I’ve always had trouble establishing routines. They seemed so boring. “Routine”—even the word itself implies repetition, sameness. However, routines are also comfort. Routines are good habits cemented. So lately, I have been trying to cultivate a number of positive + cozy habits to jump start my day. Here’s my cozy morning full of yoga, tea, books, and one beautiful German Shepherd.
Today I woke up at 8:00 am. I usually wake up a little later than that as I am the worst night owl, however, today I have one beautiful German Shepherd named Yoda (how cute?!) visiting me. I am watching him for my friend who is away for a few days. Baby Yoda (do you see what I did there) has a habit of waking me up early in the morning because he misses his humans. Yoda affectionately sticking his long nose in my face in the morning is the perfect excuse to get out of bed earlier and get on with my morning routine
First thing I do in the morning is turn on music on our home speaker. I like low-fi hip-hop, instrumental, and sometimes classical genres for the morning. Lately I have been listening to a lot of Ryuichi Sakomoto. Background music helps me focus on the early tasks of the morning—making the bed, unloading the dishwasher, tidying up any leftover mess from the night before.
“Your daily practice is your best practice.”
After all the tidying is done, it is time for yoga. I try to practice yoga every morning. As Sara Beth from my favorite yoga YouTube channel says, “Your daily practice is your best practice.” On days when I have to go in to work early, I give myself at least 15 minutes to do yoga. On a day off like today, I am able to do 30 minutes and more. I feel great after yoga—so much more energized and less sore from all the weird contraptions I get myself into while sleeping.
I feel the most focused in the morning and late at night when it’s quiet and I am able to produce some of my best writing at this time as well. Whether it’s poetry (less so now), fiction writing (much much less so now), blogging (the majority of the writing I do now), or journaling (occasional), I sit down and get creative.
After committing to personal writing, I move on to work emails. Even on my days off I try to stay on top of them so as to not get overwhelmed when I go into work. I only work three days in the office so it’s easy to fall behind on work if I am not diligent about it. We’re in our slow season at work and there are only a few emails today, so after wrapping them up, I focus on Yoda and take him out for a walk, his second one of the day.
Tea + Oatmeal
After walking Yoda, it is time to make breakfast. I practice Intermittent Fasting so it’s not until later in the morning that I settle down to eat. Before breakfast, I only allow myself unsweetened black tea with lemon, or unsweetened jasmine green tea.
For breakfast itself, I usually make oatmeal, loaded up with honey and whatever fruit I have at the time (today it is strawberries & bananas, yum) and either more tea or coffee with almond milk. However, most of the time I prefer when my partner makes coffee since it is one of the rituals we share together, so on days off together I ask him to make us coffee. If I am alone at home, I sometimes take a walk to a local coffee shop and treat myself to an almond milk latte.
Today it is more tea for me, and a little photo session of my breakfast and the ever curious Yoda.
If I have no other errands or work for the day, I carve out some time to read. I do get most of my reading done before bed time to let my eyes rest from all the screens throughout the day, but I also love a mid-afternoon read as well. If I’m going in to work, I also like to read on my commute. The current book I’m reading is on my 2020 Reading Challenge. I’m slowing making my way through the challenge.
Just like with the previous book I’ve read by Amor Towles, I love the writing in A Gentleman in Moscow to bits. It’s lush and yet understated, and so vivid in historical details of 1920s Russia. I have some vague knowledge of that time period, and I am Russian myself, and so far, I have not found any faults or idiosyncrasies. This book is clearly meticulously researched and it shows in every single scene, character, and sentence. It is a beautiful book that tugs at the heartstrings in just the right way and makes me nostalgic for a time and place that no longer exists.