Start Your Day Right
For years my morning routine, well there was no routine. I'd wake, get ready, sort my sons ready for school, leave the house in a rush, get stuck in traffic, arrive at work frazzled and the rest of the day would pretty much follow in the same way.
As my sons got older the mornings got a little easier, but I'd fool myself into thinking I had more time, I didn't, and so I'd still leave the house and get to work frazzled.
It was when I started commuting to London that I started my morning yoga routine, nothing major, just a lovely 20 minute routine that I'd do straight off of bed before jumping in the shower and then leaving the house ready to catch my train. At this point, I wasn't the one getting my sons up and out so all I had to do was make sure I was on the 7:20 train each morning, and I never missed it - I do remember many mornings stood on the platform cursing the train delays and wishing I'd have an extra 20 minutes or more in bed catching up on sleep.
Unlike many other commuters, I never slept on the train, my face was already made up so I didn't need to juggle the mirror and the cosmetics, but I used to look at those that did and wonder if I could ever make it work - I never did.
When my burnout took hold in 2013 my morning routine went completely out of the window, and it was 2015 when I got back into what you'd call a healthy routine, back to yoga, breakfast and a slower pace.
Fast forward five years and my morning routine is one of my non-negotiable. Even if I have a lay in, the morning practices are done, and whatever the weather.
I used to listen to all of the 'experts' saying that how you start your day would determine how your day played out and I remember thinking what a load of rubbish - just being able to get out of the house with enough sleep and looking as together as possible would be the miracle. But now I make the time to start my day right, and I believe you should too.
Over the past few months I've tried a few new morning routines, I was, for a while, part of the 5am Club, I've tried the Morning Miracle routine, and whilst none of these are too far away from my own practices, mine works best for me.
I've never been a believer in a one-size-fits-all approach to anything - if you've ever bought any clothing that says one-size, the only thing I feel ever looks good in one-size is a scarf! Trial and error to what works for you is what I recommend giving a go. Your morning routine shouldn't stress you, something energising is best.
My routine consists of:
Walking the dog
Starting my day
This may seem a lot, it's something I've added to over the years - it started with just yoga. Yoga may not be your thing - I know some people prefer to run, some start with a cold shower, some start with music, some start with weights, some start with a brisk walk, some straight to the gym, or a spin class, some soak in the bath and for others it's straight for the coffee pot and out of the house.
The key is not so much the what you do, but how you feel. If you feel frazzled, guess what your day will look like? If you start the day calm, guess what your day will look like? If you start the day energised, guess what your day will be like? If you start the day feeling crap, guess what?
When I speak to clients about the importance of how they start their day, time comes up a lot. "I don't have the time", "I'd rather stay in bed", "my mornings are chaotic enough already" - and this inner talk, if this is how you start your day, guess what your day will be like? Not enough time, tired and chaotic.
So even if routine feels scary, or overwhelming, or just another thing to 'do', at the very least, turn around your inner voice. Get that voice looking forward to the day ahead, get it telling you that you're going to have a great day, get it telling you that you have energy, and time. Write it down if you have. Record it and play it whilst you're in the shower or getting dressed.
Change just one thing to start your day right and the rest of the day will follow.