With the new year in full swing and many of us eager to begin healthy habits, we sat down with #bossmom, entrepreneur, and creative Naomi Seifter to chat about how she makes the most of her mornings!
WAYS I MAKE MY MORNING COUNT
GREET THE MORNING SUN
When my daughter Remi was born, my friend Sarah gifted us a book called “The Way to Start a Day” by Byrd Baylor. It’s a ‘kids’ book, but it’s full of inspiring interpretations of how different people celebrate dawn around the world. Baylor says, “Some people say there is a new sun every day, and that it begins its life at dawn and lives for one day only. They say you have to welcome it.” He then shows beautifully illustrated examples of how people all around the world start their day, which inspired us to stand outside in the morning, face east and greet the morning sun. It is a ritual for us to welcome the dawn, say thank you, and let the sun inspire our day. It certainly is a ritual my daughter seems to enjoy, too.
DRINK COFFEE + CACAO
We are a big coffee family (obviously). Every morning, we wake up and I make coffee for my husband and a cup of Peruvian Ceremonial Cacao for myself. My husband generally favors strong, espresso-based coffee drinks like cappucinos, and I generally favor caffiene-light drinks. I like to honor my Cacao, like my own sacred Cacao ceremony at home, and ask the plant to help inspire my day. I do the same thing when I drink coffee. When I was in college, I used to be able to handle quad-shot lattes all day long, but I have a bit of a sensitivity to caffeine, so I find the Cacao gives me a morning “lift” without the jitters I generally get from coffee. I love using Picnik Creamers, and I often add some additional fun ingredients like cayenne and 1 tsp of maple syrup. I will say that I love changing things up, and sometimes you’ll see me enjoying earl grey or matcha or a decaf latte. It all depends on my mood and on the day.
CHOOSE A FUN MUG
I never realized how much having a fun mug could inspire my day! I like choosing my mug based on how I’m feeling and my mood. Around the holidays, I might favor Christmas-inspired mugs. If I’m feeling grumpy, I might favor a mug that has a positive quote. If I need a laugh, I’ll use a mug that puts a smile on my face. I like having a variety of fun cups to choose from, and I find I circle through them all throughout the week. It’s also fun to have a collection of mugs that are uniquely ours. I’ve always been a minimalist and love white porcelain everything, but once I started using fun mugs I found I enjoyed my morning drink even more.
TAKE MY TIME
My days and nights are incredibly busy. Between my responsibilities for Picnik and my family, I’m hustling 24/7. That said, my morning is a very special time for me, where I do what I can to be present for my family. I cook breakfast for my daughter, enjoy my morning drink with my husband and get my head on straight for the day ahead. I do my best to not rush this part of my day. Though I do get early morning work texts that need attention, I do what I can to remain present for my family– because the rest of the day, I’m balancing so many other responsibilities! Once I finish cooking breakfast and drinking my drink, it’s off to the races. I get straight into work mode, sit myself in front of my computer and start plugging away at the needs of the day. I try and tackle the most difficult projects first, but it all depends on my call schedule and what emergency fires need to be put out (a very common occurrence in the world of entrepreneurship).
This pandemic has put me behind my computer close to 99% of my working hours, so sometimes, I find that is easy to neglect self-care. The simple act of showering and putting on clean clothes really helps me to feel better about myself and makes me more productive during my work day. Showering is also so refreshing. I love feeling clean and rejuvenated. I also wash my face, put on moisturizer, put up my hair, brush my teeth and I’m ready to go. My routine is certainly a lot simpler when I’m working from home all the time, but I do spend less money on makeup and I get ready in a fraction of the time.
SET UP MY WORKSPACE
When I’m surrounded by clutter, my mind is cluttered. So, I take a few minutes to organize my work space, make sure it’s clean and set up my vibe for the day. When I’m surrounded by overflowing trash cans or dirty glasses or a billion post it notes, my mind can’t function, so I get organized first. This is a general rule of thumb for me, and though sometimes something gets neglected, I feel a difference in my day when I set myself up for success with my workspace. My work space is separate from my house, so I can focus during working hours, but the same rule applies to my home. My brain can’t compute when my house is messy. That has been something I’m still trying to figure out how to navigate with a toddler, since things get strewn everywhere throughout the day, but at least once a week we get things back to “mise en place” and get the home reset for the week ahead.
OUTSOURCE THE STUFF I DON’T HAVE TIME FOR
I like to ask myself the question “what is my time worth?” and “where is my time most valuable right now?” Like I mentioned above, my time is already fully committed 24/7 between work and family. If there is something I really need help with that is important to me and my well-being, I do what I can to get it done– and sometimes, that means outsourcing. Laundry is a great example. We go through so much laundry, and I find it is so easy for it to overflow and pile up if we don’t stay on top of it. Sometimes we fall behind, so I call on our local laundry service to help with wash-and-fold, and I always find it is worth every penny. And, you don’t have to be making any certain amount of money to do this. I have always prioritized getting help on the things that eat up my time, even when I made less than minimum wage. I still did what I could to build it into my budget to get help on things like occasional laundry and deep cleaning of my house, because I always felt it helped me tremendously and saved me time so I could focus more on the things I love. If you are able to take one or two days off from work a week, what is it worth to you to be able to enjoy more of that time with your family? To me, it is worth everything, and I will figure out how to make that happen no matter what.
WISH LIST MORNING : MEDITATION + PRANAYAMA
I put this on my “wish list” because Meditation and Pranayama is something I’d like to find a way to fit back into my life. It’s been difficult for me to prioritize with the list of other responsibilities I currently have, but, I will say, it always transforms my mind and my mood. After college, I lived in an ashram called the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center where I learned the teachings of Meditation and Pranayama (breathing exercises). Combined (and individually) they are incredibly transformative practices. They make me feel instantly uplifted and the give me enhanced ideas, insights and razor sharp mental clarity. As I write this, the more I recognize how important these activities are to me, and my goal in 2021 is to make these a priority because of the positive impact they have on my life.