It’s easy to go through the motions. I get it. I used to go through them quite rapidly myself, zombie-like (literally, from waking up at 5am daily) and moving from task to task, only to end the day completely tired and wiped out.
Shifting from this place of constant movement meant one thing—slowing down.
It was not easy at first. Initially, I would have told you that I had zero moments of time that were purely mine at work. I was a 5th grade teacher, and any educator can tell you that time solo is not really part of our vocabulary! However, when I sat back and really thought about how I was spending my time, I realized that I could free up some moments just for myself.
I started small. I looked for the little pockets of time that were purely mine and I decided to use them intentionally. My plan? When I got to work, I made sure I closed my door, and set aside 5-10 minutes of quiet time by myself, uninterrupted, so that I could take a few mindful moments to appreciate my life, set some intentions for the day, and get in the right headspace not only for me, but for my students and colleagues too. For a while, I felt anti-social during those 5 minutes with my door closed. But you know what? After getting in the habit of practicing my new morning routine, I started to notice how much more at peace I felt despite the constant moving parts of my day.
This is where the real power of a morning routine lays. It creates a space of calm. It brings our internal state to neutral, and allows our energy to shift to positive.
There is a reason for creating the routine in the morning, too. We want to make sure we are starting our day with a habit that sets us up for success. When we do that thing, it reminds us of how we want to take care of our minds and bodies. We set ourselves up to make choices that align with self-care since we started our day lovingly and peacefully.
Think about what happens when you stop tending to something. If you stop cleaning your house, dust will collect over time. If you stop adding wood to a campfire, it will eventually stop burning. The same is true when we are creating new habits and routines for ourselves—in order to keep them going, we have to be in a constant state of tending, otherwise they will fall apart. Choosing a regular time in the morning that you can commit to each day to get in the right headspace will help you remain in a constant state of tending. This is how all routines are built, and specifically, why morning routines are so critical.
You want to be a self-tending machine. You have to constantly work at it, and working at it means prioritizing it, no matter the hot mess, lack of time, or constant shuffle that is your life.