Feeling like time has become irrelevant? Consider beginning or trying a new routine.
I’m taking a pause from travel to get a little more personal in this post and to remind myself (and maybe you too) how important it is to take the time to care for ourselves right now.
We are almost all practicing shelter-in-place and SO MANY OF US are working from home now. Time seems to be losing some of its meaning (I mean, what day IS IT anyway?!) It’s becoming clear, at least to me, that we could REALLY use some more structure to get our day started. While staying safe at home – routine is KING! So I thought I would share my own morning routine with you. You can use it for yourself or maybe it will give you some ideas to add to your own existing routine. NB: I try to do these things every day. Do I always succeed? Nope. I’m human. But when I DO manage to get all of this in with regularity, my day ALWAYS goes much better than on days when I don’t do it.
Consistency is key! Do the same thing EVERY DAY no matter what.
I’m simply going to share what works for me. You can think about doing all of it, incorporating some of it into your existing routine, or saying, “shine this nonsense! I’m staying in bed!” I hope you might not do the latter, but hey—we’re in the middle of a pandemic, so I’ll cut you some slack, dear one.
I set an alarm for whatever time I think I need to wake up and give myself ample time before I HAVE to start working.
I like to try and begin work no later than 10 am so I set my alarm for 8 am. I often wake up on my own MUCH earlier…like 4am for those of you who follow me on Facebook. We’ve got TEAM 4, a small crew who are for one reason or another awake at that ungodly hour. Then I pad on auto-pilot slowly to the kitchen and make my coffee (in silence so nobody has to die.)
I drink my coffee black (like my soul… JUST KIDDING!) —maybe—
and made in an AeroPress.
It’s important to note that I like to find really good coffee roasted by small businesses like a couple of my favorites in Chattanooga, TN
Share your favorite coffee suppliers with me in the comments! I’m always looking for new places to source good stuff.
I sit down with my coffee at my laptop or phone and begin to read some edifying material whilst listening to peaceful music. (I also like to employ the word whilst whenever possible.)
Do as much or as little of this part as you like or have time for, just don’t skip it altogether. We have to learn new things and build ourselves up. Also, don’t like peaceful music? No problem! Crank up whatever makes you happy in the morning.
What do you love to listen to in the morning? Classical? Jazz? Rap? Punk? Metal? I’m curious to know!
While Staying Safe At Home – Routine Is KING!
Every day I start out by reading something from the following:
~ Learn a new word and use it in a sentence at least once that day, if not more than once.
I subscribe to Wordsmith’s A Word a Day. You can too! Click HERE
~ One of the things I like to read is something from my friend and mentor, Arno Ilgner, founder of The Warriors Way.
He is a trainer for high-performance rock climbers. He’s written several books in several languages (I helped edit the French version) and teaches all over the world. Here is a lesson from his website: The Warriors Way – Mental Training | Rock Climbing
Even if you don’t climb, his lessons are universally meaningful. The newsletter is fantastic! SUBSCRIBE HERE.
~ Then I read something from Tricycle Magazine.
Usually, I choose one of their Daily Dharma emails. SUBSCRIBE HERE. Sometimes I will create my own breathing meditations based on the reading and will come back to them throughout the day. I definitely use the reading to re-center myself.
~ I also read at least one poem every day.
Poetry is something that can truly feed our souls. Subscribe to a poem a day from Poets.org. SUBSCRIBE HERE. Or to POME, a simple poem a day “newsletter” with nothing but a poem delivered to your inbox. SUBSCRIBE HERE.
~ Last, but certainly not least, I read something from Brainpickings by Maria Popova.
I’ve been reading Brainpickings with great regularity for over a decade now. And I can tell you that nothing I’ve ever run across comes close to being as edifying as reading Maria’s commentary along with the meaningful material she quotes and shares in her long-running newsletter. There is something uplifting and thoughtful in every single edition and a massive archive of material to visit. Among my very favorite things she’s ever done is to create the profoundly beautiful event The Universe in Verse. Here is the 2018 show for your viewing pleasure:
And do not even THINK about missing out on this year. They are doing it virtually and you will not be able to view it in its entirety after due to licensing issues. So be sure to watch the live version. The 2020 Universe in Verse is broadcasting from Pioneer Works at 4:30PM EST on Saturday, April 25.
Next, I do some kind of exercise and always BEFORE I start working.
This ENSURES that it will happen. For me, if I don’t do it before everything else, it most likely won’t happen. You can always do more later, but you MUST do something now.
I have a mini workout that I do that’s composed of the following:
~ I begin with easy bent-knee pushups or I do them against the kitchen counter (I usually do around 30.)
~ Then 100 pliés on pointe in second position (on your toes with feet spread wide apart and basically do a mini squat) More or less just like in this video. Start at 2:15. And if you’re anything like me, you’ll want to keep it on MUTE!
~ After that, I sit on the edge of a chair and do straight leg lifts until failure.
~ If I don’t do the mini-workout, I will AT LEAST do 5 A and 5 B Sun Salutations. This usually leads to a little more yoga, which is great!
I sometimes lie in savasana after my yoga practice and meditate for a bit or
Shower and get dressed for the day.
I pretend I am really going to work. I really AM going to work, so it should feel like it. Even though I’ve worked independently and remotely for over a decade, I’m finding that in this current climate, it REALLY helps me to define my work hours like a traditional workweek.
So I put on my eyeliner, fix my hair and dress for work.
Breakfast! Don’t skip it.
I REALLY don’t like to eat breakfast until long after I wake up. So I save it until after all of the other items above. But if you need to eat right away, just move these tasks around to suit your own schedule.
I often make my own juices and smoothies or will have a simple bowl of muesli with plain yogurt and some berries.
Review my daily calendar and journal
I have a look at my calendar and my task list for the day and prepare to complete it. I’ve recently been trying out the bullet journal method. Have you tried it? Is there something that works for you?
That’s IT! Then I sit down to work.
I change the music to something a little more lively, yet not distracting and I get down to business! I have added one more thing later in the day since we do seem to have more time on our hands. I am watching training videos to become more specialized and educated in my field. And I’m currently taking a photoshop class and will then take a class to better know my camera.
Have you added any new classes or skills during this time? What are you learning?
Now that we understand that while Staying Safe At Home – Routine Is KING, I’d LOVE to hear about your own morning routines. Do you use one? Are you consistent with it? Leave yours in the comments or
Stay safe and well out there!?