For the past few weeks I have been taking a much slower and more deliberate approach to waking up in the mornings and it has proven to be a nice change. I was having trouble for months waking up early; previously in my life I had been an early riser but stress and other stimuli were changing that habit and not for the better. I was staying in bed later and later but not feeling any more rested when I did finally rouse myself.
I cannot pinpoint when I changed; I simply know that I am waking earlier, usually feeling much more rested, and just taking a bit of time in the morning to fire up. I am usually rising without my alarm, but I have added a pre-alarm, a recurring task that will chime once, but not blare at my like a traditional alarm clock. That seems to be all I need to start the wakeup process. Somedays I get up as soon as I hear that chime. Other days I may wait another few minutes, but rarely do I stay in bed until my regular alarm goes off.
From there it is a matter of slow and methodical actions: visit bathroom if needed, get a tall glass of cool water – a very important step I have found – , turn on one light and just stop for a few moments while I drink the water. The water helps to jump start the metabolism, and the single light is not enough to cause me to wince, but simply get the tiredness out of my system. Many days this is not really necessary if I open the blinds and let the morning light come in, but today is dark so I included it.
After my water is finished, I prep my morning coffee. This is another area where I am continuing to make changes as I want to begin to eliminate caffeine from my diet, but that is still a work in progress so I will go over my process right now. Recently my coffee process is to freshly grind the beans; fill my kettle; add the beans to the press; boil the water; pour and wait. I make enough coffee for one large mug. The brew is pretty strong, but very smooth. No sugar, no cream, simply coffee.
Sip and enjoy.
For a while that is all I will do. And that seems to be the key. I am adding breaks into my beginning routine. Not rushing about to get ready, not jumping straight into the day, but savoring the morning and the peace.
I move on to breakfast after a few minutes keeping it consistent and simple and high in protein. A few eggs and a little sausage plus some berries if I have them or some nuts. Cook slowly, eat slowly, keep the distractions to a minimum. I may read for pleasure or I may just sit there. (Today I am writing this which I should not be doing, but I wanted to get this down while fresh.) Once done, clean up the dishes I used; a very quick process since by keeping it simple I only have one pan to clean and two utensils.
From there I am pretty much ready to start my day. A little light exercise in the form of a walk or some squats. A quick cold shower. Take care of anything I need to do before I need to leave the house. (A new habit is to try to be sure the house is always neat enough to entertain guests at any time. I am still working on this one but gettings closer.) That is about all.
A slow, methodical routine to ease into the day rather than rushing around and introducing unwanted stress before the day even truly begins.