Taking Back My Mornings: By Juhi Parikh

by Aashumi Shah October 18, 2017 0 Comments

Taking Back My Mornings: By Juhi Parikh

My mornings used to be a blur of feeling stressed and constantly short of time.

The nights were a key ingredient; working late, calls at all hours, disturbed and deficient sleep. Then waking up, bleary eyed, jarred into consciousness by a phone alarm followed by scrolling through work email with half-open eyes.

This rude start would segue into a maze of calls, emails, somehow getting dressed and swallowing a bite. As a consultant working with global teams and varied clients, my days were uncertain and unstructured, and my mornings mirrored that pattern.

Inevitably, I grew burned out; struggling, low on energy and constantly on the treadmill of tasks whether corporate or domestic. I didn’t feel like an actor in my own life, just an observer, watching helplessly from the sidelines.

I had to take back my life, even just a little part of it. Mornings are when I feel best; energetic, motivated, optimistic.

So, about a year ago, I decided to take back my mornings.

I started simple; just ensuring I woke up at the same time every day. I rose early enough to ensure some me-time, giving me a feeling of structure and control. I wanted to rise at least two hours before leaving for work or getting onto calls, or even thinking about work. Without being obvious or overbearing about it, I imposed boundaries and set a fixed start time for my work day.

It was hard at first; lots of dark winter pre-dawns when I wanted to roll into the comforter for some more shut-eye. To mitigate the pain, I did not make myself exercise, not at first.

Instead, I allowed myself to read in bed. Not news, which can be disturbing, but fiction. As there is nothing in the world I love more, this gave me a luxurious, decadent, Saturday morning feeling. I felt relaxed, happy and as if the day belonged to me. I went to work in a back-from-vacation, energetic mood.

Knowing I had to wake up early, I began to get to bed on time. This was not a huge sacrifice; I had already taken steps to get over binge-watching TV .

Once waking up got easier, I began to exercise. On fine summer days, I would get outdoors, smell the roses and watch the local geese on their own constitutional. In winter, I now had motivated treadmill time.

Mornings are my time of will-power and positivity, when I can push myself to do things I am not obliged to.

The routine lets me cook a hot breakfast while playing some soft music. It lets me savor it without gulping in a rush. I dress and prepare for the day in a measured, relaxed manner.

It is a few minutes of stillness, of pleasure, before everything else takes over. Amidst the gloom of 24 hour news coverage, of election cycles and climate change, of terror attacks and gun violence, of war and refugees and autocrats, of racial discrimination and sexual discrimination all pouring into our eyes and ears - it's a happy place. 

And that small capsule of serenity leaves me energized, balanced. I am more productive, insightful, and reflective. I am nicer. 

That feeling of being centered seeps through the hours, infusing my day with joy and openness to small pleasures.

I am happier.


About The Author:

Juhi's blog for mirasa

I am a marketing analytics professional originally from Bombay, India and currently live just outside New York. I read over 50 books a year spanning my wide range of interests (thank you, NYPL). I especially enjoy fiction and my secret indulgence is children’s literature. I am passionate about writing; about books, the arts, culture, Bombay, India, and more lately about health, habits and mindfulness. 

Visit me at my blog and on Medium  for my latest posts.



Aashumi Shah
Aashumi Shah


I'm a textile designer and the founder of mirasa design. I love day dreaming, standing on my head, reading and of course my glass of Malbec. Married to a public defender and mom to a terrific kiddo. We are the Ecua-Indians of Washington D.C.

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