, Pay Attention To Your Footprint
What better way to start the day than practicing kindness to our Mother Earth?
Here are a few simple tips to ensure your morning routine has a gentle footprint:
- Skip sleeping with the air conditioning as much as possible
- LED light bulbs in the bedroom
- Does your morning routine involve driving? Can you incorporate some driving-free mornings to reduce your carbon footprint?
- Bring a KeepCup if you’re buying a coffee
- Three books that will provide insight into climate crisis for your night-time reading: Dark Emu, The Weather Makers and The Fate of Food.
There are hundreds of examples of fabulous morning routines online. They are generally a combination of exercise (cardio, weights, yoga etc) mixed in with certain foods and drinks (coffee, tea, breakfast, vitamins) and topped off with some meditation. There isn’t one morning routine that is the best, it’s about finding what’s right for you. I hope that the tips above help you lay the foundations to discover a morning routine that works for you.
Remember, you can always get a friend involved to keep yourself accountable. It doesn’t have to be perfect straight away, give yourself a couple of months to figure it out. At the end of the day, it’s about creating a morning that you love and removing barriers to consistently achieving it.
About the Author: Edda is the Co-Founder and CEO of Undress Runways