One thing I’m extremely passionate about teaching is self-care. I’m happy to see that self-care and wellness in general is a trendy topic nowadays because we live in a time when it’s normal to be overworked and have overbooked schedules. I’ll be the first to say that I try to squeeze every last drop out of the day but it comes to a point where we set ourselves up for burnout and overwhelm when we don’t stop and take care of ourselves first.
Self care is often touted as a luxury and seen as indulgent, and almost selfish. I want to tear down that myth right here. If we don’t first take care of ourselves all other things in our lives suffer. If we show up to work feeling like crap our performance will be sub par, or if you’re stressed as a parent your kids can pick that up and learn from you that life is stressful. As an entrepreneur in a service based industry my state of wellbeing directly affects the growth of my business, and the success of my clients. I imagine it’s similar for most people, even if you work at a salaried 9-5, because it’s not just about the money, it’s about the productivity and skill you bring to your work.
Self Care IS:
- Something that replenishes your energy, rather than depleting it
- A mental rest
- Having fun
- It provides a sense of peace
- It leaves you better than it found you
Self Care Is NOT:
- An excuse to indulge in things that take you down (alcohol, sweets, celebrity gossip)
When I started doing more self-care I realized that the morning, while a difficult time for most people heading out to work, is a great time to incorporate a routine because it sets you up for the rest of the day. You want to be proactive about feeling good, rather than only take care of yourself when you are tired, sick, or burnt out.
Tips for Getting the Most out of Your Morning Self-Care:
Set your alarm at the same time every day– duh, consistency is good for you, but give yourself the flexibility to get some extra hours of sleep if you are run down or fighting off illness.
Hydrate– Whether it’s tea, mushroom elixirs (my newest obsession), or good old fashioned warm water with lemon, get yourself hydrated first thing!
Decide what NEEDS to happen in the morning- Everybody’s priorities are different. Only you know what is the most important action, and it will change day to day. By making self care a priority even if you have 10 minutes it’s more likely that it will get done. Usually when I am falling asleep I will decide how my morning is going to play out, and when my self-care will fit into it. I envision myself doing what needs to happen, whatever that may be.
Use Timers– I set timers on my phone to keep me on track with my morning. I try to dedicate an hour to my self care (30 minutes, for reading, journaling, meditation, and 30 minutes for movement). Does it always happen exactly like that? NO. Sometimes I spend half of that on Facebook (not self care!). But over time when you do the same things at the same time they become habit.
Don’t look at your phone right away– I haven’t yet mastered this one, but I am working on it. As soon as we check social media and email we are reminded of a whole host of things we need to do and people we have to get back to. And the news….fuhgetaboutit.
Self-Care To Try Out:
Move your body– even if you don’t like to exercise, it’s really good for your mood and your mind. I don’t focus on physical gains as much as I focus on knowing that what I am doing is good for my state of mind. Start with your solid foundation, pick how much time you can dedicate even if it’s 5 minutes, then ask your body how it wants to move. There are days where I don’t want to workout and that’s ok, but I still move in some way, whether it’s stretching in the kitchen as I cook my breakfast, doing 3 sun salutations, or setting a timer for 5 minutes and jumping rope. The key is not thinking of it as “working out” but loving your body through movement.
Establish a Spiritual Practice– This can be as quick as you need it to be. Connecting with the higher power of your own understanding is a great way to feel connected, at ease, supported, and confident. This can be listening to a guided meditation, chanting, prayer, reading from a spiritual or inspirational book.
Create a morning playlist– I actually have a playlist on Spotify that I call “High Vibes” and I play it when I want to elevate my mood. Music can shift our state of being very quickly so it’s smart to have a playlist on hand to get you feeling good. Self care isn’t all about meditation, sometimes it’s just dancing around the house for a few minutes!
Have a healthy breakfast– I actually set a timer so I have 25 minutes to make and eat my breakfast without rushing. Healthy food can still hurt your body if you inhale it all in 2 minutes like I used to do. The healthiest breakfast is the one you prepare and eat slowly, free of distractions.
5 minutes of silence– Chances are the rest of your day will be all noises, notifications, emails, radio, kids, and other overstimulating input. Give your brain 5 minutes of silence in the morning, whether you use it for meditation, breathing, or just sitting.
All Summed up…
Obviously these are all suggestions and would be nearly impossible to do all in one morning. That’s why I urge you to play around with different combinations and see what works for you. Remember that it’s a process. Some of my suggestions won’t feel right for you, and that’s perfectly fine. I’ve been in the process of tweaking my routine, and I’ve come to realize that even though I thought I wanted an every-day-is-the-same type of routine I realized that the most powerful thing you can do try out many different things and find the flow of what feels good to you in a given moment.
So I’m not giving you a one-size-fits-all prescribed morning routine to follow here. The prescription is to play around, try new things, keep what feels good, and go with the flow. I’ve found fluid approach to self care strengthens our ability to listen to the inner voice of intuition.
As always, I would love to hear from you! What your favorite ways to explore self care and what does your morning routine look like? Share below in the comments, and Pin this if you loved it!