The Underrated Beauty of Unconstrained Mornings
The power of habit rings overrated in a tiresome article I wrote.
It highlights the importance of healthy morning habits. Drinking water on an empty stomach. Savouring your coffee. Having a healthy breakfast. Creating daily goals. Being consistent… blah de blah.
A beautifully constructed morning routine we all know can set us up for a productive day ahead. Right?
I call BS in a teacup.
The more I examined the ‘power of habit’, the more I noticed the unrealistic expectations attached with a ‘hustle’ undertone.
It would be a lie if I wrote that healthy morning habits will consistently promise you a superb day. And frankly, the web overflows with this monotonous sh!t.
Instead of limiting yourself indefinitely, why not embrace the underrated beauty of unconstrained mornings more often?
As the proverb goes (edited for gender-neutrality):
All the work and no play makes you dull.
Wake up when you wake up
Rising with the sun after proper rest must be one of the most undervalued experiences that few have the option to fully grasp. It might be due to a rigid work schedule hurling you out of bed at 5 a.m or the desire to keep up an unwavering routine.
But surely it’s not called ‘Rise and Shine’ for nothing.
Imagine your ideal gentle morning awakening.
No pressure chasing you out of bed. No mindless commutes to the office. No expectation to be a productive machine for 8 hours or more.
A fantasy, right?
Probably. But haven’t you ever questioned the carefully manufactured system that bends you at its will? How could we not desperately follow in the footsteps of billionaires when the web tells us the ‘billion-dollar secret’ involves forceful early mornings?
Worshipping billionaires is simply a distorted reason to rise at sparrow fart, don’t you think?
I used to believe early mornings could lead to more success. Instead, it broke my natural sleep cycle and made me a miserable human being.
Now I embrace waking up without a pesky alarm. For it makes me feel more alive and decreases sleep anxiety.
Yes, obsessing over getting enough sleep does exactly the opposite.
It robs you of quality rest.
Don’t think about savouring your coffee
Similarly, being preoccupied with savouring your coffee, tea, water or whatever you drink in the morning, contradicts the supposedly wholesome deed.
Especially when it accompanies capturing it for the world to see.
The irony hit me like a wrecking ball as I prepared the perfect angle of my morning brew for the gram and finally drenched my lips in disappointing cold coffee.
What did I want to accomplish?
I didn’t even know… But I knew it stole my joy. Bye Instagram.
Savouring your coffee means finding bliss in the unscripted moment of a hot medium-bodied brew with smoky aromas, nutty and caramelised stone fruit flavours — without the need to prove it to anyone.
Eat when you feel hungry
The same principle applies when it comes to breakfast.
Why should you force down food at a specific time? Wouldn’t you rather listen to your body?
Some mornings I don’t feel hungry and it feels utterly icky to eat for the sake of maintaining a habit. To me, it defeats the point of setting an intention. And I would rather trust my gut than go with the marketing fad that “breakfast is the most important meal of the day.”
Yes, marketers claim that failure to sit down to a complete meal in the morning can harm our health.
What a load of BS in a frying pan.
According to recent health research, what we’re fed (ha) about breakfast is merely the cereal industry exploiting a modern invention.
“Listen to your hunger cues to know how important breakfast is for you,” says Dunn. “What you eat over the whole day is more important than stressing over breakfast.”
I concur. Having a meal in the morning is wholly an individual choice.
Allow free-flow creative expression
Likewise, as much as I value the importance of goal setting, I also see the need for unconstrained endeavours as a driving force of achievement.
Of course, it’s good to have intentional days.
But don’t you think you could also have favourable outcomes if you challenged your normal routine patterns? What if your best ideas originated from voluntary bursts but you ignored them due to demanding perfect adherence?
Think about it. You can open a realm of infinite possibilities for yourself when you allow a little wiggle room.
With that, I find a fluid style to be more natural and realistic as opposed to a constrained approach.
This leads me to the beauty of spontaneity.
Find comfort in inconsistency
Many sources boast about the potential benefits of consistency. I agree in part but what if the opposite could also be true? What if the stability in your regular routine holds you back from your unrealised flair?
What if your fickle heart drives your creative process?
Regularity might earn you trust but it might also stifle opportunity and growth. The key is to recognise when consistency matters and when it doesn’t.
Personally, sameness often breaks my creative flow.
Consequently, it pushes me to develop the familiar yet unwanted hurry-scurry mindset.
And that brings me to the supremely questionable whirlwind of hustle culture.
Sidestep toxic busyness
You might have heard of it. You might advocate for it. Or you might be on a downward spiral, out of breath and wishing you never started.
That is the destructive force of feeling pressure in hitting new and inaccessible targets. The constant need to edge ahead, ignoring your physical and emotional limits, can be catastrophic for your well-being.
Once upon a time, I too honoured the bustling spirit. Strenuously keeping up with the fastest runner and passing invaluable lessons in plain sight. As my breath caught up with me at my own pace, I happened upon the underestimated space of elbow room.
And opportunities lit up like stars on a moonless night.
Outcomes don’t measure your self-worth. It only adds to the toxic belief that productivity determines your worthiness. Therefore, any self-care attempt leaves you feeling guilty, shameful and stuck in a harmful hustle.
But I want you to know your achievements (how well you maintain habits, how fit you are, your wealth, how many followers you have, or other external measures upheld by society) don’t measure your value.
As Jadi Engels, in Your Worth Is Not Dependent on What You Do, so eloquently expressed:
“The truth is, our worthiness doesn’t reside in doing; it lies within our very being. It’s unchanging, unwavering, and infinite. But we can certainly convince ourselves of the former and spend our lives hustling for the worthiness that we’ll never find in doing.”
In essence, your pure existence makes you worthy even while you don’t accomplish anything.