What exactly are those « morning routines » that are all the rage on the internet ?
Why do some people feel the need to get up at 5am to do… whatever it is they do ? From yoga, to meditation, or writing a blog article or… well, whatever.
Ok, first, DO NOT BE ALARMED.
What a « morning routine » truly is, is something that’s meant do DO YOU GOOD. If you cringe at the idea of getting up early, if your body has lit all the warning beacons and is shouting « I NEED MORE SLEEP THAN THAT »… then, don’t get up early ! YOUR morning routine may well be « sleep as much as you need to, eat a croissant while giggling at the newest youtube video of your favourite humorist ».
That’s the thing with morning routines : we hear a lot about yoga and meditation and green things in bowls or juices, and powdered algae or maca or turmeric, but it’s exactly like positive affirmations : if yours it to be effective, it has to give you PLEASURE. It has to do you good. It has to be designed to bring you something you need. So, don’t just use an other person’s routine, unless you have tried it and found it totally awesome. Actions that make you feel like a slave to your schedule, calendar, phone or watch are no good. Well, actions that make you feel like a slave to anything, really, are no good.
The things we do have an impact, yes. But the energy we are in when we do them has a far far greater impact. If you have read Zero Limit, by Joe Vitale and Stanley Ihaleakala Hew Len (yes, he has a long name, he’s Hawaiian, and it’s a smashingly beautiful name), you may remember an anecdote to this effect. Joe Vitale, after spending a day with Dr Len, proposed dinner and took him to his favourite burger restaurant, and they had a cheeseburger. When they left, he suddenly realized that he had taken a spiritual teacher to a place where they serve… well… junk food.(Don’t get me wrong, I think it was high-level junk food. Probably home-baked buns, juicy beef from a farm… I’m not suggesting they went to Mc Donalds. But yet, they didn’t exactly eat salad). He kind of went red and asked what Dr Len though about it. Well, the good Mr Len said, with a broad smile that « it was the best cheeseburger he ever had ».
The lesson here (and it was repeated in an other anecdote when Joe Vitale lit a cigar) is that our energy matters more than the tangible, palpable things we do. And this very energy transforms completely the results we are getting from the whole experience. So, YES, a coffe and a piece of bread with butter and jam CAN do you as much good as a bowl filled with green things (no offense meant to the green things. But don’t eat live frogs, please).
Use your common sense : I’m not recommending that you ate 200gr of sugar for breakfast (especially if you have diabetes) but if a green juice make you feel like you want to cry, don’t try to force yourself to have it.
A morning routine is simply something that puts you on the right track for your day. So, the contents are bound to change, because we are not the same person every day. Some days, we won’t be hungry, some days, we’ll want to have a roasted wild boar on toast. Some day, we’ll feel like we need to move our body around and some days we’ll want to soak in a hot bath until our body remembers how to walk.
In a nutshell, I’d say that your routine must care for :
– your body
– your emotions
– your mind/intellect if it requires it
So, as we have seen, your body way or may not want breakfast, a bit of exercice/stretching (for people with a sore back, a little stretching can save you a lot of pain. I’m not doing it to do sport, believe me, I’m doing it because not being able to breathe because your diaphragm is stuck SUCKS.), and some care (shower ? Bath ? A bit of hair-styling ? Adequate clothes colours to match today’s mood ?)
Your emotions need something good and juicy to welcome you to your day. That’s the moment when you give a big hug to your partner/children/pet/ yourself. Sending a text or mail to a loved one can be super joy inducing. When I was in high school and my two first years of university, I used to send an email to my best friend and one to my boyfriend.
Listening to upbeat music (or soothing music, or any music your soul wants) is good. Reading or watching something funny works wonders. Reading Terry Pratchett’s novels is pure magic for me.
And finally, if you have a big intellect that wants to be used early in the morning… do anything that makes it sparkle : read articles, write a blog… Same goes when it’s your creativity that’s tickling you. If you need to write, sing, paint, dance or knit something before you go to work, do it.
So, you get it ? A routine is bespoke. You don’t want to overthink it, and you want to give yourself the gift of improvising what’s needed for today. Now and again, I really want to cook some crêpes for breakfast because nothing else feels attracive to eat. Other days, I’ll rush to the nearest shop to get some milk because there is none in the house. And on some days, coffee at a certain place will be compulsory. Treat yourself well ! Imagine your best friend is taking care of you.
Yoga and meditation and card-pulling are fine, of course. But they are fine because they do you good. Not because they are fashionable or because your coach/healer/teacher does them. There is only one of you, so, don’t try to put on somebody else’s clothes ;)