I was contemplating how different my morning routine is compared to a few years ago…
In the past I woke up by being jolted from an exhausted sleep by my alarm blaring in the background; I’d slap it resentfully with my hand to shut it up, groan “oh God, why isn’t it Saturday” and lie there in the dark while I summoned up the energy to switch the bedside light on. I’d languish in bed watching early morning TV whilst drinking a strong coffee to get me going.
Then it was a mad rush to walk the dogs, make a packed lunch, eat some toast and have at least 2 or even 3 more coffees before I could consider showering, brushing my teeth and going to work.
Mornings were a half asleep rush and stress to get out the door on time. Getting out of bed was an effort and some days I would even cry on my way to work because I was so exhausted before my long day even began.
I look back at how easily I’d become stressed and frustrated by the little things; like a patient being five minutes late, a filling turning out to be more challenging than anticipated and even simple paperwork that needed completing. I was like a time bomb with a short fuse, so exhausted I couldn’t cope, exploding with frustration on a regular basis.
Back then, coping meant yelling at my staff, reaching for a coffee or a doughnut between patients, pushing myself by going for a gruelling run, collapsing in front of the TV with a couple of beers before falling into bed in a stupor wishing that a good night’s sleep would make it all better again… which of course it never did, because nothing had changed.
These days I wake up early and naturally, I hardly ever need the alarm to remind me it’s time to get up. I feel refreshed and alert after a good night’s sleep and no longer need coffee to get me started, nor do I dread that it’s a work day and not the weekend.
I have plenty of time to prepare for my day and mornings are steady, not rushed or stressful. I have time for me and my family. I meditate for a few minutes, read, check my social media, spend an hour studying or writing for my work website or blogs, walk the dog, have a cup of herbal tea, make a nourishing breakfast and pack lunches.
All this is done in a gentle rhythm that supports me to feel who I am and where I am at. There is time for a soak in the bath, to do my hair, moisturise my body, dress myself, care for me and appreciate who I am. I check in with how I’m feeling and adjust my morning routine to suit and support me for my day ahead.
I do not have sleep-ins on a weekend, simply because I do not need them as each day I feel full and energised, not drained or exhausted, even after a heavy workload or challenging day.
So why is my morning routine so different now?
Because I have learned that by looking after myself, caring for me and nurturing my body with the right food, style of exercise, rest and going to bed early that I feel much more at ease and able to deal with my day. I have committed to dealing with my issues, resolving situations and truly healing myself, rather than resorting to coping mechanisms that take the edge off my day and actually devitalise and deplete me of energy.
The biggest shift in my morning routine came not from changing what I do, but in how I have come to live based on my daily choices to be gentle with myself, to connect to who I TRULY am, be honest with where I am at and what my body really needs to feel healthy and alive – and to honour what is required.
By Dr Rachel Hall, Holistic Dentist, Kenmore Brisbane Australia