Nearly three months in to this self-employment gig, I’ve finally developed a morning ritual that fits me. Here in the UK, we are still in lockdown on account of the pandemic and have been since the very start of 2021. So popping out for a Starbucks hasn’t exactly been on the cards.
This time last year, in the UK, the very first lockdown was announced. The whole pandemic was a brand new situation that hadn’t worn us down yet, and we were all waiting, wide-eyed to learn what would happen next.
At the time, me and my husband were living in a tiny first floor flat on one of London’s busiest main roads. Before the virus, we would listen to hundreds of cars, busses and lorries pass by every morning, many of them honking at each other. To say there was bustle would be an understatement.
On the first day of lockdown, me and my husband cleared out our small balcony, and the next day began our brand new morning ritual. We would make ourselves cups of double chocolate flavoured coffee, spread a blanket on the windowsill, and sit together overlooking this now deserted road. Enjoying the blissful silence and a spring sunrise over what two days before had been the busiest city in the country, was a truly unique experience.
Now, things are very different. Twelve months in, we are all thoroughly sick and tired of this pandemic. The novelty wore off after about a month, especially as I was working in retail at the time, an industry that was completely turned on its head by panic buying.
This time last year, I had no idea I would be where I am now. We envisioned we would still be in London doing the same things we did before the pandemic. Yet, things have changed for us in some truly incredible ways, and with these changes comes a complete restructuring of our morning ritual.
At the start of 2021, I wanted a really pro-active morning ritual. I was about to start a new career, and I wanted to go all in. That meant a morning so productive that it would set me up for an even more productive day. I’m talking a run, yoga, a healthy breakfast, and maybe squeeze a bit of reading in there, too.
All that lasted a week before we were snoozing the alarm seven times before actually getting up. Now, I roll out of bed, do my fifteen minute yoga routine, and drink a cup of coffee while I’m getting ready for work. It’s simple, but it does the job, and it’s led me to reflect on why I wanted such an extravagant morning routine in the first place.
As a society, it feels like we have this idea that doing more is better. The more we get done, the more pleased we should feel about ourselves. Which is true to an extent, but when we reach a point at which we have little spare time and are approaching burnout, we are forced to evaluate what is important.
In the end, I reached this conclusion. It doesn’t matter how productive my morning is before work, that actually isn’t the most important part of my day: the work part is. That’s the part I want to give all my energy to. Why am I depleting my own resources before I even get to the good stuff?
Maybe one day, when this is all over, I’ll have the energy and motivation to be superwoman in the mornings, but maybe not. Either is fine, because right now I am very content with my short yoga session, and my cup of coffee. White chocolate raspberry this time, in case you were wondering.
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