Who are those people happily skipping to the gym or barre or yoga at 6am with smiles on their faces? Well, truth be told, it’s often me, but that wasn’t always the case. The thing is, I’ve never been a morning person. The mere sight of the sun would have me screaming defeat and hiding under my pillow for at least another 2 hours, until I discovered a morning ritual.
That first crack of the sun is a sacred time. A time when the world is slowly whirring to life, but not in over-drive yet. There’s silence, stillness….peace, even. And it’s magical. But there’s more to becoming a morning person than just setting your alarm clock. For me, it was about creating a morning ritual that enables me to start the day on the best foot. No bullshit, no stress, no one else but me.
It used to revolve around mediation and often yoga, but since having Arlo I’ve had to be realistic about what I can and can’t achieve. Yes, the whole point of a morning ritual is to make it about you, but any mother will tell you that’s almost laughable. So I’ve had to be smart and trick the system. Here’s what I’ve done…
Step 1: BREATHE
I’m truly blessed with a child who sleeps. A lot. We put him to bed between 6 and 7pm and don’t hear a peep until 7:15am. Don’t despair mums of non-sleepers, it took us A LOT of work to get here, but now we’re reaping the rewards. Anyway, as Arlo isn’t up until after 7 that allows me time to either go to Barre early in the morning to get my exercise done or stay in bed for a relaxing meditation upon waking. Rather than getting up, I use that time to focus on my breath, settling into the day ahead in the most relaxing way possible. You can do this, too. Whether you have a baby or not, stay in bed for an extra 5 minutes (or 55, who’s counting) and just take a few really deep breaths, focusing your attention inwards as you scan your body and let go of any tension.
Step 2: CONNECT
The reason I’m reluctant to jump out of bed for anything other than exercise is that my favourite part of my morning ritual actually takes place in bed. When Arlo wakes up, Alex goes and gets him from his cot and brings him into bed with me, where he has his morning ‘milky’ and we snuggle and connect and he tells me (in his own little language) how he slept and what he dreamed of. It’s a beautiful time. A sacred time. Where we can all just connect and feel love oozing out from the get-go. Ask yourself who you’re connecting with first thing in the morning. Are you connecting more with your phone or TV than your partner, flatmate, children or pet?
Step 3: PLAY
I’ll let you in on a little secret, I’m incredibly shit at dancing. But I LOVE it. I love the way it makes Alex laugh and I love the way music lifts Arlo into an excited frenzy. So, I’ve started incorporating dancing into my morning ritual. I put on Happy by Pharrell and I bounce around the room with Arlo on my hip and he squeals with delight. He even claps along. Alex is yet to discover the wonder but definitely enjoys watching on. The point? We’re having fun. I think play time has been lost on us. It’s been replaced by a sense of urgency, which, rather ironically, sucks all the lifeblood out of us and is the exact antithesis of fun. It’s boring and bland and stressful. So instead I encourage you to make more time for fun in the morning. Dance, sing, do handstands… play… and see where it takes you.
Step 4: NURTURE
Obviously food plays a big role in my morning ritual to ensure I’m fuelling my body (and my family’s body) in the best way possible. Most of the time it starts with a piece of seasonal fruit, before moving onto a smoothie or our homemade wonder muesli, but more on those later. What do you have for breakfast? Are you giving yourself the best start possible, or is a cronut and coffee exactly what you need each day?
Tell me Happies…
Do you have a morning ritual?
Do you want to start one?