My relaxing morning routine

Sometimes I wonder what people do in the morning. How does their day start? When I tell people I wake up about an hour and a half before I leave for work, some seem shocked. Why that early? Well, because I can’t hurry.. I need to relax, but I have a lot to do before I go. So how does my morning routine look like?

Well, first of all why do I have a morning routine? I mean I could simply wake up, get dressed and leave, right? But that doesn’t work for me. Not only because I have dogs, but also before I had them, I needed a bit more ‘me’-time before I faced the world.

In my early working days I was a bit more rushed in the morning. In the end that meant I felt rushed all day long. You might think that if you sleep longer and hurry to get to work, you’ll be more rested. Because you slept longer right? The opposite is true though. Sleeping longer and then rushing takes away all the relaxedness you felt before. So that routine had to change.

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It took a while before I found the best way to start my day. I don’t mean the best way for everyone, but for me. After visiting Bali and seeing a Guru, yes I said Guru, I received advise that I had to follow up. The Guru told me I should mediate every morning. So since then I do. I must admit I lost my way for a while, but got the hang of it again. Does it work? Actually it does. I start my day feeling very at ease.

So you’ve waiting long enough. How is my daily morning routine? Well, I usually get up around 5:30 AM. The first thing I do after waking up is either walking the dogs or starting my yoga. My boyfriend is spoiling me lately and walks the dogs every morning. The second thing though is always yoga. First a few ‘Sun Salutations’, then a mix of other yoga exercises and then it’s time for the meditation part.

After a short meditation, the time various each day, and saying a mantra that ‘today will be a great day’ I get to the next step. Shower time it is and then getting dressed, doing my hair and make up. When I’m about ready to leave, I don’t leave just yet.

My boyfriends wakes up and we drink a coffee together. You wonder how I drink my coffee? Well, thanks for asking. I have some black coffee with a drop of coconut oil, some honey, soy milk and some cinnamon to finish it off. And my boyfriend? He doesn’t like my special coffee mix that much, so it’s black coffee for him.

And is this entire routine worth it to get up so early? It totally is! Like I said before, when I rushed in the morning, I felt rushed all day long. Now I take a bit more time for myself before I face work, strangers in the train and all of that fuss and I feel so much better.

It takes me about an hour and a half to do all of it and sleeping in doesn’t compare to the happiness my routine brings me.

So I can definitely recommend to save some time for yourself in the morning. Even if it’s only fifteen extra minutes to read the paper, wander around, drink a coffee or to just take your time. Trust me, you’ll feel the difference.

You’ve got mail

Remember the time when we sent actual handwritten mail? I miss those times. Don’t you? Seeing the envelope and guessing who’s handwriting it is? Or even better writing a letter to someone you miss and knowing it makes them happy. Wouldn’t it be fun to start doing this again?

During the holidays many people still send “real” cards, but that’s about it. Depending on the country and culture you might receive some birthday cards as well. Yet those are often not handwritten either, but made online and then sent by regular mail. I like those cards and it’s so easy to do. No need for an envelope, stamp and going to the mailbox. Still it doesn’t compare to an original and authentic written card.

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When I was living in Canada the internet wasn’t that fast. Also Facebook didn’t really “exist” in the Netherlands yet, although we did have a Dutch version. Of course I had the option of sending emails and I did, but I also had a stack of stationery. I’ve written many long letters to my friends and family. And the best part? When they would send me a letter back. My grandparents used to sent me some Dutch candy once in a while too. That was a real sweet message, although I don’t think you would like this Dutch licorice.

Living in Spain I didn’t sent letters anymore or received them. Cards I religiously sent and received as well. After a while I did switch to use the online card-system. And why? Well my mail got “lost” too many times. It was also a lot faster using a Dutch company to mail post to my Dutch loved ones. On top of that the choice of cards was limited in Spain, so maybe it’s also a cultural thing? Since in the Netherlands you can find them at any street corner and in Canada there were aisles of Hallmark cards.

But whatever excuse I can think of, sending cards through an online company is simply a lot easier. We’re always in a hurry and don’t have time or take the time to sit down and write. That’s probably the real issue here. We want everything quick and ready to go. Even though the quality of slow and steady might be a lot better. I might not be completely objective though, since I like to write and not everyone does. But I do think everyone loves it when someone sends them a personalized card or letter.

So maybe that will be my New Years resolution. I want to start sending more handwritten cards and letters. Not because there is a special reason, but for the sake of bringing (hopefully) a smile to someone’s face. That moment of joy when you realize that someone took the effort to dedicate a message to you. Because sometimes it’s better to send a positive message and not expect an immediate answer, like we’re so used to nowadays.