My normal morning routine involves turning on the computer and sitting down to answer e-mails before my body even realizes I’m out of bed.


I’ve only recently begun to realize how jarring this must be for my brain — not to mention my soul!  One moment I’m blissfully asleep, and the next my alarm is blaring.  Then, I’m suddenly staring at a bright screen and forcing my mind to go 100 MPH.


I decided to do things a little different this  morning.  I turned on the hippie music channel:


I love the names of songs on this channel – "Peace," "Common Threads," "Celtic Ragas," and "Mantra for Mieka."  Haha.


In my darkened living room, I did a quick yoga session, including Sun Salutations, Triangle/Warrior, Dog and Cat, and more.  I also did 40 push-ups.  I followed my 10-minute session with some meditation and visualization.  I visualized how calm and efficient my workday was going to be.  I thought about all the energy I had inside of me and how much I was looking forward to the day.


I ended with a Namaste.  🙂


I cannot even DESCRIBE how much calmer this change in my routine made me.  I’m not even dreading work now!


Following my awesome wake-up call, I made Gingerbread Pancakes.


I used my normal whole wheat pancake mix and added about two tablespoons molasses, 1/2 a tablespoon of cinnamon, 1/2 a tablespoon of ginger, and pinches of nutmeg and cloves.  These pancakes smelled like real gingerbread cookies on the stove.


I used a cookie cutter to press out the gingerbread men shapes:


Of course, I ate the edges, too!


Plus, a banana and maple syrup:


Off to work I go!


What parts of your morning routine stress you out and how could you change them?



  • Sarah (Running To Slow Things Down) August 31, 2009, 5:01 am

    That is way too cute! I *heart* your breakfast. 😀

    One of my most stressful things of the morning—once the school semester starts—is feeling rushed through breakfast, while trying to remember everything. I need to plan this ahead of time, and pack up the night before. Then I could wake up 10-15 minutes earlier and enjoy a more slow-food morning.

    Thanks for the reminder…now I just need to actually start doing this! 😀

  • Amelia (AC/DC: Highways to Health) August 31, 2009, 5:09 am

    Great idea to change up your routine!
    I stress the most in the morning about what I'm going to wear. I feel like I pull everything out of my closet, just to put on something I'm not 100% thrilled about. I think if I was more on top of getting my laundry done on the weekends and picking out my clothes the night before that would be a huge help!

  • leslie August 31, 2009, 5:13 am

    i love EVERYTHING about your morning today! adorable gingerbread men, delicious spices, soothing yoga…i want to steal your morning. 🙂

    morning is actually my least stressful time, because i get up early enough to give myself time to move slowly, do some yoga, and enjoy a leisurely breakfast. it starts my day off the right way!

  • Sabrina August 31, 2009, 5:14 am

    I love that you're up early too. I know I can always count on you for an early morning post.

    This morning I took my time getting ready… put on lotion, blew out my hair, etc (which I never do now that I work at home) but I feel AMAZING. Just getting ready in a slow relaxed way had that effect on me!

  • Ryan @ Greens for Good August 31, 2009, 5:17 am

    Yoga and meditation are so powerful! I really need to do both more often as well.

  • recipesforcreativity August 31, 2009, 5:20 am

    Your morning routine brought a smile to my face! I'm so lucky to be self-employed and work from home, because it means I find regular time for meditation and visualization – I'm so proud of you for fitting it in!

    I love your pancakes, too!

  • Thinspired August 31, 2009, 5:25 am

    What a great idea to make pancakes extra special 🙂 I had pancakes this morning too and thought of Pancake Caitlin 😉

    I think my morning routing needs some re-examination as well. I roll out of bed, get coffee, and go straight to the computer. I need more namaste in my life!

  • Joelle (The Pancake Girl) August 31, 2009, 5:42 am

    OMG those are the most adorable little gingerbread men EVER. I have to do this with my pancakes haha!

  • Lauren August 31, 2009, 5:45 am

    Adorable pancakes!

    In order to avoid stress in the a.m., I make my lunch and lay out my work clothes the night before so there aren't too many decisions to make right after waking up.

  • Tina August 31, 2009, 5:46 am

    Please come over and make me these pancakes for me tomorrow morning.

  • Shannon (The Daily Balance) August 31, 2009, 5:46 am

    OMG – SO CUTE! I don't know if I'd be able to eat them – so FUN!

  • skinnyrunner August 31, 2009, 5:52 am

    cute pancakes! makes me think of fall and the holidays coming up…

  • Rosey Rebecca August 31, 2009, 5:52 am

    Aw those pancakes are so cute! Glad you decided to start your morning off with yoga instead of a bright computer screen! My morning routine is similar to yours: I wake up, blog, and read everything in my google reader, then head to the gym. My routine is changing a bit now though because I'm starting classes. Today, I woke up at 7:00, caught up on blog stuff, had a snack, prepared my bag for school and outfit, and now I'm about to go to a spinning class, run home, shower, eat breafast, and speed to school. That's the most stressful thing for me.

  • Niki August 31, 2009, 6:01 am

    Those are the cutest pancakes!! I don't really seem to stress out in the morning. Usually it starts with a run/ workout so maybe that's why 🙂

  • Sara August 31, 2009, 6:10 am

    Oh those pancakes look so cute and sound wonderful. I love gingerbreard.

  • Marisa (Trim The Fat) August 31, 2009, 6:13 am

    Way to start a morning! Loved the "hippie channel" and your visualizations!

    The pancakes look yummy, too!

    Hope your day goes just as you envisioned!

  • Peanuts & Crackerjacks August 31, 2009, 6:22 am

    I wish I could get up more leisurely! I got up at 6:42 and was on the treadmill at the gym by 7:00. I wish I was rested enough to get up at 6:00 and peacefully get ready for my day!!

  • Lizzy August 31, 2009, 6:23 am

    What a perfect switch up. I wish i was more creative!

    If i had more ambition in the morning i would totally whip myself some gingerbread pancakes too. they look awesome!

  • Kate August 31, 2009, 6:37 am

    Whoa, those pancakes look awesome! And on a weekday morning too! Love your commitment to breakfast 🙂

    Starting with yoga sounds like a fantastic way to get your mind and body warmed up for your day. I have a long walk to work everyday, so I try to let myself look around and enjoy the day instead of head-down commuting. It helps me appreciate where I live and by the time I get to work, I'm ready to sit down and concentrate.

  • Meg C. August 31, 2009, 6:46 am

    it definitely feels good to wake up with yoga once in awhile! a nice slow way to wake up your body and mind.

    I think in order to make my mornings less stressful I'd get rid of my commute! If only haha..

  • platipus329 August 31, 2009, 7:08 am

    Haha those pancakes look too good to eat. I could probably make life less stressful by planning out a breakfast but then i would feel obligated to eat it even if my taste buds want something else which would really stress me

  • NYgirl@heart August 31, 2009, 7:32 am

    Your breakfast is awesome!! And I love that you ate the crusts too! Hell yeah!

    The most stressful part of my morning is catching the train. No matter how much time I give myself I always find myself running full speed down the street to catch it. Always. Like this morning lol

  • Paige@ Running Around Normal August 31, 2009, 7:32 am

    Aww your panckaes are so cute!! The part that stresses me out in the morning isn't my morning run or elliptical session, it isn't scooping the kitty litter, and it isn't even standing outside with Niko waiting for her to go potty. It's doing my hair and makeup!
    I guess I could just not do my hair or makeup, but I kinda like not scaring people at work, haha 😉

  • Anne Marie August 31, 2009, 7:38 am

    I love the gingerbread pancakes! What a cute idea!

  • Megan @ Megzz Wins At Life August 31, 2009, 7:39 am

    Those are the cutest pancakes I ever did see Caitlin!!!

    I love doing Yoga before work.. I wish I had more time to do it more often.. Even 10-15 minutes can make all the difference in the world!

  • brandi August 31, 2009, 7:41 am

    great way to start your day! and those pancakes are so cute 🙂

    i had pancakes today, too, and thought of you!

  • K from ksgoodeats August 31, 2009, 7:52 am

    I LOVE those pancakes! They're so cute and seeing 'gingerbread' made me even more excited for fall 🙂

    Glad you enjoyed a relaxing morning instead of a 0-100MPH one!

  • tracik August 31, 2009, 7:59 am

    I think the fact that I don't allow myself a second to relax for in the morning is stressful. Like you, my alarm goes off and at 6am I hit the floor running getting ready for work. Maybe even getting up 15 minutes earlier would ease me into the day. Worth a shot.

  • Courtney August 31, 2009, 8:07 am

    Love your new wakeup routine, sounds like a great way to set yourself up for a calm and productive day by devoting some time to yourself first!
    Adventures in Tri-ing

  • Sarah August 31, 2009, 8:55 am

    AAAAHHH! I love the gingerbread men pancakes! Genius.

    What a nice way to start the day! Definitely sounds better than the sensory overload you described 🙂

  • Deb (Smoothie Girl Eats Too) August 31, 2009, 9:06 am

    I'm Sooooo glad you didn't throw away the edges- that would constitute cruelty to pancakes! 🙂

    Love the hippie channel and the slower start to the morning.

    I find that I take comfort in my morning routine because it's the same every day, and it's not stressful.

  • Ryane August 31, 2009, 9:11 am

    Um YUMMY!
    I'm trying to delay my gingerbread/pumpkin obsession for at least another month… I don't like to see summer go.

    ALSO you gotta hear this song (if you haven't yet)
    Fireflies by Owl City. I legit thought it was Postal Service, which would be crazy, but it's not but sooo good.

  • livelaughloveandrun August 31, 2009, 9:44 am

    You're breakfast is SO cute!!

  • Elsa August 31, 2009, 10:39 am

    I think the most stressful part of my morning is in fact just getting out of the house on time. No matter how much time I give myself it is never enough time and I find myself running to the subway. I need a calmer morning routine.

  • Jolene - EverydayFoodie August 31, 2009, 11:32 am

    My mornings used to be awful because I was a substitute teacher and never knew when I was going to get that phone call in the morning, and it always put me on edge. I was paranoid about missing the call, and I never knew where I was going to be working that day. I just got a full time permanent position, so finally I can relax in the morning!

    Those pancakes are SO cute! Great idea!

  • Jenna August 31, 2009, 11:33 am

    such a cute breaky!

  • k August 31, 2009, 1:32 pm

    those are adorable. i'm going to have to try those additions to pancakes!

  • Jenny August 31, 2009, 1:38 pm

    that breakfast is so cute! very kid friendly.. and i'm sure super mature adults like myself would love those pancakes too 😉

  • Tay August 31, 2009, 3:18 pm

    omg LOL those pancake dudes are the cutest!

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