My mornings look very different today than they did 2 years ago. First of all, I am living in Canberra not Brisbane, which means they are a whoooooole lot colder. And secondly, there is a third person in our family, who loves cuddles, kisses and waking up before anyone else in the house. Things change with time, yet no matter what stage of life you are in, our morning routines are often rushed and stressful. Recently, I’ve found I have to be mindful of this to set myself up for a good week and I am really enjoying adding a few slow mornings into my routine and I want to encourage you to consider doing the same so you can see the results of increased productivity and revitalisation.
Why we all need a slow morning
Mornings are busy
I don’t know what a typical morning looks like for everyone, but mine involves making coffee, working out, preparing (and eating) a healthy breakfast for the family, making snacks and lunch for the day, tidying the house, getting ready, checking emails, mentally planning the day ahead and of course and tending to my baby, Finn, all in the space of a few hours. I often find myself feeling frustrated that I haven’t started any ‘real work’ in these precious morning hours when my focus is at it’s best.
Cortisol levels are naturally highest in the morning
Do you ever notice that if you start a day off rushed that it takes a long time to shake it and calm down? Interestingly, our cortisol levels (the hormone that produces stress) are naturally highest in the morning, which explains why trying to complete many simple tasks in a short amount of time can be daunting. Remembering this, I’ve found that trying to do a few simple morning tasks the night before (like meal prep and having a rough plan for the day) can really help reduce that morning rush.
Slow down to do more
After a particularly stressful morning, our productivity levels really drop. I know for me, it takes a fair amount of time for my brain to calm down and focus when I’ve been trying to do a million things at once. Tim Ferriss hit the nail on the head when he wrote; “Slowing down doesn’t mean accomplishing less; it means cutting out counterproductive distractions and the perception of being rushed.”
The bible tells us so!
The bible tells us that “joy comes with the morning” (Psalm 30:5). Not stress or frustration, but JOY! This is a wonderful reminder for us to rejoice in the morning. Psalm 143:8 is a great scripture passage to pray in the morning – Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love, for in you I trust.
Read more about being still here.
Are you convinced yet?
Let’s be honest, sometimes the morning is just going to be busy. So my aim is to have one full slow morning a week. This for me is a realistic goal. Hopefully one day all my mornings will be slow, but one day at a time, right?
A hot drink and healthy, filling food is a must. A good book and music is a bonus. Feeling well-rested after a full nights sleep is perfection.
But for me, the most important part of a slow morning during a Canberra winter is keeping warm, which isn’t easy to do when it is below freezing outside (most mornings have been minus 4 this winter!). Finn sleeps in a sleeping bag with a Waverly Mills woollen baby blanket on top for extra warmth (gifted to me from Waverly Mills), so when he wakes up and I give him his morning feed and bring his blanket with us to the chair, which is still warm from his body heat. It sounds simple, but it is my favourite moment of the morning.
That blanket is so luxurious and cosy… made in Tasmania from 70% ELS Pima Cotton and 30% Australian merino wool, it feels so silky and soft and is big enough to cover both of us. The baby blanket colour palettes (choosen by internationally acclaimed award-winning Australian design duo, Rina Bernabei and Kelly Freeman of bernabeifreeman) is pretty gender neutral so it will also be a tradition I can continue as other children join our family. The quality should last generations and I can’t help but smile at the thought of Finn having a morning cuddle with his baby one day with the same blanket.
A slow morning is going to look different to everyone. Currently, in this season of my life, an ideal slow winter morning looks like:
Wearing my favourite pyjamas (see above – yes that’s Prince Charming on the pants!).
Drinking a fresh hot coffee, preferably made by my husband.
Time without computers, phone and social media.
Cuddles with my son, wrapped in the softest woollen blanket, while we read and play together.
Enjoying an amazing breakfast of vanilla and caramelised banana black chia pudding at the table with the family.
Getting out with the family for a walk and some quality time and fresh air followed by some stretches for flexibility and balance.
Be intentional and practice slow mornings
I feel relaxed and excited just thinking about this ideal slow morning! Now don’t be fooled it doesn’t always happen like this, this is my ideal! I’ll usually get half of these things and I’m ok with that, as ‘slow’ doesn’t come naturally to me and lets be honest, babes don’t always allow for it. I’m also going to print this list off to remind myself of how to do this until it becomes a regular weekly habit. So wherever you are in life… do yourself a favour and have at least one slow morning a week. You won’t regret it.