Pre-lockdown, my weekday mornings followed a set routine – get up, get showered, get dressed, get fed, get out of the house, get to the station, get on a train, get to work.
Not a lot of variation in that routine except in how long it took me to complete these tasks which would affect which train I caught (“the train”, “the early train” or “the late train”).
Now my morning routine is different, depending on the day. It might be get up, get dressed, get the yoga mat out. Or it might be get up, get showered, get dressed, get on a Zoom call with my family. Or it might be get up, get showered, get dressed, get fed and get out of the house for a walk. (“Get a coffee on the way” is optional.)
In the ‘before’, there was no time for walking through the park in the morning. The walking I did was the fastest and most direct route to the station. Now I look forward to my morning walks (more than the yoga, to be honest). Although we don’t interact with anyone, it’s been relaxing to walk through a big green space and enjoy some fresh air. The park is busy no matter what the time of morning. There are people jogging or doing workouts or doing yoga. There are lots of people walking dogs – big dogs, little dogs, old dogs who move slowly, puppies that bound with the excitement of a whole new world. There are the rule breakers – people who ignore the tape and barriers set up around the skate park and the basketball hoops and the free gym. There are parents and children. There are elderly people.
And the park has changed over the past few months. I remember walking through at Easter time: the gardens by the museum had tulips in flower, the first of the trees were blossoming and there were newly hatched ducklings in the pond – little fluffy bundles with beaks. Now the tree blossoms are gone, the ducklings are sizeable teenagers, nearly as big as their parents, and the remains of the dying tulip plants have been removed from the garden beds.
I’m grateful for these slower mornings, for having the time to mentally prepare for my day. For not feeling the pressure to be somewhere by a certain time. For having the time to exercise. For having time to catch up with my family. For having a different kind of start to my morning.
How has lockdown affected your morning routine? Positively or negatively?