Good morning and happy Thursday! It doesn’t feel like Thursday this week, does it? I’ve been thinking a lot lately about this one change I made in my daily routine lately, and I thought it would be fun to talk about it here. And since I’m enjoying my slower morning now, I figured it would be a good time to write this post.
When we travel, I always pick up some trinkets or souvenirs to remember our trip and the places we visited. I usually end up placing them around the house, my office, or even in my car as a constant reminder of the amazing experiences and places we’ve been.
When we traveled all around Scandinavia, Russia and Europe this May, something felt a little different. Of course, I wanted to get some of the classic items that the countries were known for, but I couldn’t help but admire more of their way of life than their material items. A lot of things stood out to me. Perhaps the one we’ve taken to heart the most, though, is slowness and consciousness in daily activity. Let me explain….
I couldn’t help but notice a few things that were different in places like the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, etc.:
- No drive-thrus
- No fast food joints, except for the occasional train station or airport McDonald’s
- Not a lot of to-go options at restaurants or cafes
- Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts and Panera were missing and replaced by cool, chill cafes
- No white paper cups in people’s hands as they hurried off to work or school (they’re too busy biking everywhere — no earphones or anything!).
In other words, it seemed to me like their culture was not based off of being in such a rush all the time. It made me realize that, although I love the U.S., we have an entire industry and culture dedicated to getting you somewhere faster.
Since my brain tends to think about everything in terms of health and food, I couldn’t help but notice the effect this has, or seems to have, on our health. So I thought to myself, “What can I do to implement small changes to slow down and enjoy what I’m doing at the time I’m doing it?” I thought about how different my daily morning routine looked compared to that of a typical working person in the Netherlands, Denmark, etc. I had to be honest with myself and think of how rushed I was/felt.
I’m usually rushing around, packing plenty of food (in to-go containers, of course), making coffee and putting it into a huge insulated mug, drinking coffee in the car on the go (not even enjoying it because I’m not stopping to think…), etc.
Now I’m trying something new. Something that looks a little more like intuitive eating (thanks to Paige!), but which also applies to things other than food. So what am I actually doing? Slowing down and enjoying what I’m doing at the moment — aka. having slower morning. Here’s what I’ve done to try to implement a slower, more enjoyable morning:
- Go to bed at night earlier, in order to accomplish the next thing…
- Wake up earlier
- Get out of bed within a few minutes of waking up
- No TV in the morning (not watching the news has lifted my mood!)
- Making coffee to enjoy at home with Ryan
- Making a very small breakfast (I’m not particularly hungry when I first wake up – so I still like to eat my breakfast when I get to work)
- Sit, without TV or my iPhone, with Ryan and enjoy our coffee and breakfast.
It’s made such a nice difference! It’s a work in progress and it definitely can’t be every morning — I still have hearings, depositions, or other work/life obligations that don’t allow me to sit and enjoy each morning the same way. But at least I’m doing it some or most of the time!
Have you guys ever brought home anything from a trip that has stuck with you? Do you enjoy slower mornings or think they would help set you up more a calmer, more enjoyable day?