Creating a self-care routine
You know what really gets to me?
Your alarm rings. You press snooze once…and again…and perhaps a third time because you stayed up too late the night before watching the Bachelor (confession time: I’ve never watched it, but I’ve got plenty of friends who are totally obsessed, so I feel like I have!).
Or worse: you shut off the alarm in your sleep. Now you’ve got about 5 minutes to pack your lunch—ah, screw it, there’s no time to pack my lunch! I’ll just run to Chick-Fil-A during my break!—grab your makeup bag (because there’s no way you’ve got time to do your makeup at home, so you’ll just do it in the car!) and run out the door.
Don’t you hate that feeling?!
So another confession: I may be in the minority here, but I love mornings. I’m talking LOOOOOOOVE them! Always have. Ever since I was a little girl, I would get up well before anyone (except my dad, who was a farmer, so he was up waaaay too early for my liking!), make my breakfast, and read the jokes in Reader’s Digest. (I was like 13. Yep. #nerdalert, and proud of it!)
When I got older, my reading time turned into TV time while I did my makeup and ate my breakfast throughout college and grad school.
When I got my first job, I sacrificed my morning time for more sleep. You know where this got me?
I think you guessed it. Pushing snooze until about 5 minutes before I needed to walk out the door, doing my makeup in the car, and—ultimate confession time—rear-ending someone at a stop light on my way to work. (We were at a standstill, I had dropped a makeup brush, tried to grab it, ever-so-slightly let my foot off the brake and gently glided into the trailer hitch of the brand-new truck in front of me. No harm was done to the truck, to the kind man in the truck, or to myself. The only casualty was my front license plate…but I definitely learned my lesson that morning, believe me!)
Yup. I need a morning routine. Like…need it. (Or the world is in danger!)
When I realized how much I more I loved my coffee in a mug than in a travel carrier, and how reading just 5 pages of a good really book in the morning while drinking my breakfast shake made me feel like I had accomplished so much, I craved more of it.
So, little by little, I began doing things that made me excited to get out of bed in the morning. I found a book that excited me. I began doing a couple of sun salutations. I made coffee, and would just simply hold the mug, savoring the warmth of the cup. I found I was pushing the snooze less and less, because I was actually looking forward to getting my day started.
I have had many in-depth conversations about this with family and friends, and there’s so many great books that talk about this, as well. There are some million-and-one ways you can customize your perfect morning, to make yourself eager to start your day. Pinterest tells us about the hundreds of successful people who have a non-negotiable morning routine. Obviously, it’s a must-do…
So why don’t more people do it?
You don’t view yourself as a priority. It’s said you cannot pour from an empty glass, and by not setting aside time to take care of yourself, it’s really difficult (if not downright impossible!) to care for others in the best way you can. Do not make apologies for making yourself a priority.
You’ve got nothin’. I think the main reason we struggle with getting out of bed in the morning is that we have nothing to look forward to. We would rather delay starting our day because we are, in fact, not living our ideal life.
What if you could start living the life you imagined? Look at your goals. (Don’t have any? Learn how to create them and stick to them!) Pick one that excites you, and set aside time each day to accomplish it, little by little. This way, you can jumpstart your day with satisfaction and that feeling that you’ve already achieved something. That feeling will prepare you to go after the rest of your day in this manner. When you begin pursuing excellence in one area of your life, watch how it bleeds over into other areas of your life, too. Call it a power hour, a miracle morning, a self-care routine, or whatever excites you the most—I just suggest starting ASAP!
How does this improve your life?
Well, for starters, a little self-care can improve your entire being—mind, body, and soul.
By doing a something each day for your mind, you expand your knowledge and gain new skills.
By doing something each day for your body, you can reduce stress, gain energy, and increase mental clarity.
By doing something for the soul, you allow yourself to enjoy the present more, while simultaneously reducing stress and anxiety.
How do you do it?
1. Ready... Pick 1-3 items to start with. Again, you can incorporate these throughout your day, but pick at least one you know you can begin implementing. Most likely this is going to be the one that excites you the most. You can even pick whatever excites you the most from each category below, that way, you’ll jump out of bed when your alarm goes off because you just can’t wait to do that item/those items.
2. Set... the environment. Get in an environment that’s free from distractions. Some place quiet. Turn on some low-key music if you like, or light a few candles. But this isn’t always possible. Do what you can with what you’ve got where you are, and just start. Try doing those 1-3 items for 15 minutes to 1 hour.
3. GO! The best part—for you night owls, in particular—is that this doesn’t have to be done in the morning! It can be done at any time of day or before you go to bed. You can also customize it your schedule. Even just 15 minutes can make you feel like a new person. My go-to is 5 minutes of yoga for the body, 5 minutes of prayer and meditation for the soul, and 5 minutes of reading for the mind.
Activities you can do for the best start to your day:
Listen to a podcast
Read a book
Watch a TED talk
Learn a new language
Sudoku or Word Search
Read the news
Begin writing a book
Plan your day
Eat a good breakfast
Do this every morning for 30 days, and watch how you begin to enjoy waking up in the mornings and getting your day started. Watch how your goals become closer and closer to being realized. And most importantly, watch how much more you have of yourself to give to others, all because you began making yourself a priority.
I guarantee you’re not going to want to stop after just 30 days.