I’ve never really been a morning person, and heavily rely on persistent alarms (and the snooze button), a pot of black coffee, and a hot shower to get the day started. But here at Ongdalsam, mornings are packed full of activity.
Each morning, the other residents and I help set-up breakfast and eat a simple meal together. On the days I wake up extra early, I attend a yoga meditation session with an amazing qigong master. To top it off, my roommate Jinyoung makes excellent hand drip coffee at the cafe. By the time I finish drinking my coffee, I’m wide awake and ready for my day.
“Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the world earth revolves – slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future.” ― Thich Nhat Hanh
Japanese snacks from my friend Bibi on my tatami bed. Which reminds me, I spontaneously grabbed airplane tickets and ‘m headed to Kyoto + Tokyo in a few weeks!
I wrote a mini-guide on how to enjoy morning hours. It’s mostly for myself so that I won’t forget to keep up a healthy morning routine, but I hope it can be helpful to you, too.
There is no need to wake up extra early–try waking up just 30 minutes earlier than usual. Resist the urge to stare into your phone or sit in front of your laptop–e-mails and blogs can wait. And try these instead:
1. Read a book. There is always a book or two that I mean to read, but sometimes just go back on the shelves. Place the book on the breakfast table or by the bed. Reward yourself with a handmade bookmark.
2. Enjoy a cup of coffee/tea. Even as a huge coffee-head, I rarely set aside time to actually drink my coffee before I leave home–I just pour the half-pot into a thermos and run out the door. If I had even 10 extra minutes, I could sit down and enjoy the cup of coffee.
3. Journal. I really like calendars and to-do lists, but there’s something special about writing down random thoughts or drawing in my notebook.
4. Write letters. Whenever I write in my journal, I start thinking about friends in far away places. I began keeping stationary in my notebook for these moments. I love the idea of sending fond thoughts across the oceans to loved ones far away each morning.
5. Exercise. I’m really not very good at going on morning runs, though I always appreciate it on the days I make it out. I’ve been doing early morning yoga here a couple times a week, and it makes such a difference.
6. Be in the moment. Spend a few minutes staring out the window and listen to the sounds of the neighborhood waking up. Even if I don’t have the urge to really get out of bed, I can sit up and let my mind slowly wake up.
What are some of your favorite morning activities?