As someone much wiser than I once said, “It’s not only the scenery you miss by living fast – you also lose the sense of where you are going and why.”
I am constantly rediscovering and reminding myself of this truth – today more than ever, because these days I'm balancing a full-time corporate job with many, many hours of required overtime, a house renovation, blogging, various freelancing projects, a dwindling social life (which is to be expected, considering this exhausting list), along with occasional cleaning, cooking and tending to other household chores – I say occasional, because I'm just now coming to terms with the fact that, try as I might, I simply cannot do it all.
They say that when things aren't adding up, to start subtracting – and that's exactly what I'm hoping to do in these next few weeks in order to regain some calm in my life. First, I'm focusing on slowing down my morning routine, and today, thanks to Wayfair, we're going to talk about doing just that.
I wanted to write a ‘my morning routine’ post for a long time – partly because I’m always so curious how other people’s lives work – especially people balancing a million and one things at any given time – and partly because, as I'm sure you've noticed by now, I tend to treat this blog as my personal diary, where, for better or worse, I write down my deepest and darkest struggles.
The more I thought about this idea of a morning routine, however, the more I realized my complete lack of one. Most mornings I am rushing out of the door like a madwoman, frantically grabbing my keys, phone, purse, coat, my work laptop, my personal laptop and my ID badge as I yell good-bye to my still-sleeping husband upstairs (his commute is half of mine, and his workday starts half an hour later than mine – lucky, right?) If I have a few minutes – no, seconds – to spare, I sometimes grab the first item I see in the fridge for breakfast, which for the past few days happened to be some sort of cake because it has been THE ONLY item in the fridge.
Quite the riveting morning routine, wouldn't you agree?
So today we're going to re-enact an ideal morning routine – a rare event when you have no place to rush to, no work to do, no projects to work on, no errands to run, no house to clean – basically, if you lived in a delusional, imaginary world, here's how mornings would go.
You wake up early – preferably at least two hours before having to leave the house, or if you're a work-at-home type, two hours before the kiddos wake up.
As an aside, this moment right here is where this fantasy ends for me. I consider it a major achievement if I get up early enough to brush my teeth, let alone take a shower in the mornings – partly because I am the farthest thing from a morning person, and partly because I don't go to bed until midnight or later.
Okay, enough with the disclaimers, let's get on with our ideal, slow paced morning routine.
Let's take this party downstairs – into the kitchen, to be exact – to brew your favorite coffee.
My current favorite is the Dallmayr Classic. Although the Dallmayr store, with its expansive array of gourmet cheeses, meats, coffee and wine is, in fact, quite mesmerizing and very much worth the visit if you just happen to be in Munich, Germany, but you can also find this goodness at a local TJ Maxx in the gourmet dry foods section.
Back to our perfect morning: You pull back the curtains, throw open a window and feel the crisp morning air.
Still in your silk robe or cozy knit sweater, you turn on your favorite tunes as you start your morning routine, which includes whipping up a delicious (and healthy) breakfast, taking time to savour every sip of coffee as you browse a favorite novel, devotional, or whatever it is you like to read when you're not reading the things you HAVE to read – i.e. email.
Now, doesn’t that morning routine sound infinitely better than the stuff-cake-in-your-mouth-as-you-bolt-out-the-door scenario?
To sum up, here are the five keys to a slow paced morning routine: 1) wake up early, 2) notice the details around you, whether it's the smell of coffee, the cold, crisp air, your silk robe against your bare skin 3) eat a healthy breakfast, 4) make the process of getting dressed more enjoyable with lots of natural light, your favorite music, fresh flowers on the dresser, and 5) spend a few moments doing something you enjoy – whether it's reading a book, doing a devotional, or simply daydreaming with coffee in hand.
Your pictures are gorgeous. My morning routine is so important to me. I go to the gym, take a shower, grab coffee and go to work. By the time I get in I’ve already accomplished quite a bit!
I love these photos — My morning routine is too embarrassing! I’m usually running out the door late, with my hair a mess! I need to get up earlier, gah! http://www.heartofchic.com
My morning routine is getting out of bed with time to have coffee, get ready, and have like 15 minutes to do whatever before I head to work. I have an alarm clock on my nightstand, but I also have an alarm on my phone positioned where I have to get out of bed to silence it. I’m not a morning person even though I reallyreally want to be. I want to spring out of bed ready to conquer the day. I want each day to be productive. Late morning/midday is my jam. Luckily, I’m a coffee person. That certainly puts a spring in my step. I’m crazy sensitive to caffeine, so the first thing I do is brew a couple of shots of espresso made in a moka pot. I usually go back to bed for the seven minutes it takes to brew and the five minutes it takes to cool in the freezer. During this time, I check social media and email including reading theSkimm for news, all on my phone. I drink my coffee and eat my breakfast at my kitchen counter standing up. I usually have a muffin. Muffins are like cake! I bake 12 on a day off each week and put them all in the freezer. Taking one out at breakfast time and placing it in a plastic bag for the next morning. After breakfast, I go back to bed for the espresso to get into my system. About 20-30 minutes later, I can’t really sit still with the caffeine, so I make my bed and start getting ready for the day. I usually have a bit of time to deal with breakfast dishes and blog or write a long email or a long comment like this one.
I highly recommend a few things to you. Get up a little earlier, even if you have to go to bed sooner. You can do whatever works for you, gradually like 5 minutes at a time, or a sudden change like 30. I also advise you to prepare breakfasts for a week one day. Please know that a new routine takes time to get used to, months really. Be patient with yourself.
I know that I have a decent thing going already, but an ideal morning for me would be a little different. I would sit down for breakfast! At my dining room table with a vase of fresh flowers in front of me. Making time to read a book would be lovely. I wouldn’t have to go back to bed or even lay on the sofa.
I gotta head to work now. I really hope this helps you! Have a fabulous day!
I love the mornings! I tend to be rushed on the weekdays, mostly because I spent about 30 minutes just laying in bed checking emails and reading the news! I should probably put that time to better use!
Well doesn’t this sound like a great morning! Lately I’ve been watching Good Morning America or other morning TV shows while I get ready, and I love it!
I love slow paced lounging mornings, wish they were always possible!
I’ve been trying to wake up early enough to do this, it makes my whole day a lot better!
I love relaxing on slow mornings, even though I don’t get the chance that often!
Hahhah love this! I always try to wake up a few hours before I have to leave so I;m not rushing TOO much!!
This is great. I definitely just do everything so fast in the morning and I don’t really take time to reflect, slow down and notice my surroundings. I think that’s why my days are so stressful… because I don’t start them off nicely!
The Fashionista’s Diary
I definitely try and encourage myself to slow down a little and take in everything around me. Writing in a journal or even just the act of blogging in the morning or reading the news while drinking coffee is such a great way to start the day!
Ugh, that does sound like the perfect routine!! Isn’t there something so nice about taking a couple of moments to yourself in the morning to gather your thoughts and start fresh? What a pretty table setting!
Sara Kate Styling