Image: Unsplash
Image: Unsplash

How to have a positive morning routine in lockdown

There is no such thing in lockdown as a regular morning routine for many of us. While some of us celebrate the early start, happily starting our day at 5 am if it means having the afternoon free, the rest of us dread any form of premature beginning. It is perhaps one of the only things that has stayed the same in lockdown. Whether or not there was a task to complete or a lecture that required our attention, getting up early during term time was the opposite of a desirable start to the day. 

My thoughts on mornings are intermittent. Occasionally, I will wake up extremely early and this is easier to do as the days get longer and sun shines through my bedroom window. Often my mornings are shaped by the previous evening. If I’ve gone to bed earlier, it’s usually easier to wake up earlier. At the same time, I can often lay-in for much of the morning, sometimes until 8.30 am or 9 am.

I find myself writing articles or essays in the morning

Ironically, the times when I sleep in are often after I’ve planned to wake up early. The night before, I would have set an alarm for early in the morning. Yet, by the time I hear it, it feels like I’ve barely been asleep for five minutes. Perhaps waking up naturally, or monitoring my sleep patterns, could make early starts more normal.

The best mornings begin when I have a purpose. Often, I don’t like to wake up and begin my day straight away. A podcast or some early morning radio would provide a gentle start to the day by allowing me to hear the voices of those far more awake. Subconsciously, that these individuals had altered their lifestyles to be bright and chirpy would make me more awake. It is no surprise breakfast shows are the most popular on any radio station as the voice of another is a good motivating tool whatever one’s mood. 

Often, I find myself writing articles or essays in the morning as I have learned that my productivity levels are at their optimum early in the morning or late at night. I don’t like to look at a screen too late in the evening so early mornings become the best time for me to work. 

All the days roll into one and the structure I enjoy immensely is lost

On other occasions, I simply want to have a relaxed morning. Maybe I will feel like waking up early, listening to the radio and catching up on the news. I currently present my own weekly live radio show for Warwick’s student radio station. It is vital therefore to be up to date with current events before I go on air. However, when I’m not presenting, a TV show in the morning seems more appealing. During lockdown, the BBC series Spooks has taken over my life. With 86 episodes over 10 series, there is ample time to watch and enjoy the world of danger and anticipation. 

Days in lockdown seem to go slip by incredibly quickly. By 10 am, I often wonder what there is left to do. This can become tiring and make waking up on future days feel more difficult. I don’t know whether it’s because we live in a tick box society but I like to stay busy. If I had an evening shift at Warwick Arts Centre, that would make me more productive. I knew work had to be completed by the time my shift started. Having the whole day free means that all the days roll into one and the structure I enjoy immensely is lost. 

Having a lack of routine is normal

We shouldn’t let waking up at a certain time control us. If you’re an early bird, that’s excellent but if you’d rather wake up a bit later, that’s fine too. While the Instagram filters of the perfect life may dictate an early start is the best way to live, it’s important to understand our health needs. They may require more time asleep. That being said, there is nothing wrong with an early start. If individuals want to be productive, that should be celebrated but they should do it for themselves, not because they want to impress others.

From a visual perspective, mornings are beautiful. Sunrise creates a sense of renewal and beauty but even in normal times, people enjoy laying in on weekends and having a lack of routine is normal. Sometimes we’re up at the crack of dawn and on other occasions, midday is here before you know it. It’s all part of being human.

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