We need self-compassion for the early morning, especially when we are not morning people. Early in my career, I would see people early in the morning, and they would often remark, “I simply cannot deal with the morning. There are so many demands, and I am no where close to being awake!” Internally, I would be nodding my head. I understood. The morning is tough for me too.
Morning People VS. Night People
I used to have a mentor, who was a very seasoned psychiatrist. He told me that blood flow and the body’s tendency towards warmth at certain times during the day would determine whether someone was a morning person or a night person. I think he would laugh now if I asked him what one should do if they have to wake up early and go to bed late, and were no longer sure that they were an any time of the day person. Although I kid, the truth is that I still find the energy to be very productive and to develop good relationships, which I attribute to ample self-compassion and love for other people.
My Self-Compassion Routine For The Early Morning
As you wake up, notice how you feel, and allow yourself to have these feelings without apologizing or trying to change them. Like a stick floating in the sea, allow these feelings to pass by, observing them as they present themselves and then fade away. As my old supervisor, Amir, was fond of saying, “They’re just passing by.” Find a self-compassion routine that both embraces your fatigue, and helps you feel steadily more awake in a nurturing way. I used to start the day with an espresso and a shower, but after much time spent practicing mindfulness I realized that I was rushing to feel awake.
Now, I give myself a full hour to wake up, and make coffee and a protein shake that I can slowly sip, as my mind warms up gently with mindless videos. I used to try to wake up with an inspired reading. Boy, did my brain dislike that! Once, I am more awake, I take a shower, and dress in clothes that I have put out the night before. Less work in the morning means less stress, and more well-being. Finally, I rely on mellow music, and my ride into work to put the final touches on my preparation for the day. I try to begin each one with a quiet promise to make the best of it. My mantra is: “Who knows? Could be fun?” Then, I show up, and let the day do the heavy lifting.
What’s Your Routine?
This routine has helped me, and my clients, but I would love to hear about your routines. Let me know if there is a particular routine that allows you to be aware and at home with how you feel naturally, and gives you permission to respond to this experience with compassion and inspiration.
365 Days Of Self-Compassion. Day 253. In The Books.