Here at Limit Breaker, I like to be realistic. I know the slow living movement isn’t within reach to most people every day of the week. I also know, however, making time for ‘slow’ is important in a fast-paced world.
When is a slow morning realistic?
When it comes to creating a slow morning routine, I understand the majority of people don’t have time to even think about putting a plan into action. This is why I’ve specifically titled this article ‘develop a slow morning routine for quiet days’, emphasis on the quiet.
When you have deadlines, you’re in a rush, or simply stressed from the day-to-day goings-on in your household, the last thing you’re going to be thinking about is how you’re going to intentionally make a cup of coffee. Instead, you’re going to be mixing up some instant and running out the door.
If you’re feeling that statement then I advise planning for slow mornings when your days are quiet. This could be after a big project launch, when your kids are away on a school trip, or simply a lazy Sunday.
Why plan for slow mornings?
It’s simple, slow mornings allow for rest. When we wake up and go go go, our mind and body don’t have a chance to catch up. Our lives are already filled with information overload, commitments, responsibilities and hardly any time to think. These slow mornings give you the breathing space to take stock, chill and recharge for those much more busy mornings.
Why not every day?
Besides being unrealistic for the majority of people (if it’s realistic for you – go for it!), when done every day, a slow morning no longer becomes slow, it just becomes a morning.
This is ideal if you can feasibly fit it in, but the slowness acts as a contrast to your normal daily life – when done all the time, that contrast is no longer there. The effect of the break isn’t as obvious.
How to develop your slow morning routine
I’m not here to tell you how to live your life, your morning routine should be completely tailored to you. So let’s just ignore all the advice telling you to meditate or make drip-filtered coffee and let’s create something that’s yours.
Below are four questions to answer before you start your slow morning. These would ideally be thought about the day before so that you can make the most of it.
Here they are in short, I’ll go into some more detail after:
- What will you prioritise?
- When will you wake up?
- What aspects of your morning do you want to do slowly?
- Is there one thing you’d like to do that you usually don’t have time for on busy days?
1. What will you prioritise?
Slow mornings are all about intention. Your choices on this morning will determine how you feel for the rest of the day.
Prioritise what you want to focus on, it could be any of the following:
2. When will you wake up?
The time you wake up is crucial to planning the types of things you want to do in your slow morning and how long they take.
You may be in a position to sleep in a little longer than usual to catch up on rest. In which case, sleep is likely one of your priorities. If not, your wake up time may mean you can lengthen your slow morning to finish a little later and give yourself enough time to go ‘slow’.
3. What aspects of your morning do you want to do slowly?
We know that a slow morning generally means doing things with a little more intention, but we can’t possibly do every aspect of our slow morning slowly. That would turn a slow morning, into a slow day.
So, have a think about which aspects of your morning you want to do slowly. Do you want to take longer with your skin routine, making your bed, spending time with loved ones, writing, making breakfast, or coffee? Pick a few things you’d like to focus on and plan for doing them.
4. Is there one thing you’d like to do that you usually don’t have time for on busy days?
This question is a simple reminder that on slow mornings, you have more time for the things you usually rush or don’t have time for.
What would you love to incorporate into a morning routine but you know realistically you don’t ordinarily have time for? This could be anything from styling your hair to watering your plants, or opening up some windows for fresh air.
Don’t forget to plan ahead
Your slow morning will be better if you spend a little time planning ahead. Because it’s not happening every morning, your slow days can be prioritised and even stuck in your diary.
The day before, I recommend making sure there’s absolutely nothing standing in the way of your slowness. If your slow morning still requires you to make breakfast or lunch for others, do it the night before. If your house is untidy and you believe that will have to be done in the morning, get it done the day before.
Your slow morning is in your hands, if you can eliminate some of the things that take time, you’ll have more to use tomorrow.
My slow morning routine
Just for a little fun, here’s my personal slow morning routine, which by the way differs all the time:
- Get up at 6:20 am with my husband
- Make breakfast while he makes our coffee, feed cats
- Husband leaves at 6:50 am
- Light a candle
- Write my to-do list for the day while drinking coffee
- Put on reading music and read until 8:50 am
- Get dressed, pull out the laptop and write until I feel finished (sometimes 10 am, sometimes 11 am)
Whatever you have going on in your life right now, it’s so important to take care of ourselves. Slow mornings are precious and depending on your circumstance, can look very different from mine. That doesn’t matter, the important thing is to find a slow morning routine that works for you and schedule it in!
Featured image by Kinga Cichewicz
Do you have a slow morning routine? What’s the one thing you make sure to prioritise? Leave it in the comments below and let’s share.
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MJ | Barbed Wire & Lace15th October 2019 at 5:07 PM
This is so incredibly important for people to learn about pacing themselves.
Everyone constantly talks about the ‘hustle’ like you have to work yourself to the bone 24/7, 365.
However, I tried that and it made me awfully sick and I lost all my creativity and will to write.
It’s NOT about the hustle. It’s about balance and fairness to yourself.
Working every day like you’re a robot is going to end in a crash and burn!
This is something that everyone needs in their life! Thanks for sharing it and giving me that little reminder!
Gina Lucia16th October 2019 at 8:06 AM
Yes you’re right, everybody has their own level of pressure they’re able to withstand and actually, a point to which they stop doing good work and start just working. It’s just important to understand yourself above all else.
Lori Roach15th October 2019 at 6:54 PM
Such a well-considered article! Lately, I have been go-go-go with my work, and I’ve been missing the quiet times when I ease into my days. My ideal morning involves waking around 6;30, doing a quick (10 minutes or less) social media check-in, a little coffee, walking the dog, and then sitting down to evaluate and plan the rest of my day. The walk is crucial – since my dog lives in the moment, he helps me focus on the present as well, enjoying the fresh air, flowers, and people and dogs we meet along the way, with no goal other than to take our time.
I find I have more patience and compassion both for others and myself, on the days when I take things slow. Thanks for the reminder that I need to get back into good, slow habits!
Gina Lucia16th October 2019 at 8:04 AM
Oh brilliant, that walk does sound critical indeed. We should all be more dog!
Wangui5th May 2020 at 6:15 PM
I was getting into a habit of having all mornings as fast paced work till you break mornings. And the result was burnout and unproductivity in the long run.
At least now I know that slow mornings do count for productivity to an extent.
Gina Lucia6th May 2020 at 9:04 AM
Exactly right, there’s just no way we can work on full-power all the time.
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