I'm not a morning person. Hence, why I work nightshift. The thought of waking up early is soooo daunting and I dread it, or at least I use to. I few weeks ago I felt myself in a rut you could say.. constantly crabby, irritable, frustrated with not getting anything I wanted done, or having time for myself. I wasn't being the mother or wife that my kids and husband deserve. That's when I knew I needed to make a change.
For months I've been saying that I wanted to read this book or that book, or start listening to podcasts, or learn the skills I needed to become the best parent I could be. To foster their development with healthy and effective discipline that will give them honest and compassionate leadership that they will use for years and years to come. That's when my husband Jay suggested I start doing "mindful mornings" with him.
Ha yea right I thought to myself. I am NOT I repeat NOT waking up early, before the kids wake up to get shit done. I will be sooo tired. Believe me, I dreaded it. However, to my surprise I have been loving it! The whole waking up thing is still not my favorite, but once I wake up, I'm up. There's no laying in bed, questioning if I should get up or not. There's no thinking about how tired I am or am going to be. I just get up and do it. In a podcast I've been listening to called Find the Magic, they have an episode about making your morning routine happen. They mention that if you let your kids or your alarm clock wake you up, but you continue to lay there and try to sleep... you’re not sleeping. You’re getting irritated sleep thinking of all the things you have to do and get done so it's best to just wake up instead of pressing snooze for a few more minutes... That's step one, making the time to get up and get your day started before anyone else.
Jay adapted his mindful morning routine from a guy named Tony Robbins and he actually calls it the power hour, or 30 minutes to thrive. It's intent is to boost your energy and become positive. There is also the miracle morning by the author Hal Elrod which consist of 6 habits or rituals to get your morning started. The acronym SAVERS stands for silence, affirmations, visualization, exercise, reading and scribing.
I've kind of taken a mixture of these routines and made them my own. I start my day off at 530am with washing my face and drinking a cold glass of water. (Jay takes a cold shower, I think he’s crazy but he insist on the switch in body temperature is good for you) We then go for a mile walk down our street. During our walk we practice breathing exercises, gratefulness, visualization, and incantations (a series of words said over and over as a magic spell or charm). For example, I would say "I am patient" over and over again. We do each of these for 5 minutes, so it equates to about a 20 minute walk. When we return home I go out on our deck and read 10 pages, watch the sunrise and say a prayer. Then I take my pre-workout and head downstairs to do 30-45 minutes of a bbg work out. While I work out I like to listen to a podcast, sometimes I get to listen to 2 depending on how long they are. I'm really into learning how to parent through respectful parenting, so I usually listen to the Find the Magic or Unruffled podcast which are both great for self bettering and learning skills to practice respectful parenting.
After I've completed all of this I sometimes have time to make my coffee, or eat breakfast alone, or get ready for the day and I'm eager and excited for my kids to wake up. I went from being pissed from being woken up by crying or whiny kids to waking up feeling fresh, alive and ready to take on the day.
One thing I've learned from all of this is to remain consistent just like a routine, do the same thing every day and each day you will look forward to it. Change your mindset from dreading the morning to looking forward to the morning.. it's easy to dwell on the amount of hours of sleep you won't get before you go to bed, but instead of thinking about that try and tell give yourself affirmations by saying that you are going to bed grateful and you will be well rested in the morning when you wake up. It's important to make this your own, you can follow a specific routine, but if you're not loving it then switch it up and add or take away things you don't like. There is no right or wrong way to have a mindful morning. Lastly, if you are thinking how could you possibly get up before your kids if they are early risers or after a full night of cluster feeding your newborn, then do a 6 minute morning and condense it, or wait a few weeks til things settle down. My kids are sleeping through the night which I would agree makes it 100% easier.
Before I wrap up, I wanted to touch on how we are able to go for a walk without our kids in the morning and what we do with them. Like I mentioned before, they sleep through the night and their “risetime” is set for 730am so that gives me about 2 hours to myself. (It didn’t use to be that way, my kids use to wake up at 6am but since having that hatch nursery I’ve slowly pushed back their rise time and now they sleep in their room until that magical light turns blue) When we go for our walk, it’s down our road which is about a mile total, there and back. We can see our home from the end of the street. Our alarm system is set, all the doors are locked so that no one can get in or out and we wear our iwatches which are connected to our lollipop baby camera so that if by chance anyone does wake up, we are notified and can run home! Also, there have been times when they wake up early, and if that happens I allow them to come sit quietly and watch me, play near me, or go back into their room until the light turns blue!
I hope this helps answer some questions about my Mindful Mornings! Remember, there is no right or wrong way to do it. You can adapt to any practice you see fit and that works for you! Make it your own, if you’re not loving it, switch it up and just be consistent with your routine! It will get easier, and if you’re like me then you’ll grow to love it! I hope I’ve inspired you to get started, I just want you to live your best life and make the most of your time for yourself, your family and your friends. You deserve it.
Photos above taken by Erica Schmidt Photography