Just Make It Quick

Unless it’s a day off, people have places to go and things to do the moment their alarm goes off. There is no time to wake up gently with the sunlight streaming through the window. They have to get up. Now! That’s always been my approach to a workday. While I’m not on the run for the time being, I thought I’d share a morning routine that worked for me – a non-morning person.

A Scotch egg

To make the first part of the day a bit less daunting, I start my morning routine the night before. It’s all about prep work. The list below may look cumbersome, but it’s really not. Once you have a system in place, all these things can be taken care of in no time at all.

  1. I’m a night-showerer. People seem fairly split on this one, but I just don’t have the time or energy to shower first thing in the morning. I also don’t like the idea of stewing in my day filth all night. I want to go to bed clean and smelling lovely.
  2. After towel-drying, I brush my teeth. If it’s winter or my skin is dry, I apply lotion. My knuckles have really been drying out since Covid descended upon the world. Lots of hand washing.
  3. I turn on some relaxing music while I brush my hair and wind down.
  4. Prep time! I move everything I will use in the bathroom the next morning front and center so all I have to do is reach for it. No thinking required. I confirm my meals for the next day are either on the counter or in the front of the refrigerator. I select and lay out my outfit for the next day. Even my shoes have their “ready” position. I leave nothing to brain-dead morning me.
  5. Drink half a glass of water and check the weather forecast and my to-do list for tomorrow.
  6. I write in my gratitude journal and read until my eyelids grow heavy.
  7. Finally, I confirm that my alarm is set then switch off the music and the light.

Then the morning comes.

  1. My phone is my alarm clock. Its soft music and vibrations are the least offensive way I have found to drag me into the Land of the Waking. It is also just out of arm’s reach, so I am forced to sit all the way up to deal with it. I turn on the morning playlist immediately. Upbeat songs and an upright position urge me to start moving. (Does that make me any less of a zombie? Not really, no.)
  2. I make up my bed as I crawl out of it. All I use is a weighted blanket or a duvet, so there isn’t any fuss. While sitting on the bed, I brush my hair and take my meds.
  3. I’m in the bathroom brushing my teeth before the first song on my playlist has ended. Nice start, right? Apply deodorant. Wash face. End the scene with a misting of tea tree water and moisturizer. Sometimes just a splash of bracing cold water.
  4. I dress and put on my shoes. Body: done. On days I need or want to look a bit sharper, I then return to the bathroom for the finer details of grooming. Face and hair: done.
  5. I kill the tunes, grab whatever I plan to work with during the day (phone, books, laptop satchel, keys, etc.), and move to the kitchen for breakfast, turning off lights as I leave rooms.

Altogether steps 8-12 take about 15-30 minutes to complete, depending on grooming. It’s like the morning version of tearing off a Band-Aid. I may not be chipper, but I’ll be put together and ready to tackle the day.

As promised, weekly enrichment has begun! Here are this week’s suggestions for fun and enriching activities:

  • Relaxing Music: The album Paint the Sky with Stars by Enya. You can listen to it here or find the album on Amazon or streaming.
  • Soothing Sounds: “Potion Shop Sounds” by The Guild of Ambience.
  • Puzzle: Sudoku. You can find the game here along with everything you need to know about how to play.
  • Movie: The Secret Garden (1993). You can find it on Amazon or on a streaming service.
  • Creative Prompt (write, draw, paint, sculpt, photograph, or collage something based on this subject): Garden
  • Mythology Lesson: Gaia. Read about her here, and do a little further research if the mood takes you!
  • Short Reading: “The Nightingale and the Rose” by Oscar Wilde. You can read it here, or you can listen to it on YouTube.

Try one per day, and you’ll be well on your way to enjoying a more vibrant daily round.

Primavera by Botticelli

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