A few years ago I was most definitely a night owl. Having bouts of insomnia as a teen meant that I was used to seeing the early hours, so I easily slipped into a similar late night/late morning routine throughout college and uni. I love the night time and the silence of 2am; I love the crispness of it all and the awareness of my own being as I sit there cocooned in the dark. Inevitably routines change and evolve and can often have the most wonderful consequences.
These days I'm an early bird. I can quite easily wake up at 6am or before and potter around the flat or squeeze in a workout before the day begins. Knowing that I'm snatching those few extra hours before my housemates are awake fills me with joy.
The mornings are my time. Evenings are so easily claimed by others, by social situations, by necessary activities, but mornings, well, they're all mine. Those two hours before I have to leave and battle the crowds and the heat of the tube are all mine to do with what I wish. They're calm, they're silent, and there is so much space to just be.
Over the last year or so, and particularly since my recent job change, I have carved out a routine that benefits my mind and body and sets me up wonderfully for the day ahead.
Some days I'll get up and face the day with a run. I'll roll straight out of bed into my kit and hit the pavement before I really have time to think. I find that's the best way to workout in the mornings. Just get up and go - no thinking allowed.
On days when I don't run I take things slowly. I hit the shower and get myself dressed first and then I head to the kitchen. Breakfast is my favourite meal of the day so a lot of thought goes into it (even though I pretty much always have the same thing). I'll pop the kettle on whilst I put together my meal and then head to the table where I'll sit facing the window so I can think and watch the early planes flying home towards Heathrow.
Mornings are a fresh canvas. There are no marks, no smudges, no half-finished lines and certainly no intrusive opinions. It's just there, waiting for you to start with your first bold stroke. Everyday I'll go through a number of steps - preparing the canvas, so to speak - so that I know that no matter how the day progresses, it will have started serenely. Every morning I will:
Drink something hot whether that's coffee, herbal tea or classic hot water and lemon
Eat something fresh and healthy I always have homemade muesli with blueberries (I make muesli about once a week so the ingredients vary, but usually it is oats, raisins, goji berries, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and flaked almonds) or yoghurt with a ton of fresh fruit
Take a minute to welcome the morning, to think about the day ahead and decide how I'd like it to pan out
Do something creative often I'll write (journal, blog post) or read (book, magazine, online articles) and this never fails to invigorate my mind
What does your perfect morning look like?