Making Your Morning Matter More
I am a self professed night owl. I have always felt more productive and focused in the uninterrupted quietness and stillness of the night than in the distracting hustle and bustle of the day. But I acknowledge that my days feel positively different when I am more intentional with my mornings. So I am learning to become more of a morning person.
Take back your mornings
The first thoughts you think when you wake up hold the potential to set the tone for the thoughts you will have for the day. I have been particularly mindful about my morning routine recently.
I am learning the art of my 3 M's to make mornings matter: mindset, movement and mindfulness.
I set my alarm to wake up before Drew. This in itself has taken discipline let me tell you, firstly because I have serious FOMO about having to get less cuddles before I get out of bed but also because it’s forced me to go to sleep earlier at night in order to wake up earlier -- without feeling like I was hit by a bus. I use the quietness and stillness of this time to journal and to spend focused time with God. I am currently meditating through a 40 day study called The Answers to Your Deepest Longings, available on the Proverbs 31 App called First 5. First 5 is based on maximizing the first 5 minutes of your day with sound truths written by inspiring women of God, and rich in scripture -- it really has been a blessing to my morning.
Four days a week I start my day with exercise. All from the comfort of my own home. I am one of those people who pursued a new hobby during lockdown - yoga. I attended my first online class with Ikigai Yoga and it continues to be a weekly gift of focused movement, breathing and mindfulness in my week. I have the Sweat app and I follow the queen of the Bikini Body Guide, Kayla Itsines' programme without equipment. Couples who run together, stay together, so Drew and I run twice a week through our spruit and suburb. And our reward is a freshly brewed cappuccino. This is one of my favourite morning rituals and the combination of Drew & coffee has a lot to do with it...
When I made coffee at home I only used to make Nespresso cappuccino because it was quick and easy. But I treat myself to the gift of a freshly brewed cup of plunger coffee because coffee making tells a whole story in itself. I boil the kettle on the stove. I grind my own favourite beans from Father Coffee. Did you know - never pour the boiling water over the ground beans as it makes it bitter, instead I allow the boiled water to cool down to a good temperature. I love the process of pouring the water into the freshly ground coffee in a circular motion, the first real aroma of coffee delights all my senses. I stir it with a spoon. I replace the plunger but don't yet pull down to trap the heat. I leave the coffee to brew for 3-5 minutes. I plunge the coffee which is very satisfying experience. I pour the freshly brewed coffee into my favourite mug, and I use my Nespresso machine to warm my milk with foam.
THE RECIPE FOR THE PERFECT PLUNGER COFFEE!
While my kettle boils and my coffee brews, I use that time to check my to do list for the day, tackle my administrative tasks for home and work early in the day, I make sure I have taken out the meat for dinner that night, I do simple chores like sorting the washing or hanging up the clothes that do not require a lot of time, make my lunch or catch up on replying to my messages and emails before the day runs away.
I used to write everything in my diary, but over the last few months I have been using my Notes app. I write down every day of the week, and under each day I allocate a bullet for every task/ chore under each day of the week. Sometimes this list includes work commitments like producing content for my next speaking engagement, or reminders to set appointments for the week ahead, and it also includes include more everyday tasks like remembering to reply to an email/ make a phone call or to buy the fresh ingredients for a meal in the week. I check this throughout the day and I always feel so productive when I have had a good head start on all these little tasks that easily take up brain space and let's be honest there is nothing more satisfying than seeing lots of ticks on your to do list.
And best for last, I take Drew his coffee, wake up my sleepy man, and have my morning cuddles. We try to be intentional about starting the day together and not just waking up together, so this sweet time of conversation about our expectations for the day, any special prayer requests for the day or asking how we can support one another in the day ahead is the perfect way to start the day and how I make mornings less of a chore and more of a morning that matters.