For years, I woke up to the 6am sound of my alarm. Of course I would hit the snooze button at least 5 times more than I should have. Then it was a quick shower and a sprint out the door, only to be caught in traffic.
I would blast my music in a weak attempt to forget about the arrival time that was swiftly approaching.
Everything about my morning was quick and loud.
After a stressful commute, my classroom would fill with 30 children, their 5,000 questions, endless papers that needed grading, and impromptu teacher conferences after school. And at the end of one of these busy days, I sat in my car and was struck by sudden silence before I put the keys in the ignition.
It was the first moment of quiet that I had all day. I paid attention to the sound of my breathing and my body quickly relaxed.
Recently, I was reminded about that silence. My then one year old daughter woke up at 5am with a wet diaper and it took over an hour to get her to go back to sleep. By the time she did, my husband had no problem falling back to sleep with her.
However, my eyes were wide open and I headed to the living room defeated.
I soon realized that this moment was a gift.
It was rare that I ever got a minute to myself and I definitely couldn’t recall a time since being married that my house was ever that quiet. I became hyper aware of my space, my body, and my thoughts. I made a huge cup of peppermint tea and opened the curtains just enough to watch the sun come up.
I was quiet. I was thinking pleasant thoughts. I was getting excited about the new day.
I loved this moment because it belonged to me and only me. I did not have to spend it changing a diaper or making breakfast or finding a missing sock. I did not use it to write the to-do list for the day or answer emails.
I spent the time on me.
I allowed myself 30 minutes to center my thoughts and start my day on the most positive note possible and I have done this daily ever since. I’ve found that my days are more productive when I allow myself the opportunity to take care of me first.
Here are a few ways to spend your quiet morning:
Prayer or meditation
Silent prayer and meditation is an ideal way to start your day. Thinking about what you are grateful for will not only fill your heart, but will make you a target for other positive things during your day.
Whether you write down your hopes for the future or the details of a wonderful dream, journaling is a great way to spend your quiet morning. This artistic release will set your mind up to generate other creative thoughts throughout the day.
If you don’t have a thought to share in a journal, grab a sketchpad and fill a page with pictures and scribbles. Doodling is incredibly engaging and allows your mind to focus on specific thoughts in deeper detail.
Pin pictures of what you desire. When you spend time visualizing what you want, you are extra motivated throughout the day. Print some of these pictures out. Make a vision board, which will be a great focal point when you sip your morning latte.
Starting my morning in silent reflection is my emotional anchor.
There are always peaks and valleys throughout the day, but I have found that my morning routine of solitude keeps me balanced no matter what is thrown my way. Repeat your quiet morning activity during the day when you get free time.
These brief minutes will help you refocus and recharge.
However you decide to start your morning, treat yourself to 15 to 30 minutes of quiet time. It is truly the most positive way to start your day.
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