Morning time. I love the early hours with the day stretched ahead, full of moments not yet experienced, the promise of a fresh to do list, and the luxury of time in which to pause before diving into the day.
When Elena was a newborn, the morning was my chance to catch a couple extra hours of sleep after a restless night. I would hand her over to Marcus around 6am and crash until 8am, then groggily wake as he headed out for the day. Those days (okay, months) were all about survival and I missed being able to savor the morning.
Now that Elena is sleeping through the night (!), I have reclaimed the morning. Not all days unfold as planned and sometimes the snooze button is just too tempting. But I love having a framework for the start of the day:
Water. I start each morning with a glass of water. While pregnant, I couldn't drink enough water. I was always thirsty and nursing Elena has a similar effect. Drinking water wakes me up and gets my digestive system in motion. I've also heard great things about starting the day with a glass of warm water with lemon. Maybe that's the next step.
Reading. I have a certain activity (ahem, pumping) that requires me to physically pause each morning. It's easy to jump right into email and social media, but I enjoy the excuse to pick up a book and read a chapter or even just a few paragraphs. Spending time on a daily basis with a book in hand makes me feel like my life is on the right track. When I take time to focus on something I enjoy as the day is just beginning, it frames the day in a positive light and jumpstarts my productivity.
News. Listening to streaming radio (usually NPR) in the morning has been a daily occurrence since we moved to Portland. It makes me feel connected to what's going on in the city, nation, and world even if I spend the rest of the day working from home. I love that we can listen as we prepare breakfast, feed Elena, and get ready for the day.
To do list. I'm a big fan of lists and planning. The thing about to do lists though, it's not fun when they start to haunt you. I try to keep it simple, adding things I must finish, as well as small tasks for in between larger projects. It's just enough to envision a productive day ahead without feeling overwhelmed.
Breakfast. I've never understood how some people skip breakfast. Not just because of that 'most important meal of the day' stuff, but I'm always seriously hungry in the morning. During the week, I usually have a bowl of steel cut oats, muesli, or a soft-boiled egg on toast with a side of yoghurt or fruit. On the weekend, we bring out the crêpes, French toast, and poached eggs on a bed of greens.
The best thing about having morning rituals is that you don't have to be a morning person to enjoy them. With an established routine, habit propels me forward when I wake no matter how soft my pillow might be.
What do you enjoy (or wish you enjoyed) doing in the morning?