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I rise early, while the world sleeps

by Priya G 4 months ago in advice · updated 4 months ago
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And you can too.

I rise early, while the world sleeps
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I come from a family of early risers. My grandma wakes up early, my mom wakes up early, even on the weekends. When they have nothing to do or nowhere to go, they probably subconsciously understand the importance of it, without realizing it.

I started doing a morning routine in the wake of the pandemic when everything seemed to be chaos. I felt everything around out of my control, which I’m sure many of you felt or still feel, perhaps a degree of that. However, I began to see it as an opportunity to reflect inward and turn inward.

I had nowhere to go, and couldn’t really see anyone only over video chats, so I was stuck with me. I might as well do some work. Inner work.

So a morning routine kept me grounded and focused and allowed me to improve on my art practices, which happen to be things I’m passionate about which are visual art, dance, and writing. What are you passionate about?

Before I start sharing my routine and the importance of it, I have to credit Robin Sharma’s “5 Am Club”

By Jodie Cook on Unsplash

It simply talks about the importance of rising early, mind you there are plenty of benefits to this. I highly recommend it if you’re looking to increase ‘productivity’ in your day, or just get the most out of it, if you feel like the days and time are slipping away too quickly, or realizing there's not enough time for "A,B,C,D".... But most importantly, it narrates how to go after your dreams - via a morning routine.

Personally, I didn’t enjoy my day passing me by and feeling like there was nothing to work toward. A morning routine allowed me to control my time and focus.

For me, the most vital part of the day is the morning, as it sets the tone for the rest of the day. If you sleep in, more of the day flies by quicker, and it's easier to get stressed if you have things to get done - in my experience. Whereas, if you wake up early (and go to bed early - more on this later), you have more time in your day with more energy to complete tasks.

It’s the time that I carve out, just for myself. It's been ongoing for about a year or so, and it's changed my day-day life. It was a slow process, it took me a while to figure out what worked and what didn't work. Be patient and compassionate toward yourself.

This year my focus is becoming a good dancer (create dance concept videos), a good visual artist (and sell my work), and write more (perhaps publish more and write a book).

I feel in order to accomplish that, I allow the morning to be the time where I’m improving on those things, whether it’s working in my sketchbook, dancing, or writing.

I am simply in love with my routine, it keeps me grounded and relaxed and well, ready for the day ahead of me. If I don't do at least 1-2 of those things in the morning, my day feels off.

By Jessica Lewis on Unsplash

My morning routine goes as follows , but not set in stone - that's also important.

5:30- 6;00: -Wake up. Bathroom routine and then put on some coffee

6:00-6:25: - I write. I am reminded to write and why, because of one of my favourite writers, Julia Cameron. I’ve adopted a habit of writing "morning pages", as she likes to title it. For ten minutes, I write about any thoughts, worries, fears, even things I'm grateful for. I also call this my stream of consciousness out onto the page. I love writing. My intention is to empty my mental mind.

6:25 - 6:30: Next, I meditate. I lie on my yoga mat, close my eyes and focus on my breathing for a few minutes. Bringing to my awareness that whatever I need to do later in the day, is waiting for me, but as for this moment, all I need to do is focus on my breathing. Mantra's help. Affirmations help. My intention is to focus.

6:30 - 7:30: Next, is movement. I warm up my legs through a series of ballet warm-ups. I am a dancer, so that’s one of the truest and best ways I get into my body. If I'm not feeling up to dancing, I'll take to my yoga mat, and go into yoga practice instead. My intention is to move my body.

7:30-8:00 - Work in my sketchbook or read. This is important for my mind, my brain, my soul. Soaking up new knowledge, even books I’ve read before, and the best way to learn from them is to study them. Just to give a bit of context, I love "self-help" books and ‘psychology’ books, where I can nourish and grow into the person I desire to be.

I’ll then move into art (or vice versa) I open up my sketchbook and I’ll either know what I’d like to draw or create or I don’t. But my intention is to create something freely.

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And then my day starts.

For about a year and a half now, this has been my morning routine. Write, meditate, move, read, and draw.

At times I don’t do all 5 things.

My main focus for this year is to write more, dance, and create more visual art. So I would like to spend more time improving on those things, as they are vital to my well-being, and inner child.

What are some of the things you'd like to improve on or make more time for this year?

A huge aspect that helps in cultivating a good morning routine, is sleep. Bruh, let me tell you, going to bed early, has changed my lifestyle. I've prioritized it.

I found that when I slept around 9:30pm-10:00pm, it became a lot easier to rise early at 5:30am.

I never used to stay up actually, I was always an early riser - however, when I started university, my habits started changing. I stayed up late, cramming, went to bed late, stayed up with my boyfriend - all the things I knew I shouldn't be doing so consistently.

Sometimes I can’t help but wonder if that was one of the reasons I ended up doing an extra fall semester, because I failed my courses in the summertime. (another article coming soon on this)

When I finished university, that’s when Covid happened, and things got out of control.

Waking up early gives you more energy, as ironic as it sounds, but that’s why sleeping early is vital. Your brain, body, and soul need rest. Sleep helps with that. Ariana Huffington wrote a book on sleep called “The Sleep Revolution”, and it’s excellent in understanding the importance of sleep, so I’m not going to spoil it for those who haven’t read it, but read it.

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Don’t get me wrong, on the weekends, I allow myself to sleep in. I love it, as much as I love waking up early. And we're human, we're allowed.

If you’re still unsure, here’s why you should take up a morning routine:

1. It sets the energy for the rest of the day

It makes the most sense, if you wake up well-rested and go to bed early with fewer distractions as possible, you have more energy to tackle the day and the tasks ahead. A good morning routine makes it easier.

2. It's your personal time

For me, the morning is my sacred time, even if my partner wakes up early and switches on the tv, I don’t allow that to distract me. I will face away, I will let him know I’m still doing my routine.

It's your time to pour into you and check in before others do. How are you feeling? What are the worries about the upcoming project? That’s why writing is so important in the morning for me because I allow myself to pour out my thoughts.

It's your time to do whatever you want.

3. It's your time to improve on things or learn something new

In the morning, I have the most energy - especially if I sleep on time and early. So I will dedicate it to improving on my skill sets and perhaps learning another and another. This is why I read also in the morning, listen to podcasts, watch videos...so I can widen my knowledge range.

And so there you have it, I hope that I have convinced you enough. Try and see what works for you. Don't be hard on yourself. Be patient, carve out a routine tailored to you and only you.

** Book references mentioned throughout the article (For further reading):

"5 Am Club" - Robin Sharma

"The Sleep Revolution" - Ariana Huffington

"The Right to Write" - Julia Cameron

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About the author

Priya G

I just love to write. These are my thoughts.

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