One of the first books I read last year was Destination Simple – Everyday Rituals for a Slower Life by Brooke McAlery. It’s a quick read packed full of practical advice designed to help you live more simply. Brooke’s description of her morning rhythm and the thinking behind it left a lasting impression, prompting me to create my own.
‘Having a rhythm to your mornings means you know what you need to do and how it needs to unfold. It takes the head work out of your morning, so even if you’re not an energetic person first thing, you will still be productive.’ – Brooke McAlary, Destination Simple – Everyday Rituals for a Slower Life
What I love most about Brooke’s approach is that it encourages you to combine needs and wants. Having asked myself how I want my mornings to feel and what I need to get done, I’ve made space for self-care alongside essential tasks like laundry and packing lunches.
Obviously, some days are more challenging than others, but the morning rhythm outlined below seems to help tasks flow naturally from one to the next. If something doesn’t happen, things don’t fall apart, we just try again tomorrow.
Being more intentional and making a concerted effort to create a gentle, calm environment has had a positive impact on the whole family. Mr L.A. teases me about my hippy tendencies, but deep down he knows mornings are much nicer since instigating these changes!
Instead of starting your day by responding to the stimulus around you, you’re proactively creating the day you want to have. When you wake up and do the most essential things first, you get a good start to your day. Your mind is better focussed on the rest of your day’s tasks. And you’ll do a better job taking are of the people you love most.’ – TSH Oxenreider
I’m always the first one up and I’m usually out of bed by 6am. I’m evangelical about my Lumie Bodyclock* which gently starts to brighten 30 minutes before my alarm time, waking me naturally as it reaches full brightness. It makes a huge difference to my energy levels, especially at this time of year.
Tea, Coffee, and Morning Chores
While the kettle boils, I empty the dishwasher and put a load of laundry on. Mr L.A. usually appears around this time. He tends to wake Izzy with her mug of tea while I retreat to the sofa with mine.
Making self-care part of my morning rhythm has helped it become a non-negotiable part of my day. Sometimes I’ll do a short meditation using the Calm app. Sometimes I’ll dedicate 10 minutes to writing in my Letterfolk Abridged Journal. I’ll always spend at least 30 minutes reading.
If my children were younger and less self-sufficient, I might not be able to allocate quite as much time to these tasks. But I think most of us can make space for at least one small moment of self-care every morning.
I also use this time to diffuse essential oils and listen to classical playlists on Spotify. I’ve had my Made by Zen SOTO Aroma Diffuser* for a while and it remains a firm favourite. At the moment, I’m mainly reaching for State of Liberty’s Winter Essential Oil Blend or On Guard by Doterra.
Jesse tends to surface a little after 7am. Once he’s been coaxed into his uniform, we’ll eat breakfast together in the kitchen. I keep things pretty simple, opting for granola with coconut yogurt or a toasted bagel topped with marmite. To avoid creating another chore later in the day, we try to clean the kitchen as we go.
Shower and Dress
Thanks to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, getting showered and dressed isn’t always a given. Sometimes, I simply don’t have the energy, but I always feel better on days that I do.
Make the Bed
I’ve been following The Organised Mum Method since last October and I’d really recommend it. The daily Level 1 jobs help me keep on top of things like laundry and cleaning the bathroom. I don’t think ensuring beds are made every morning is quite as crucial to the running of our home, but I like how the house feels when it’s done.
If I don’t hang the wet laundry almost as soon as the machine finishes it often remains damp all day, languishing in the drum until bedtime. Dry clothes are folded and carried upstairs to make way for a fresh load.
Out the Door
Izzy leaves the house under her own steam at around 7.45am. Unfortunately, I’m not well enough to do the school run every day, but I’m always at the door to see Jesse off. Once everyone’s gone, I tend to make myself another cup of tea before heading upstairs to the office.
- You can listen to me chat about our rhythm in more detail in episode three of Friends With Business Benefits, the podcast I co-host with Charlie Swift. If you’d like to establish your own morning rhythm, Destination Simple takes you through the process step-by-step. You’ll also find some useful resources on Brooke’s podcast and blog.
Love Audrey xxx
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