Happy Monday, friends! I hope you had a peaceful weekend and you were able to find something to do that brought you joy. It’s another beginning to a brand new week and I am feeling inspired to get this week started.
A few weeks ago, I was listening to Michelle Obama’s interview on Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations podcast while I was having my “me time” in the morning. It’s an older episode from mid-February, but it’s still worth the listen. One thing Oprah asked the former First Lady during their talk was to describe her perfect day. Mrs. Obama started out saying she’d start her day with a good workout or go for a long walk to get fresh air.
Obama has always been a big advocate for living a healthy lifestyle. She’s known to start her day early in the morning, before 6 A.M., with a workout. During an interview with Gayle King, Mrs. Obama said, “When it comes to our health as women, we are so busy giving and doing for others that we almost feel guilty to take that time out for ourselves.”
“And I think for us as women, many of us, we have a hard time putting ourselves on our own priority list, let alone at the top of it. If we don’t have our act together as women, as mothers, as grandmothers, we aren’t going to be able to get our kids on track.”Michelle Obama, Former First Lady and Best-Selling Author of Becoming (Source: People Magazine)
I know for me as a mother of five children (soon-to-be six), I can relate to Mrs. Obama’s statement on taking time out for herself. Is this something you can relate to, as well?
Years ago, I wasn’t doing this and it really took a toll on me. When Zechariah was about two-years-old, I started making time for myself and created a morning routine to help me get a jump start on my day.
Despite not being a morning person (LOL), I make sure to follow my morning ritual each day. Sometimes it will change and that’s okay, but what’s vital for me is having those 2 or 3 hours to myself before the busyness begins.
MORNING RITUAL: 6 THINGS I DO TO JUMP START MY DAY
Each day, I like to wake up at least 2 hours before my kids get up so that I can have some time to myself. Those couple of hours of quiet time is essential for me because once the kids are awake, the day is nonstop busy, busy, BUSY! Weekend mornings may look a little different, though. It all depends on how I’m feeling or if we have something planned as a family.
Here are six things I do for my morning ritual on weekdays.
EAT A SMALL, PROTEIN-BASED BREAKFAST
Right now during my pregnancy, I am focusing on keeping my sugar intake low. Therefore, I have been eating more protein-based meals early in the morning. Here are three of my favorite protein breakfast meals:
- Avocado mixed with one hard-boiled egg on wheat toast
- Two turkey sausage patties
- Omelet with cheddar cheese, mushrooms, and spinach
- Egg, turkey breakfast sandwich on a wheat English muffin
TURN ON A POSITIVE PODCAST.
I like to start my day listening to one positive podcast. It helps me start my day on a positive note. TED Talks Daily, The Mother Like a Boss Podcast, and Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations are three of my go-to podcasts to listen to in the morning.
LISTEN TO INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC AND MELLOW BEATS
Lately, I have been listening to more instrumental music and mellow hip hop beats in the morning time. Music with vocals just seems too noisy for me early in the morning and I need something that’s relaxing but also uplifting. I also like to write in the morning time so both music types help me with clearing my mind and focusing on my work.
My favorite instrumental and hip hop beats playlists on Spotify are Chill Beats Weekly, This is J. Dilla, Good Morning Jazz, Mellow Beats, and Classical Essentials. Sometimes the playlists I listen to sprinkle in a few songs with vocals and that doesn’t bother me. As long as it’s not heavily saturated with vocals, then I’m good!
LIGHT BLOG WORK AND WRITING
Light blog work and writing is another task I like to do for my morning routine. The early mornings are a perfect time for me to get a head start on my blog work and writing before the kids get up.
Since I homeschool my kids, I’m not able to dedicate a full day to blogging. Instead, I break up my work time into increments: an hour in the early morning, two hours around lunchtime, and a few hours at night (when Travis is available to hang out with the little ones).
CHECK NEWS UPDATES
I like to check my AP News app and Twitter for current news updates. I don’t really like to watch the news on T.V. I spend anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes reading through the news updates.
I also like to read a few news articles during that time. It’s funny because Travis is the complete opposite from me. He prefers to watch news programs instead of using Twitter for news updates.
During my breakfast time and while the instrumental music is playing in the background, I like to write in my journal. I write about whatever is on my mind at that moment for about 20 to 30 minutes. According to Positive Psychology, journaling and expressive writing can help you in a few ways.
- Boost your mood
- Enhance your sense of well-being
- Reduce symptoms of depression before an important event
- Improve your working memory
I have found that daily journaling, especially at the start of my day, helps me release any stress I may be feeling. In the same article I mentioned from Positive Psychology, you can find 30 journaling tips and writing prompts to help you get started if you’re interested.
Do you have a morning ritual you like to follow each day?
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Feature image courtesy of Jennifer Hamra for Good Life Detroit. Photo of Zhen at Heidelberg Project.