I’ve written before about how I transformed my mornings into the most productive time of my day with one important tool: a morning routine. I’m a pretty low key person, but my morning routine is the time of my day that is nonnegotiable . In fact, my morning routine is so important, that I will wake up extra early just to fit it in.
I typically factor in an hour and half of time to prepare myself in the morning before I need to be wherever it is I’m going for the day. I’ll tack on an extra 45 minutes to an hour if I am working out, which most mornings I try to do. If I don’t get my exercise in in the morning, it proooobably won’t happen later in the day. My theory is that my mind isn't awake enough to tell me not to. Ha. Immediately following my workout, I take my dog, Murphy, for a quick walk around the block. The newest addition to my routine is brought to you by my brand new life as a married woman. In what I have been told is the true sign of moving into “adulthood,” I have to spend a large chunk of my morning watering the flower beds in my front yard. Let me tell you, I will never take a sprinkler system for granted ever again.
Then comes the good part. Once I’m all squeaky clean from a refreshing shower, I put on my fluffy bath robe, pour a hot cup of coffee, and flip open the Wall Street Journal. Yes, you heard me right. I read the newspaper every. single. morning. I’ll be honest and admit that there are days when I skim the headlines, skip to my favorite section, and toss it into the recycling bin. However most days, I find a few headlines that catch my attention, dive deep and read each word. I don't spend a lot of my TV time watching the news, so I find it helps me stay in touch with what is going on in the world in a way that’s not on my phone scrolling through Twitter. I eat breakfast and drink my coffee in this phase, then read a passage or two in my Bible and write in my journal if I have the time. Then I spend the rest of my allotted morning time getting dressed and doing my makeup.
This newspaper-reading, coffee-drinking, breakfast-making chunk of my morning is my bread and butter. It is what I look forward to most about the morning because I have the opportunity to feed myself physically, mentally and spiritually. To me, that is the ultimate form of self-care. I have the opportunity to tend to every aspect of my inner life, and it sets me up to face the rest of my day. As an introvert, this time of quiet solitude is the way I prepare myself to face the people and situations I will encounter during the day with as much spirit as possible. This systematic routine not only coaxes out the extrovert aspects of my personality, but it sets me up to want to make the most of each and every day.