Today, Let’s Go Back
Back when I first started as an Educational Assistant in a special needs classroom right here in Alberta, Canada.
This career path as an Educational Assistant was not the job I intended to take after high School.
To be honest, the transition into adulthood was a stressful time in my life. Adulthood hit me smack in the face at 19 years old. Reality set it and I realized I had to do something with my life. And I had to do something quick…
I opted to follow in my mother’s footsteps, who was a classroom Educational Assistant herself.
Although it was not a planned intention, I found my purpose in the classroom. I loved supporting these kiddos. I loved being able to make a difference in little lives.
As a new and enthusiastic Educational Assistant, I kept busy to stuff the stress of the realities of being an adult… You know the stresses – bills, taxes, college debt…
So, I committed fully to my work. I helped out where help was needed. I said yes to anything anyone asked of me.
I tired out quickly…
Little did I know, I was on the path towards burnout early in this new career.
At the end of each day, I’d get in my car and prepare myself for an hour-long drive home. Get home and scrape up whatever energy I had left to cook supper. Immediately after, I’d head to bed in sheer exhaustion.
Going all-in to my new job was not the answer to my stress.
Feeling depleted each morning (Let me tell you, I hated mornings…), I would set my alarm to get up at the last possible moment that would have me out the door and on time for work.
I’d get to work, get busy, and repeat the cycle – all. over. again.
It didn’t matter how much extra sleep I’d get, I never felt rested.
I was tired, groggy. I stopped going to the gym. My health suffered – mentally and physically.
I needed to make a change.
Here’s the thing: I love learning! I’m a real book nerd if I do say so myself (and a proud one)!
When things aren’t working, I read, I research. And I implement.
I happened upon some books and articles that spoke about the benefits of a solid morning routine – Waking up earlier to start a morning meditation and yoga practice and get the brain going with some reading and journaling.
At first, I thought it was crazy…
How could getting up even earlier in the mornings make me LESS tired?
How is losing sleep supposed to give me more energy?
I was skeptical, but I couldn’t help but give it a try.
And you know what… It worked!
This was 7 years ago now and since I’ve started a morning meditation and yoga routine, I’ve NEVER looked back.
Turns out, I actually LOVE mornings now.
All these years I’ve been getting up each weekday morning at 4am – Call me crazy, but I love the dark quiet and peacefulness of the early mornings.
(But don’t worry, I do listen to my body when my body tells me I need some extra sleep).
I begin each morning with meditation, yoga, reading and journaling.
And because of it, I found myself having an abundance of energy. I’ve found myself happier and healthier. I’ve found myself more cognitively aware. And more productive!
Who would have thought that sacrificing just a bit of sleep for a solid morning routine could do all that?!
How It Works!
Studies have shown that a morning routine that incorporates meditation and yoga can improve physical and mental wellness! When we are mentally and physically at our peak, we receive plenty of benefits throughout our day – like a boost in energy and productivity!
Yoga and meditation reduces stress, improves sleep quality, increases focus, and enhances cognitive function – It improves our ability to rationalize and make better choices.
We change on a physiological level – our brain experiences changes in activity, our heart rate changes, and our bodies begin to release different hormones like cortisol and dopamine.
These physiological changes are directly related to cognitive and emotional changes – Our mood improves, we begin to foster a positive outlook on life, motivation and energy levels increase – all of which are essential for a productive day!
You can capitalize on these benefits by scheduling your meditation and yoga routine at the beginning of each day!
Doing so will set the tone for your day ahead!
Looking for some tips to getting a morning routine going?
Stay tuned for my next post where I’ll break down 7 crucial tips for establishing a consistent morning routine – and LOVING it!
Until then –
If you’re curious about what books I read about routines, check out this one:
The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod.
I read quite a few, but this one impacted my routine the most. It’s short and simple.
Its simplicity saved my life.