I was having dinner with my mom and sister tonight (at the amazing Trilogy Sanctuary in La Jolla), and I asked my mom about her morning routine. I’ve been feeling more routine-less than ever lately, and it’s been taking a huge toll on my happiness levels. I started to get really curious about this tonight.
For as long as I can remember, my mom has always gone out for morning walks. I didn’t really think too much into it before now, it just seemed normal. But since I’ve been struggling to have any sense of “normalcy” lately, I’ve been realizing how important a sense of grounding routine is – especially if you’re in charge of your own schedule. (The perils of too much freedom are very real).
Jenny: “Mom, tell me about your morning routine.”
Mom: “Well, every day I wake up around 6:30 or 7am. I make my tea. I drink it between about 7am and 8am, and then I’m out the door for a walk.”
Jenny: “And how long do you walk for?”
Mom: “It depends. But always at least an hour.”
Jenny: “You walk for at least an hour every single morning no matter what?”
Mom: “Yeah! Every morning. It’s my routine.”
Jenny: “What would happen if you didn’t do it?”
Mom: “I always do it. It makes me feel good. It makes me feel happy and energetic.”
Jenny: “But what would happen if you didn’t do it?”
Mom: “I guess nothing would happen, I just like doing it. I like getting outside. I like having a schedule.”
Jenny: “But what would you feel like, I mean? If you didn’t do it for a week straight?”
Mom: “I don’t know… I guess… a bit scattered? Chaotic, maybe?”
Jenny: “Maybe out of control?”
Mom: “Yes. Scattered, chaotic, a little out of control. The morning walks make me feel good physically and mentally. I like to have some control over my day. And my destiny.”
That’s what I was looking for.
This conversation was so mind-blowing for me because it made me realize how important some sense of routine (especially with exercise) can be for our wellbeing, and how much control we do have over how we feel in our day based on these habits.
A walk is just a walk, right?
My mom takes at least an hour walk EVERY SINGLE MORNING… because it makes her happy, but also because physical movement, being outdoors, and sticking to a schedule prevents her from feeling scattered and helps her have some sense of control over how she’ll feel for the rest of the day.
It makes so much sense.
Jenny: “So would you say that morning walks every day are one of the major pillars of happiness in your life?”
It’s funny how you can see someone you love do something simple for years and years and years, and then one day it just hits you differently, and it means something huge.
Tonight I shall lay out my running shoes before I go to bed, and be out the door for a morning walk by 8am. For an hour. After my tea.
Thanks Mom. :)