The world had started without me again and I needed to catch-up.
I used to wake up at 5:30am get breakfast and coffee ready then settle down in front of the laptop to watch the news. At the same time, I’d skim the headlines of 4 or 5 newspapers opening new tabs to read the articles later then open up my e-mails, respond, and update my list of priorities for the day.
I was asked: How do you feel having this routine?
I stopped. I hadn’t been asked that question before nor had I thought about it.
I felt stressed, overwhelmed, behind, afraid.
I was then asked: What if you didn’t follow this routine? I freaked out. It was not a possibility for me.
It took me a while to realize the impact this ritual had on me.
The stress translated itself into health issues.
The news that everything was messed up in the world immediately made me depressed and angry.
These feelings would seep out during the day in different ways:
- My tone with colleagues & friends
- In what I chose to eat
- In my overall energy.
The fear of not being “caught up” with work and news resulted in a knowledgeable, reliable Jo but it affected the way in which I approached life, work and love.
I lost a lot before I realized exactly what I was losing and the emptiness and helplessness it left instead.
I start days differently now. Most mornings I wake-up and remind myself of my intention for the year, for the day or for the moment. It centres me.
I pull out my yoga mat and gently wake my body up. Some days I meditate on the mat. Some days on route to work.
After gently waking up my body I go make breakfast and coffee. Feeding my body to engage with the day is necessary. I never leave home without having it.
As I sit down to eat sometimes I do it in silence and watch the natural light slowly come through the windows. Sometimes I listen to music. A podcast. I give myself this time before I open up the news feed, e-mails, word documents etc.
All the while I remind myself of my intention.
It’s a different way to wake-up. More gentle. More mindful.
There is still a lot to do in the day but how I approach this work is different.
Remembering my intention I am less likely to hold on to my anger, not take a break, skip a meal or miss a joke. It helps me start the day off right.
You may not have a yoga mat, light to come in while you have coffee (if you can even get your hands on coffee), access to ingredients for a good breakfast or a reliable connection to stream music. That acknowledged, what could you do?
How can you start the day to keep you grounded and remember your intention?
How can you bring lightness to your day?
How can you ease yourself into the chaos of the mental and physical noise around you and remain grounded?
Could you give up just one thing first thing in the morning to make it easier on yourself?
- Not open up the e-mails before your get out of bed.
- Not check the text messages before your first sip of coffee.
- Waiting until after you have written your thoughts in your journal and had your breakfast before reading the news or Facebook page.
Can you take a chance to see what you stand to gain instead of being afraid of what you may lose?
Be gentle with yourself. It’s tough changing habits. When they no longer serve you, it’s important to at least start opening yourself up to possibilities to learn habits that will help you. Pace yourself.
Remember, how you start the day matters.
I expand on the ideas above in my free toolkit on Clarity, Empowerment & Resilience. Click HERE and sign-up.
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