How do you start off your day?
Do you get jolted awake by your blaring alarm, reluctantly roll out of bed, hit the shower with your eyes barely opened and rush to prepare to leave for school or work?
If that is how you wake up every day, I bet you really, really hate getting up every morning.
Many years ago, I used to be that person. I used to set my alarm to have just sufficient time to get ready to leave home. I felt like I shouldn’t allocate more time than is absolutely necessary because I should spend more of those time in bed. (I was going to bed late every night, so every extra minute of sleep was precious to me. Or so I led myself to believe.)
Fast forward to more recent times, when I became more aware of living intentionally and just generally being more wholesome. Having adopted a more wholesome morning routine, I find myself looking forward to waking up in the morning, even when I was feeling stressed out at work the day before. With my current morning routine, I have so much more time for myself, and I am definitely way more productive than I used to be.
This is what I do on a weekday morning (I wake up at 6.00am on a weekday morning).
1. Set a gentle alarm
I cannot for the life of me stand loud alarms. They send my heart racing by jolting me awake, and no one wants to start off their day like that.
I choose a gentle alarm. One that gently eases me awake. I find that the sound of birds chirping work really well for me. Of course, I am a light sleeper, so the slightest sound will wake me up.
2. Splash face with cold water
This never fails to wake me up. It will also wash away the sleep in my eyes, which helps to keep my eyes “awake”, if you know what I mean.
There is no room for procrastination for me on this one. If I leave it for “later”, “later” will probably not happen any time soon. In fact, I wear my workout clothes to sleep now so I really have no excuse not to go straight to the gym. I have a pretty adequate gym at my place, so that helps.
This is something new that I have been trying to incorporate into my morning routine lately. After working out, I will take just 5 minutes to meditate by the pool side. This helps to calm my mind down and to help me mentally prepare myself for what’s going to come. It also helps my body to cool down from the workout and for me to get some fresh air.
5. Write my Morning Pages
I have to admit that sometimes, I do not have much time to write my Morning Pages. I thought about getting up earlier (5.30am maybe?), but I’m not sure how doable will that be for me, because with all that I have to do in the evenings, I typically can’t get to bed earlier than 10.00pm.
But I try to do this whenever I can. I know that the conventional Morning Pages call for 3-pages of streams of consciousness, but I definitely do not have time to write 3 pages.
So I decided to write just 1 page (sometimes 2). Hey, it’s better than nothing, right?
6. Prepare breakfast
I usually pack my breakfast and have it at the office. My go to breakfast is either muesli with almond milk, or overnight oats.
On days when I have shorter workout sessions, I will eat out near my office. This will be the highlight of my morning, where I get to enjoy my coffee alone with a book (either for reading or for writing).
7. Shower and all that boring routine stuffs
Once I’m done with all the above, I will hit the shower, do my skincare routine (whilst watching a YouTube video; this is how I try to multitask lol), and just do all that I need to do before leaving for work.
8. Leave for work
And that marks the end of my weekday morning routine.
This morning routine works really well for me. Starting the day off this way puts me in a state where I am more calm and focused throughout my day. It also gives me my much treasured Me Time to do all the things that matter to me.
I used to try to have my Me Time in the evening, but I realised that when evening comes, I am usually too tired to have any form of willpower. I will feel exhausted both mentally and physically, which means I will neither write (because that requires mental energy) nor workout (because I feel too physically tired to). Instead, I will just binge watch videos on YouTube, thinking I deserve a break.
So how do you start your day?