By ena ganguly
Many world leaders and savvy businesspeople cite their impeccable morning routines as one of the reasons for their success. Now, I’m not writing this with the intention to encourage you to be like these folks, because we know that they can be problematic, and oftentimes, approach their health in a capitalist sort of way, often shaking hands with fatphobia, eugenics, heterosexism and so much more.
The purpose of this blog is to encourage all my morning people readers to take advantage of the time they have at the very beginning of the day, if they can do so. Many of us have to go to our jobs early on in the morning, or have people to take care of. There are many reasons why even when we wake up early, we don’t have the luxury of some personal time. Take this with a grain of salt, and know that you can always have a morning routine that centers you, maybe just a little differently.
A morning routine can do us a lot of good when we may be short on time for the rest of the day because of our work schedule, caretaking responsibilities, and daily chores and errands. Taking anywhere from 10 minutes to two hours to center yourself and make sure you get important self care tasks done can give you the boost you need for the rest of your day.
For those who have limited time in the mornings, I encourage you to take care of yourself in small but meaningful ways in the morning. For everyone, that looks different. For instance, perhaps you water your garden, brush your teeth and take a shower. Or maybe you lay in bed a few minutes after waking up, practicing taking three deep breaths and stretching your legs and arms. If you have a little more time, perhaps you sip a cup of hot tea or coffee in your garden or on your favorite couch as you read a book, journal or look out the window, before you begin getting ready for your day. You decide how you want to flow those tasks in the morning and indulge in those tasks, being present to how they nourish you.
No matter what you decide to do with 10 or 30 minutes of your time in the morning, try to do it without looking at a screen. Our bodies are just waking up, so shocking them into stimulation through apps, inboxes, and news feeds can be a lot.
For folks who have more than 20 minutes to give in the morning, consider getting in some exercise. Even 30 minutes of physical activity can do our minds and bodies a whole lot of good, promoting circulation and elevating our overall mood. Please do be mindful when engaging in exercise. Do not move in ways that hurt your body. Pain is not gain! As we know, our bodies can be stiff and sensitive to sudden movement when we first get up, so practice gentleness when doing any morning exercises, and enjoy the process, instead of hurting your body just to get to the end of a 30 minute session.
Light stretching, a gentle walk, and some mindful breathing can be enough to start off our day in the right direction. Our bodies are so amazing that way!
The power of a consistent morning routine can go a really long way for us, so make the most of your mornings, and know that, with a little bit of planning, you can always change up your routine depending on your schedule for that day.
This blog is not to be a substitute for professional medical counseling, diagnosis, or treatment. Always request the medical advice from a qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.