“I go through phases of starting my days with different guided meditations or chakra cleansing before I get out of bed.” – Merja Willock Share this quote on Twitter

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Merja Willock

What is your morning routine?

I have learned not to have a strict routine because as my interests and energy constantly change, following a rigid schedule will make me easily bored and stagnant.

Instead, I choose from activities that I feel will raise my energy levels and give me inspiration on that given day. Those usually include some kind of creative activity; from playing the piano, to knitting, writing, some kind of movement (even for just ten minutes), and either reading, or listening to guided meditations or audiobooks.

How long have you stuck with this routine so far?

As it is so fluid and I constantly change elements according to how I feel and what my mind and body needs the most, it’s a bit difficult to say, but my mornings have definitely been more self-care centered for the last couple of years.

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One thing that I have religiously done daily since last December is oil pulling, and my teeth have never been in better condition.

How has your morning routine changed over recent years?

I used to think I had to be extremely efficient from the moment I get up, as that is the general norm. Now, because I’m naturally an evening person and usually get my best work done later during the day, I try to learn to honor that, and have given myself permission to dedicate my mornings to self-care and creative activities.

With that said, when I’m in the phase of having new exciting ideas, I tend to skip my usual creative routines and get to work as soon as I wake up.

How soon after waking up do you have breakfast, and what do you typically have?

I don’t eat before I’m hungry, and I drink lots of liquids (lemon water, herbal teas, or a green juice) for the first couple of hours after waking up.

I have a couple of different breakfast favorites that I vary according to the seasons and how I feel. During the summertime I usually start my day with a big green smoothie, when it’s colder I love to add in quinoa porridge with cinnamon and blueberries.

Chia seed puddings are also a staple, and on weekends it’s a treat to have buckwheat pancakes with dandelion tea.

Do you have a morning workout routine?

I aim to do some sun salutations or a gentle walk around the neighborhood to get my energy flowing, but as my natural energy levels are low in the morning I leave more strenuous exercise for afternoons and early evening.

How about morning meditation?

I go through phases of starting my days with different guided meditations or chakra cleansing before I get out of bed. Other times I just listen to some uplifting music.

Do you see to email first thing in the morning or leave it until later in the day?

It varies. Usually I try not to open my email for the first couple of hours, but if there is some exciting news that I’m expecting I will check it earlier.

What are your most important tasks in the morning?

Recognizing and honoring my natural energy flow, and rehydrating.

What and when is your first drink in the morning?

As soon as I have done the oil pulling I have a big glass of warm water with freshly squeezed lemon juice, and some herbal tea, or a green juice.

On days you’re not settled in your home, are you able to adapt your routine to fit in with a different environment?

When I’m away my routine is actually more efficient because it helps me to stay present and grounded regardless of my external circumstances and environment.

What do you do if you fail to follow your routine, and how does this influence the rest of your day?

If I just sit in the front of the computer without dedicating time for self-care, reflecting, and being alone with myself, I definitely notice the difference. I feel stiff and cranky, get easily irritated, and don’t get that much done.

When I notice that, I will try to honor my feelings, know that it will pass, and have a short break for meditating, taking photographs, or playing the piano to get me back into the beauty of the present moment.

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