A few months ago I shared about my summer morning rhythm and here we are yet, in a new figurative and literal season. Some things are different, some things are the same. Every day is not the ideal, but when we can have a few ideal days in a row everything goes so much smoother. Before I can talk about the morning rhythm, I have to include where we are with nighttime sleep. If you have kids you know, your nights are not your own and therefore your morning energy level is not your own, and what you accomplish in the morning requires energy.
Our kids are bigger! However, more often than not a kid ends up in our bed at night. We got the two year old a full size mattress recently, and in spite of that she still insists on Mama and Daddy’s bed. Even though it clearly would be so much easier to just climb in her big bed, she comes to ours. Personally, I don’t choose hills to die on with Emmeline Joy at 2am because she will ask for a manager. Loudly.
For the most part, I feel mostly rested and human with on average 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep a night. In the winter someone is usually sick, which means there are two extremes of sleep: great restorative sleep that comes quickly, fiercely and long OR poor interrupted every 1-2 hours because coughing, stuffiness, vomiting or somebody needs water. So, my rule is that if I am sick, I sleep until the last possible minute. If someone else is sick but I am well (and was up with them all night) I still aim for the 5:30AM wake up for alone time to start my day on a positive note.
My morning rhythm can be summed up in three words: Water. Walk. Words.
Water. I start every day with a glass of water. I feel my body rejoice. I can tell if I forget my water first thing and go straight to coffee. This has so many health benefits, and really helps get the digestive system going and obviously helps with dry skin. The most simple and effective way to start your day on the right track.
Walk. On a mild day, I’ll walk outside and on Wednesdays I’ll venture to the Y for Pilates, but this is just a catch all for movement. Sometimes I stretch, or will do some yoga at home alone or I’ll venture out to an early class at a nearby Y. When I am sick, I skip this or just do some stretches. Occasionally if our house needs tidying up, I’ll lace up my Brooks and set my Apple Watch for an indoor walk and I’ll clean up downstairs (quietly).
Words. Usually, I read, but lately I’ve been trying to write! Journaling has been such a good outlet for me lately. I do have a bunch of great books on my list though, so I just kind of assess my spirit and use words accordingly, either consume or create.
There’s my rhythm. I am fairly certain I’ll keep it in the spring too, and into the summer and shift slightly as needed. I can’t even begin to truly capture what a gamechanger this has been for my mental health and happiness overall. Taking time to myself in the morning is the greatest investment in myself and costs ZERO dollars. Currently, we’re ending a few consecutive weeks of sickness so I’ve been trying to sleep as much as possible and have only been able to walk out the rhythm maybe once a week or so, but seasons are shifting and we’re getting better!
What type of things do you do for yourself in the morning? I’m always looking for ways to indulge myself before the house wakes up. Let me know in the comments!