I think the biggest goal of the beginning of my day is to enjoy myself. I hate being in a rush, and when that becomes the first stress of my day, usually it takes the entire rest of the day to recover from that. So I try to separate the parts of the beginning of my day into manageable chunks – all revolving around simple routines in my diet, technology, and exercise.
It all starts with breakfast – I always have a bowl of cereal. The types of cereal I have change, but it’s always something with low fat and low sugar. That way I don’t get into a food coma, or crash because I had too much sugar. I also don’t feel too ravaged I find its enough to keep me going for the first few hours of my day.
I love coffee, so I’ll have a cup of French press every morning. I used to have quite a lot of coffee, but I now I just want to enjoy the taste. I don’t want to feel like its something I need to have constantly. Again, I try to use little or no sugar. A pretty good sugar substitute is agave syrup.
I used to hop on my computer and check my social media accounts pretty religiously when I was getting ready for the day. But I found myself getting lost in them, or distracted by them as I was getting ready for the day. Getting to work is a little more important than checking my Facebook feed. I’ve taken to checking my e-mail, and often reading the brief daily digest from Quartz – it keeps me updated on world events and news. I usually like to get a broad view of the world before honing in to my tasks at work. If I see anything that I want to read later, I use Instapaper to save articles that are interesting to me.
I’ve written about this before on EHAB, but a huge part of starting my day is walking to work. It clears my mind of any stress from the day before, and connects me to my environment. I take pictures on my walks, which helps me to keep being curious about the world around me. I listen to music when I’m walking – not only to keep me going, but also to try out new music.
All this happens before I sit down at work. And every morning as I sit down, I want to be at peace with myself. I don’t want to carry any baggage into work or the rest of the day that might linger into the next. I start each day anew, and these few simple routines help me get there.