Morning Walks

20151126_065155{sunrise on thanksgiving morning from somerville ave.}

My morning routines have changed a lot from what they were a year ago. I used to greet the day with a crack of dawn wake up call followed by a run or spin class or something intense at my gym followed by breakfast and a huge mug of coffee followed by work at 9 or 10am.

Now, my work schedule is more erratic. Sometimes I have work at 6:45am, sometimes at 8:30am, sometimes at 12pm, sometimes at 2:30pm- it varies every day on a weekly basis. That’s retail for ya.

Now, I don’t drink coffee anymore. I gave up caffeine for the most part earlier this year and have stuck with this new habit because it makes me feel a lot better.

Now, I don’t run. And I don’t spin on a regular basis (unless you count riding my bike to work) or push my body to any sort of extreme. When I noticed the signs of stress that my body was screaming at me, I slowed down on the prolonged cardio and kept my “cardio” to relatively easy bike rides and walks. I have a job where I’m on my feet literally all day so outside of that, I try to keep things pretty chill.

Some of these changes have been tough for me. I like stability, I love coffee, and I really love exercise. But bodies change and lives change and you have to go with the ebb and flow of things. There are days where I feel blue about the things I’ve given up for now for health reasons, but there are plenty of days where I’m able to focus on the things I do have and the things I can do and the ways in which I am lucky. After many years of not listening to my body, I feel blessed that I know how to listen to it now and give it the things that it needs. I know how to take care of myself.

I may not be able to kick my own butt in a workout right now (thanks, adrenal fatigue), but I can walk.

And so that’s what I’ve started doing 3-4 times a week (on days where I don’t have work early). I get up around 7, fill up a thermos with hot water and lemon, and go for a 30-60 minute walk (depending on how much time I have). I sometimes listen to music- sometimes to a podcast- and sometimes to nothing at all. It’s a great way to do something for myself first thing in the morning and clear my head before the day begins. I end up coming home more awake and ready to take on the day ahead of me.20151119_080624I try to keep my phone on airplane mode so as not to get distracted and I don’t bring anything with my but my phone and keys. I keep the walk light and try and go on a different route every time. It’s also a way to see my neighborhood that’s still fairly new to me.

With Christmas coming, and all the stress and madness that comes with it, I like having a centering habit that both benefits my body and mind. It’s like a little gift to myself.

It’s going to be tough to keep up with this newly cultivated habit as the weather gets colder, but I love it enough for now that not even a little frost could keep my sneakers from getting out there.


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