Up until I moved to NYC my mornings were a dreadful part of the day for me. I have been dealing with heavy Insomnia since I was 15 and for most my life when the alarm went of I’d just cringe, shower, put some clothes on and go about my day in autopilot (and you’d better don’t cross path with me before I had my caffeine intake!). I’m still not a morning person but in the last 2 years I adopted some new habits that not only transformed my attitude towards my mornings but completely changed my life. Although I still recommend not to approach me within the first 45 minutes I’m awake, I have now mastered the art of feeling like a normal human being instead of feeling like a zombie once the sun comes out!
Now my mornings are the only structured part of my days and to be honest it’s nice to have some sort of routine when you live a creative life filled of travels and every day is different from the other;
Having a morning routine makes me much more productive, more energetic and more creative throughout the rest of the day. There are no right or wrong morning rituals to adopt. What works for me might not work for you. Here’s what I do every morning (ok not EVERY morning, when I am traveling it’s not always easy to follow my rituals step by step, but every time I’m home—or in the same place for more than a week—I follow my rituals religiously!)
[SIDENOTE: I am a bit of a control freak and I make a ‘to Do’ list for the following day before going to sleep so once the day kicks in I already have a pretty good idea of how to spend my time].
First thing I do when I open my eyes (and I understand where I am!) I take a few minutes to say my thank yous and put some gratitude out in the universe. I try to think of 3 to 5 things to be grateful for, weather is the people in my life, my creative accomplishments or the sun shining outside my window. After that I close my eyes again and I quickly visualize realizing my goals and dreams, and then…I check my instagram! (lol I know, I know, I’m the worst! I don’t suggest you follow this last one! In my defense I follow a lot of travel accounts that inspire me and make me dream a little so looking at that first thing motivates me to start my day kicking ass!)
As soon as I get out of bed I streach a bit: first my arms then my back then my legs. Coming from the dance world this is an inevitable step.
Before getting anything into my body I drink 2 big glasses of room temperature water with lemon. Why lemon? A) because I’m one of those weirdos that hates drinking water unless it doesn’t taste like water! and B) because it helps digestion, cleans the liver and pumps up the immune system.
COFFEE & FOOD
Some people say is good, some people say is bad, but without my coffee I just can’t morning! So after my water I make myself a cup of coffee, I make a bowl of yogurt,fruit and granola (much better breakfast than heavy and greasy carbs) and I go back to bed (yes you heard me!)
By now I start feeling signals of brain activity, so i sit in bed, sipping on my coffee, eating my breakfast and reading whatever book I am currently reading( i try to read 20 pages in the morning and whatever I can before sleeping)
I leave my bed, roll out my yoga mat, I sit crossed legs, close my eyes and meditate for about 20 minutes. I have been meditating for the last year and a half and I am not preaching or exaggerating when I say it completely changed my life! Although I am not a religious person at all, I consider myself quite spiritual (I believe everything and everyone is linked in some way and I kind of believe in magic. Yes, magic!) but weather you are one, none or both of the above I strongly recommend you to give it a try, it will simply make you feel more ‘connected’, to yourself, to your body, to the world around you. It’s a healthy ancient practice that can bring huge benefits to your life. I think I’d probably be dead by now if I didn’t meditate with all the stress I had in the last few years!
I sit at my desk, grab my journal and write a few pages stream of consciousness style. I wish I could tell you it was all great writing but to be honest what I do in these pages is mainly bitching about things that I am not happy with! Generally though, by bitching on paper and getting it all out before having human encounters I spend the rest of my day not thinking about those issues at all!I do my creative writing late at night.
MOVE YOUR BODY
After taking care of my mind I need to take care of my body. It’s not about getting skinny, It’s not about having muscles, it’s simply about the fact that our body is a machine and if its engines aren’t used often enough the machine will eventually brake down. I find it hard to go for a run in NYC because there are so many damn people around but luckly there’s a mini gym in my bulding so that works great for me!
CLEAN UP AND HIT THE GROUND!
I take a shower, get dressed (even if I am working from home I NEVER EVER EVER stay in my pjs, i find it a productivity killer!), take a minute to have a word with the muses (I’m serious, I ask them to kindly send down some inspiration every day!) and then I start my day!
All this takes about 1 and a half hour out of my day! SO worth it!
Do you have morning rituals? share them in the comments if you do!