Thursday, December 6, 2012

Morning Routines

I have a weird obsession with what people are doing in the morning. I like to know when people go to bed and get up and what they do before they do to work. I assume this obsession has something to do with the fact that I have to be at work between 7:10 and 7:15, so I don't get much of a morning during the week and always feel pressure to go to bed at a decent hour, but I also am curious as to how people use their time. Do you work out in the morning? Do you clean? Meditate? Watch TV? Read the newspaper? Shower? Roll out of bed and out the door in 15 minutes? Especially families with kids- I hear horror stories of what their mornings are like when it comes to the early alarms (aka children) and getting everyone dressed, fed and ready for the day on time. It can be a very exhausting time.

I struggle with how I want my morning to be during the week (weekends are set- sleep in, eat breakfast, watch some morning news and go for a run). In high school I got up around 6:45 and was at school by 7:25. In college, sans my first year when I had earlier classes, I went to the gym before my morning classes, usually getting up around 8:30 because my classes started at 11. On the days when my classes were earlier, I would just sleep in. Often I would go to class straight from the gym (if I walked) or I would drive to the gym and back to my place so I could shower. I always found it ironic that my first year when I could walk to the gym in 3 minutes, I never used it in the mornings. Oh, well!

In grad school I had night classes, so I would get up around 9 and go to the gym and shower before working the lunch shift at my waitressing job. I had a much later schedule then, so I could really get up whenever I felt like it.

Once I started my current job, I would wake up at 6:25 and be at work by 7:10. This year, though, I am finding myself needing more of time in the morning to wake up and feel like my best self when I get to work (you have to be "on" to deal with teenagers!). I have been experimenting with how best to approach this need in the morning. Some days I still roll out of bed at 6:25, other days I wake up at 5:40 to work out at my condo's mini-gym or run, or on days like today, I get up at 6:00, and do a "light" routine on the elliptical for 20 minutes while watching the news. This way, I can rationalize waking up earlier because 6 AM does not seem as bad as any time in the 5 o'clock hour (mental tricks!) AND I am not really "working out" but I am more of "getting my juices flowing." I don't need to shower, and it only increases my morning routine by 25 minutes but gives me that needed extra wake up time.

As you can see, I am not the type of person to give myself more time in the morning to do nothing. I cannot simply sit on the couch (I would rather be sleeping than watch TV in the morning). I also do not drink coffee (except a Starbucks treat) nor do I even get the newspaper. I have internet at work to check the important things (minus Facebook...but it's not worth getting up earlier to check) so I don't even turn it on in the morning and I am one of those freaks who cleans up after herself whenever I do something, so cleaning is not necessary. I shower at night because my hair takes too long to do in the morning. I don't have a dog to take out and my cat does not need morning attention besides me refilling his water to only have him drink out of the toilet (sigh). SO I really need to DO something to give myself the extra time I need and make it worth while to get up. Hence, the casual elliptical viewing.

So what I would like to ask you all (my thousands of readers) is: What is your morning routine like? Do you have any tips for me in my quest to give myself time to wake up in the morning? Yoga? Pilates? Just chill out? :)
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