I’m not talking about an Oprah Winfrey’s sort of morning routine (meditation, an hour of exercise, an inspirational email of Sufi teachings, doggy love and 5 cards pulled from a $100 card set) although the more I’ve read about it, the more appealing it sounds… No, I’m just talking about a simple 2 – 15 minutes at the start of every day.
Working away from home and doing a variety of work has meant that I sometimes lose my connection with myself. I forget who I am and what I believe in and I get carried away with whatever's going on around me.
This means that I can feel like a hypocrite masquerading as a massage therapist. Therapist??? Ruth Nadia you're a joke - you don’t even know who you are – how on earth can you help other people to feel grounded and connected to themselves???
But somehow I do. Perhaps it’s because I can listen.
There are so many things wanting a piece of us in life. I imagine it as little cords reaching out of our bodies – work, children, partner, friends, our phones, the internet, adverts, the state of the kitchen. Just notice how a little part of you comes back to yourself when you turn off your phone. It feels sweeeeeet.
In a massage, you turn off your phone and you come back to yourself, to your body. It is precious. I love that I can give people that space.
But when else can you get it? We can’t all have massages every couple of days. Although wow. That would be a goooood life!
So I’ve been looking at where else I can get this connection with myself and that’s where I’ve started my morning routine. ‘My regime,’ as I call it. It’s still a work in progress, but this is how it goes at the moment:
- Once I’ve woken up, I do a physio exercise in bed.
- Once I’ve brushed my teeth and got dressed I put the kettle on and bounce on my big gym ball while it boils (sorry downstairs neighbours…). If I’m away from home I’ll do a glute stretch instead.
- Once I’ve poured the tea, I go down 3 flights of stairs, into the garden, and I hug a tree for 5 minutes.
*STOP PRESS - I love hugging trees. I am still embarrassed to admit it but I'm giving honesty a go...
Look, I know hugging trees isn’t for everyone. But it is for me. And it’s also great for my motivation to get outside early and get a feeling of being in a new day, full of possibility.
- Back inside I do 5 minutes of physio exercises to address some ongoing pain I’ve been having.
- I sit/kneel and drink my tea while I write a page or so. I haven’t worked out yet exactly what to focus on but it’s all about connecting with me - where I am now and where I'd like to be, and how to get there.
- Breakfast, then get on with the day.
The whole thing takes around 75 minutes and I’m ready to leave the house. I’m loving sort of tricking myself into getting up and on it.
My morning routine is still new (day 13 today) but I’m already feeling loads better, despite having PMT right now which would often mean I would be quite a mess. Plus I managed to keep it going when I was away visiting friends, when it rained, and when I had a couple of very early starts. The physio exercises and bouncing on the gym ball are things I've been meaning to do for months and months, I just never made the time. So that's also making me feel pretty good / smug.
I live by myself so it would be a different routine for people who share their home with a partner, children, pets, friends or housemates. But where can you reclaim 2 minutes, or even 5, for yourself?
We are WAY more habitual than we’d like to admit. Studies have shown that approximately 45% (and likely more) of our decisions are habit-based. So if want to change your life, introduce a new habit. Just look at what 2 minutes twice a day can do when it comes to the habit of brushing our teeth.
I’d love to hear your routines, or what you might do while the kettle boils, to bring you back to yourself. (Deep breaths, stretches, press ups, singing…?)
Sending you love,
ps. The picture is of Bowthorpe Oak in Lincolnshire - apparently England's oldest Oak tree, and very huggable, if you ask me...
pps. My morning routine is inspired by listening to Dr Rangan Chatterjee's podcast, Feel Better, Live More. Sooooo inspiring! https://drchatterjee.com/blog/category/podcast/