It was only a matter of months ago that I was snoozing my alarm for 45 minutes before rolling out of bed at 8.15am, running to catch a PATH train that would get me into the World Trade Center for 9am.
It was only a matter of months ago that I thought nothing of squishing myself onto a packed PATH train and feeling ten other people touching different parts of my sweaty, claustrophobic body.
Now look at us.
Even though I no longer have a commute, and should realistically have a lot more time to sleep, my morning routine has vastly improved. I’m wakening earlier, doing a lot more with my mornings and feeling a lot more positive about my day and week ahead.
So how have things changed?
WAKING UP AT 7.30AM
lifetime ago two months ago, I was a very bad alarm-snoozer. I tried a few times to wake up early enough to go to the gym before work, but that never lasted long and I said I would probably start again when the light mornings came back.
So I snoozed my alarm quite a lot. Until 8.20am some mornings and somehow made it to work before 9.30am. I tried to miss the morning rush on the PATH train, but it seems the rush never ends in the mornings.
Now though, I set my alarm for 7.30am every morning and try to wake myself up so that I’m ready for the day ahead and not still asleep when I turn on my laptop at the dining table.
So you might be wondering what I do with the extra hour and a half I give myself before starting work. I don’t work out, even though I probably should. Instead, I use the half hour to read a book.
Just reading a few pages until 8am every morning wakes my brain, starts my focus for the day and helps me wake up and want to get out of bed.
I’ve been reading quite a lot since the start of the year, but that’s ramped up a lot since working from home and now I’m getting through one or two books a week. I’ve posted reviews of every book I’ve read since last year, which you can find here if you’re in the mood for a new book.
You may already know this, but since lockdown started, I have began writing daily emails every weekday morning to those interested in receiving a daily musing from yours truly.
At the beginning I didn’t really know what I was doing, but I’m now almost 50 emails in (I have no idea how) and am somehow still going. I start off with three things I’m grateful for that day, then usually launch in to what I got up to the day previous, share some good news that happened in the past 24 hours and then finish with some words of wisdom or some musings.
The musings can be anything from mindset, to talking about a good book I’ve recently read, to thinking about habits, something happening in the world around us or even discuss topics on influencer marketing/PR.
If you would like to receive a daily weekday email from myself, you can subscribe to those here. Don’t worry though, once the world returns to rights, I’ll probably restrict to an email once per week.
MY MORNING COFFEE
Ok, so. There’s not much to look forward to when we wake up in the mornings, is there? For me, going to my dining table every day just doesn’t ignite a rocket launcher in my behind.
So I try to do some things that will help me look forward to the morning. As I’ve mentioned already, I like to read when I wake up first thing – so I have that to look forward to.
The other thing I look forward to is my first coffee of the day. I usually have it when I sit down at my laptop to log on for the day. Coffee can be quite bland and average when you make it at home, as I’m no longer tempted by the Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts on the way to the office.
To make it interesting, I’ve started buying flavoured creamer. I always have my Nescafe mochas on the weekends and sometimes on Fridays, but I now have the Nescafe creamer during the week and my coffee tastes so good. We like to mix it up in the flat and try new flavours, but my favourite is the French Vanilla.
With my daily emails every morning, I’ve started to practice gratitude. Since we are in such difficult circumstances and the world seems very bleak and miserable most of the time, I’ve decided to pick three things that I’m grateful for every day.
The three things could be anything from good weather, good health, my morning coffee, starting another book, a clothes delivery or good WiFi connection.
The more I’ve been practicing it, the more calm I find I am becoming. I’m also starting to appreciate the little things a lot more and seeing things that I can appreciate at any moment of the day.
It’s easy to get caught up in all of the bad news and the restrictions, but I need to remember that I’m being restricted in New York and I have a roof over my head and a job that is still paying me. I have no real reason to complain, so I need to remember to be grateful and practice gratitude.
START THE WORKING DAY
Yes, all of the above happens pre-9am, believe it or not. It’s amazing the things we can get done if we wake up earlier.
I’m starting to set my alarm a little earlier every week in the hopes that I’ll start waking up at 7am in a few weeks and who knows, I may even start setting it even earlier.
I can read, maybe work out, work on my own projects and if the weather’s as good as it has been recently, get outside for early morning walks to enjoy some sun in the early mornings.
Although our mornings look very different right now, it’s important to get into a new routine and find what works best for you when working from home. Make the most of your mornings, give yourself something to look forward to and feel grateful for the good things in your life – even the little things.