I started going for morning walks in December.
With the advent of the new year, my resolve has been firm and there has been no cooling of the steam to keep me walking. However, I have come to believe that relying totally on will-power to achieve long-term goals (fitness, career or any other) can often be pretty daunting and can often lead to a feeling of burnout.
This is why I have been working on revamping my morning schedule overall.
The chilly mornings with temperatures dropping to as low as 2 degrees centigrade, don’t allow much room for experiment or adventure. But, the dreams that haunt you in the night and keeps you moving in the day, know how to push you out of the covers no matter how cold it might be.
I am a morning person who always chose to wake up at 5 am instead of staying awake past 10:30 pm. Reviving this old habit, making room for a productive routine has been easier than I had imagined.
However, the real challenge was fitting in the motivation to keep doing so, day after day and still waking up just as excited about it like day one.
From personal experience, I know how easily and without wasting any time I’d get ambivalent. I’d then spend hours re-thinking my choices before gradually returning back to the old, procrastinating self that’s tormented by depressive thoughts most days.
When motivation visits you, it’s best to offer it a chair and befriend it. Don’t just hope that it stays, but adopt ways to lure her to stick around like a best friend forever.
This was when I summoned my positivity and eternal optimism to help me make this happen.
The morning hours have a way of slipping past our grip like sand.
No matter how many mornings I have walked on the face of this earth, I can never stop being amazed at how quickly I can lose the precious quiet minutes, I hoped to put to use changing my life around.
I took these baby steps that have proved to become the best ways to relieve stress for me:
- I started with training myself to sleep on time to allow myself at least 7 hours if not 8 of peaceful sleep (without fail) every night. It was rather tough after having had an erratic sleeping pattern for the past many years when I often slept as little as 4 to 5 hours.
- Another important step in this plan has been spending ten minutes before bed-time having a definite plan in place about all I want to achieve in the first 4 hours of the morning. This way, before I hit the sack, I have a clear mind space, a plan in place and I sleep to wake up ready for action.
- Waking up with an affirmation. I often have an affirmative (positive) idea scribbled on a piece of paper and left on the side table to read, smile and jump out of bed with the enthusiasm to achieve it. A recent one was, “I am going to make the most of this beautiful morning.” and today’s thought was “I am ready to have my morning recorded in a blog-post” and that’s exactly what am doing. I choose to keep them simple, achievable and in present tense (with the intention of making it happen that day).
- Before I get to the grind I choose to stretch myself well, smile and decide the task of the day. The task of the day is a little fun thing I choose to do during the hour of my morning walk. For example, spotting at least 5 new flowers or 2 new birds (as I walk past gardens), or paying more attention to sunlight at play at the horizon. It’s fun, keeps my mind occupied, keep me soaking the natural beauty around and be happy at the same time.
- Reminiscing the moments from the last day that I’m grateful for. This is a new addition to the train of thoughts I allow room for in my morning walk. It has been quite a mindful addition that keeps me motivated and feeling positive throughout.
These little steps have been helping me going about melting my stress every morning. Seven weeks into brisk morning walk, I can safely report am feeling fitter and more (emotionally) aware of my well-being than what I have felt recently.
Though there have been dull days when I have been ill or too tired to step out.
The affirmations and the awareness that dawned on stress relief has kept me ready to face whatever comes my way.
The song on my mind: Aati rahengi baharein, jaati rahengi baharein ~ Kasme Vaade