I often read about the importance of a calming morning routine and its potential to set the tone for the day. Wellness gurus tout the benefits of starting your day with light stretching, drinking hot water with lemon, and journaling. Sounds idyllic.
Confession time – this is my (pathetic) morning routine:
- Stay in bed until the very last possible moment.
- Rush to get ready.
- “Air dry” my curly hair via the heater in my car.
- Eat breakfast (instant oatmeal) while making last minute copies in the teacher’s workroom.
This is an actual screenshot of the various alarms on my phone:
I know full well that this is not a routine that supports my wellness. I feel hurried and the opposite of calm. However, I have gone through phases where I’ve tried to improve my routine! I once tried meditating for 5-10 minutes upon waking. I’ve also tried doing a short morning yoga practice to start my day. I’m able to sustain these new routines for a few weeks, but then I inevitably slip back into my old ways…
Sometimes I tell myself, I’m just not a morning person. And there’s truth to this, for sure. For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved staying up late and sleeping in. My mother always struggled to wake me up for school when I was a kid. I can still sleep in until 10am on the weekends, just like a college student. And during summer vacation, I can easily stay awake until 12 or 1am before wanting to go to bed.
My biological nature seems to make me a night owl.
What to do?
First of all, I don’t spend time beating myself up about my pathetic morning routine. I do a lot to support my wellness, and I just haven’t gotten this one right yet. And that’s ok – I’m only human. But I also don’t think it’s good enough to settle on “I’m a night owl” as an excuse for my rushed mornings. My biological nature might make me predisposed to certain behaviors, but I still have the power to change them. This one is proving to be pretty tricky.
It would be amazing if I had a job where the hours were 10-6. But the truth is that as a teacher, I am required to start my work day early. I have to be ready to talk to parents, solve playground disputes, and come up with creative morning messages – all at 8am.
So I will continue to try to improve my mornings, even if I’m met with failure. I will not make this a New Year’s resolution, because I know I might be setting myself up for disappointment. But maybe I’ll try getting up just 5 minutes earlier than I did the day before. Or maybe I’ll try forcing myself up at 5am for a whole week and see what happens. I will not give up on my dreams of a peaceful morning routine.
Fellow morning sufferers – have you tried to change your routine? Has anything worked? Please leave a comment if you have wisdom to share!
Be well (even in the mornings),