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As I continue my attempts to make self improvements this year, I have stumbled upon quite the gem! I found some inspiration by total accident...
Scrolling through my YouTube Home page recently, which is often a mash up of home tours and productivity videos, I stumbled upon a video titled, 'My 4:30 am Morning Routine.' I of course, scoffed. I have definitely become more of a morning person over the last couple of years, but still have a hard time calling myself one. So seeing videos titled something obscenely early, intrigues me but I always walk away thinking that I value sleep so much more...
Well...I have caved. After watching the video I pondered challenging myself to get up a little earlier. My typical morning routine for the work week is up between 6:10-6:20 am; sometimes managing getting up at 6, and other times I fall back asleep until after 6:30. This leads to panic and racing around like a crazy person. I like to be out of my house by 7am, which means I'm at work before 7:30 (even though I'm not expected in until 8 am - I like the quiet time). But, I have always wanted to get up and enjoy a cup of tea before I run out the door and actually feel like I'm truly awake before leaving my house. So my challenge was to get up just a little bit earlier each day and work my way up to about 5:30 am. Which I know for some is no big deal but it's pretty major for me!
So the night before, I set my alarm on my FitBit Versa2 and selected the 'Smart Wake' setting, which creates a 30 minute window ending at the time that you set the alarm. The idea is that as it's tracking your REM sleep, it wakes you up at the most ideal time within that 30 minute window. Nothing is worse than waking up groggy and I realized quickly that was what was happening on a daily basis. So first morning of waking up early, by some miracle, I had NO issue waking up. I actually sprung out of bed and asked myself, who do I think I am?! So I assumed it was a fluke and would only last the one day. Boy was I wrong.
I very quickly found out that I actually enjoyed waking up that bit earlier and found that I naturally started to wake up around 5:30 and sometimes even earlier! The motivation behind waking up, other than enjoying my morning cuppa, was to incorporate my French language habit. If you've been watching my weekend vlogs, you'd have heard me talk about Duolingo and how I'm aiming to practice French for 15 min./day, every day. I was struggling to get myself to do it at night as I would always remember last minute so, I figured what better way than to start my day? I will say this one is a work in progress...I did have my longest streak of a whopping 4 days, but we all have to start somewhere!
So needless to say, I have been enjoying the extra time, even if it just means flipping through my bullet journal or getting some of my thoughts down for the day. Also spending some time actually putting makeup has also been nice. To make my mornings a bit smoother, I'd like to prep my outfit and lunch the night before so it's less decision making first thing in the morning, because decision fatigue is totally a thing and I feel like the uncertainty of an outfit is really draining when I'm first waking up. I also realize that sounds totally ridiculous, but oh well.
I have more recently begun one more routine for my morning, which is a 10 minute morning yoga video. I stumbled upon the channel Yoga with Kassandra a few nights ago when I was looking up some yoga for my lower back and hips. She has a 30 day morning challenge that she ran about a year ago (and I found out she is now launching an evening routine challenge starting April 1st) that I've now completed over the last two days and hoping to continue. I think I will restart it on the 1st to complete both at the same time. That's the goal anyways. But any little bit of yoga, more frequently is better than nothing and I do feel great afterwards. Super simple to fit into your day (even if it's not first thing in the morning)!
Another habit I am trying to form (and am currently breaking as I type this blog post) is to step away from all my tech by 9 pm, or 9:30 latest. It will force me to read a book, write things in my bullet journal, or even do some tarot readings. It will also give my poor eyes a break from staring at a screen. I feel that some days are worse than others when it comes to my eyes being tired, so any extra tech-free-time is appreciated. For this one, I've been relatively good during the week, but Friday/Saturday night - not so much haha. It has been nice to start to unwind a little earlier than just jumping into bed because it gives my mind some time to quiet down. I often have a lot of crap floating through my head at night (hello anxiety...) so it's nice to have worked on calming my mind. I would like to do some nighttime meditations as well but I also know that I can't tell myself to do too many things every night because I will feel overwhelmed and not bother with any of it.
So I would love to know if you have any early morning habits/rituals or anything you need to go before going to bed.