It’s been over a week since we moved from Regina and over a week that I have been living out of a suitcase at my best friends’ home. It’s been so much fun being on “vacation” while we wait to move into our new home, and also a little out of sorts.
I don’t know a lot about parenting, but I do know that kids thrive in routine.
I also know adults do too.
I’ve done a great job of maintaining Magnus’s routine even when things have been really different since we’ve moved.
Since we’ve got here, we shared a room together for the first week (and the first night a bed!). He’s had access to playmates from sunup to sundown right where he lives. Also, instead of playing at our local playground we head out to a new beach, park, or local festivity every day. It’s been awesome.
Yet our routine has still stayed the same. We get up at the same time the same way, eat at the same times, and go to bed the same time everyday with the same routine.
Routines are what ground us, they help us stay rooted even when everything else is up in the air. Although this past week has been one of the best weeks of my life (is there anything better than living at your besties in a place you would vacation???), routine is what grounds me in staying healthy and connected to myself and what’s important to me.
One of the bonuses of staying at Nioka’s is that we are kind of the same person in a lot of ways (I remind her of this daily). We finish each other’s sentences, like the same food, share clothes (even 10 years later!), and even parent in similar ways.
We also share similar routines despite living 2 provinces apart for the past 10 years. It’s kind of crazy. It also means it’s been easy to keep my routine and stay grounded even though everyday I’m walking into the unknown and taking wrong turns in my car every time I drive it.
I’m a firm believer that how we start our mornings influences how the rest of the day goes, so this is what I do to create the best possible days for myself. By taking care of my needs (self-maintenance people!) I am better able take care of everyone else’s too.
Here’s my routine that I follow religiously, even when I’m travelling or in between places:
Warm Lemon Water
This is the first thing I do after I use the washroom and brush my teeth. I pour an ounce of lemon juice into an 8 oz glass and top it up with warm water. I’ve been doing this for at least 15 years and it’s my trick to not only hydrate and boost my metabolism, but to get my guts going. If you have trouble with your tummy, you might consider it and it tastes yummy!
To keep this simple, I buy bottles of organic lemon juice and really like the Santa Cruz brand.
Sweat Before Anything Else
In the summer I typically just walk out of my house at 6am and head out for a run. Now that I’m in a new place that is on a MOUNTAIN, it’s a bit different because I do not run hills. Maybe you like them, I don’t.
Nioka has done a great job of showing me all the ways I can sweat around here and they have all been wonderful so far.
We’ve hiked up Pulpit Rock which is a 30 minute hike straight up Elephant Mountain to a sweet lookout (my calves hurt for DAYS!).
We’ve gone to the gym to run on the treadmill and done some workout videos.
And we’ve gone for a run along the lake in the rain which was still mind-blowingly beautiful and so much fun when you run with someone who’s company you love no matter the weather.
The first few days after I arrived to Nelson, Dave wasn’t here yet and Magnus needed me a lot so I didn’t get a sweat on for 5 days.
I don’t like to admit this, but I am not as nice as when I get to move daily. I notice my patience running out sooner, I’m not as engaged as I want to be, and truthfully…I start to get resentful about EVERYTHING. Even things I volunteer and WANT to do because I haven’t taken care of myself first.
Eat a Real Breakfast
I know a lot of people who skip breakfast or don’t eat a nourishing one. I believe breakfast sets you up for every other meal of the day. When you start off with a wholesome highly nutritious breakfast that is satiating it’s easier to make healthy choices throughout the day.
Also, when you start your day in starvation it’s too easy to make unhealthy choices to manage the h-angry’s, you know?
We usually eat my favourite homemade granola (from the Oh She Glows cookbook) with almond milk and lots of fresh fruit. Another favourite is oatmeal with blueberries topped with hemp seeds, pecans, coconut, cinnamon and a splash of maple syrup. These breakfasts are nutrient dense with healthy fats, low on sugar, and keep me full for a long time.
We rarely watch TV, and it’s never on in the morning and neither is my phone. I have my phone on Do Not Disturb from 9pm to 9am every day and don’t check it in the morning until then. It allows us to connect in the morning and keeps stress and anxiety levels down.
The reality is that I can’t do anything until my son goes to school anyways, so why start worrying about it until then. I choose to maintain a peaceful uninterrupted morning for as long as I can hold onto it. This allows me to stay present with my family and I start work then with a clear head and heart. Win-win I’d say.
Snuggle as much as you can with whomever you can. Touch is such a great way to start the day. Wrap your arms around your partner for a few minutes before getting out of bed, get your kiddos to jump into a family snuggle, cuddle up on the couch together and read a book before heading out for the day, snuggle into your dog or cat and get some loving there too.
Starting the day with snuggles is an easy (and feel good) way to reduce stress and anxiety, as well as increase happiness for you AND the person you’re snuggling.
Lastly, this is one of the most important parts of my morning routine: stillness. This doesn’t always mean a formal meditation, sometimes it means 5 minutes of meditation, sometimes it means 5 conscious breaths in the bathroom while Magnus parks cars in the living room. What it does mean is that I get quiet, go inside, and plug in.
The clarity and connection I get from even 5 breaths gives me greater perspective and reminds me of who and what I am and how I want to live and serve in the world. It also helps process big emotions and clears my head when it feels overflowing. It’s everyday magic.
Well, that’s about it. I’d love to hear from you now. Do you have a morning routine? What does it look like and is there anything you’d add to mine?