After an unsuccessful attempt at waking up this morning, which involved lots of grumbling and tossing and turning, I thought that I should probably re-evaluate my morning routine. Frankly, my current routine could use a revamp — it mostly involves throwing on clothes, fixing a sorry breakfast, and half-sleep-walking through the driveway. Of course, morning routines can be flexible (traveling, the occasional lazy day, etc.) but a solid framework would be nice to work around. Hence, after the usual change of clothes and hygienic routines, a few additions and tweaks for my own well-being:
- Hydration: a half glass of water every morning.
- Read: at least fifteen minutes of prose, be it from a novel or well-written short stories and articles, plus one poem — this is relatively easy with daily poem apps and emails (poetry foundation, poets.org, etc.) ¹
- Stretch: take five to ten minutes to do body stretches. Don’t underestimate the power of having warmed-up limbs before tackling chores (goodbye muscle aches and strains!)
- Breakfast: cereal is fine for rushed mornings, but try other variations when time is available. omelets, parfaits, bagels and so on. don’t forget the cup of tea once in a while!
- Plan: at least one small but fixed goal for the day. Then, when all goes downhill, if I’ve completed this one tiny goal, I’ll be able have something to hold onto.
- Music: breakfast with the radio on (KUSC); nice ambience and stimulating for practicing later.
- Meditate: this need not be the classic lotus-style meditation — just a few minutes to clear my mind, sort out thoughts, arrange priorities.
¹ a reminder to self: when reading poems, please take time. read slowly. it’s so easy to rush through them because of their shorter length (sans the epics) and complexity compared to prose, but good poems simply cannot be processed like prose. every word burns with meaning. skimming over words is something of a disservice and really, there is too much to fall in love with in good poems, too much richness to be digested in one sitting.