I know right, you just read that headline and were like “What? Has all that sweet potato munching turned your brain into an actual sweet potato?” but it is true. I’ve started to get up just 15 minutes earlier than I used to and I’m way less tired as a result. Let me explain…
Recently I went on a trip to Greece. And it was blissful. One of the most blissful things about it was how much I actually managed to relax. You see, I’m shit at relaxing. I blame it on my genes. Running around at an alarming rate is a trait passed down the female line of my family from generation to generation.
In the past (aka the week before I went on holiday) I’ve been known to plan not only my meals, but my outfits and pre-pack my bags up to seven days a head. I get so anxious about ‘fitting it all in’ that I woke each morning in a state of panic. I mean, what if I didn’t ‘fit it all in’? What if I somehow forgot to wear trousers – surely this could happen if they’re not set out four days in advance right? Right.
Well at least that’s what I thought.
But what I noticed in Greece was that I wasn’t planning much. Not that I wasn’t still doing all the things (yup, even on holiday I started my day with lemon water, meditation and maybe even a spot of yoga), but I was just doing them rather than panicking, and pre-doing them. (I was also on holiday and spending all my time by a pool reading a book but hey, that’s not the important bit here).
So, in an effort to bring some of my holiday zen into my everyday – I decided to slow down. Not do less, but worry less about doing things. To trust myself. I decided to stop planning as much.
I’ve started to only think one day ahead (and yes to some that’s still crazy, but with morning workouts to tick off a bit of organization is key to ensuring I actually go to the gym and don’t rock up to work wearing mismatched shoes).
I’ve removed my ritual of rolling over and fumbling for my phone the second the alarm goes off for a seriously lengthy scroll of social media. Instead, I try to not hit snooze (the biggest challenge so far), get up, get dressed, wander downstairs (where our house is nice and quite), make myself a cup of tea and a glass of lemon water, open the blinds, do meditation and… I don’t rush. I take my time with my tea and I plod about relaxing into the day slowly. Yeah, I’m a little sleepy at first, but I’m calm. Getting up earlier and being more relaxed about my life means I have much more energy for the day.
I’m only a couple of weeks into my new routine, but I am really enjoying it. It seems to make getting up easier, knowing that I’m not rushing out the door, but about to get up and do things I enjoy (like drink tea and look outside – aka people perving), which in turns is proving a better success rate for actually getting to my morning workouts. Go figure!
But, don’t worry. I haven’t had a personality change – I’m still over organized, I still plan out what I am wearing or what I am thinking of doing at the gym. I still have my ‘weekly dinners plan’ post-it on the fridge and I don’t think that will change. But hopefully what will change is the way I tackle the day ahead.
I mean, they say “Begin as you mean to go on, and go on as you began” (well Charles Haddon Spurgeon says that… and I don’t know I would follow his general life advice, but this nugget seems pretty solid), and I don’t want to spend my days panicking that I forgot to pack my tangle teezer or gulping down scolding hot tea as I rush out the door.
Maybe this is the start of a new generation of totally zen ladies in the bloodline?