My Mornings

The importance of starting the day with a routine

It's 5AM, and I wake gently from some vivid dreams into the dark of the predawn morning. And I don't use an alarm clock. Now that it's March in Massachusetts, I naturally wake to starlight and stillness. Sometimes I get up, sit in my window seat, and stare at Orion twinkling up in the sky. Other times, I smile, give thanks for another beautiful day, roll over and go back to sleep. If a friend invites me, I'll walk and watch the sunrise with them. I have options for how I want to start my day. And so do you.

Do you have a mindfulness morning routine? Mine is pretty peaceful. After I wake up, either before or with the sunrise, I go to the bathroom, scrape my tongue and then turn the kettle on. Sometimes I'll sip a glass of room-temperature water and take a probiotic; other times, I'll have hot lemon water with honey; other times, I'll drink tea. Tea time is a special time I make with myself. In any given week, I'll switch my tea daily, so I drink a different type of tea each morning: white, green, black, Pu'er, rooibos, herbal, and fruit. While I sip my tea, I read or listen to something spiritual or an app like Insight Timer, and sometimes I journal.

Then I head to the bathroom, shower, brush my teeth, check the weather and get dressed. I'll sometimes oil my body with organic coconut oil in summer and fall and sesame oil in winter and spring. This is an ayurvedic practice. I also will put a little coconut or Nasya oil on the insides of my nostrils because this helps prevent dryness and relaxes my nervous system, believe it or not. Then it's off to the kitchen to make a simple breakfast.

Breakfast is a small meal that keeps me satisfied and energized until lunch. I prefer a warm breakfast in the Fall with things like oatmeal, farina, grits, or granola with warmed milk. I'll eat more protein on the weekends, like eggs and sausages, with my breakfast. I eat fruit alone. I like a little natural sweet with pure maple syrup or honey, and a little savory as my breakfast flavors. I take my vitamins and herbs. After breakfast, I start my day's work.

This is when I plan my day, turn on my laptop, look at social media for a minute, check my planner and start working, taking the day one hour at a time. I exercise outside, so I wait until the warmest part of the day to do that, around 2-4 pm each day. That's when you'll see me riding my bicycle or hiking in the woods.

I love my morning routine because it helps calm my mind as I start each day nurturing myself in the ways that I most need to. My body moves gently and intentionally, not rushing around or dragging like a heavy weight. I can stretch and do some yoga if I want or not. And my spirit is inspired by the gift of the new day and what potential I have to make it unique. My mind is fresh and open.

I prefer not to talk to anyone for the first hour or two after I wake up. I like my quiet time because that is a loving time where I center myself, and then the rest of the day flows by me like a steady river, and I am like a solid, beautiful rock, smoothed out by the day and steadily planted; sure of myself and my intentions. I think everyone should have a morning routine that works with their schedule. If you don't have one yet, try it. Just one little change at a time can make a significant shift in your outlook and mood.

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I like my quiet time because that is a loving time where I center myself

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