It’s easy to feel like life is one big hamster wheel that keeps us spinning without any destination: we wake up way too early; we’re a little too rushed getting out the door in the morning; we sit in stress-inducing traffic on a commute that seems to lack humanity.
By the time we get to work, our day is set in motion and it is easy for chaos to follow. The morning tumbles into a frantic afternoon and then slips into an exhausting night. A day or a week of this is manageable, but this type of routine can stress out our bodies to the point that it’s life-threatening if such patterns continue for months or years.
This “rush” ritual was my own for most of my 20s until one day I emotionally collapsed and could not take it anymore—I had to stop the madness.
I knew there was something more to life than this, and every cell in my body was screaming out for me to find it. I pursued anything that would give me temporary relief—whether it was a yoga class or a shot of Jaggermeister. I just wanted out from the treadmill-routine I was stuck in.
The method was not as important as the result. It quickly became evident that Jagger and the like were not the answer. After about six months of trial and error, I finally committed to one mindfulness practice that changed everything.
Starting my day with positive vibes became the ultimate goal.
My morning mission shifted from rushing out the door to cultivating contentment and joy. Now I know that sounds fluffy and nice, but it took discipline and heart to achieve. I learned how to reprioritize everything I did in a course of a week in order to bring happiness to my mornings. All of my lunches were planned and clothes were picked out before Monday. Sundays were no longer reserved for hangover and clubbing recovery—instead, they became my prepping day for the week ahead.
When Monday approached I made a promise to wake up at 5:30 a.m.—no matter what. In addition, I consciously made an effort to avoid checking the often-depressing news at the start of my day. Instead, I would take the time to move my body, eat a good breakfast and stop by my favorite coffee shop.
There was no rush to get to the office because waking up early left me with enough time to indulge in the beauty of the morning.
For the first time in years, I started noticing how lovely the sky looks at the break of day. I gave myself permission to simply breathe and slow down. There was no longer a hamster wheel spinning me around—I was finally running free.
Waking up became a blessing of self-care instead of a burden.
When we give ourselves the morning, we offer ourselves a chance to reconnect with what truly matters.
Author: Ebbie Drew
Image: Bethany Legg/Unsplash
Editor: Renée Picard