Have you ever felt rushed in the morning, so rushed that you immediately felt behind for the entire day? Perhaps you even felt a crazy urge to hit a “do over” button?
I used to be like that. I’d wake up, shower, get the kiddo ready for school, eat some breakfast way too fast and then jump into my work for the day. The result was that I felt like I didn’t have any time for myself. My day basically was dominated by serving others – my family, colleagues and clients.
As women, we seem to fall into this too easily. Is it that we feel guilty for caring for ourselves? Is it that we feel there’s just too much to do to rest?
This all changed about a year ago though and it’s transformed how my entire day works.
I was introduced to the idea of a morning routine through a book called The 5 AM Club by Robin Sharma. Yes, 5AM is a part of the title, but before you close this tab as though I’m a lunatic and it might spread to you if you read much more, bare with me. I think you’ll like where this is going.
The idea of this is to create time just for you in the form of a morning routine. This is an act of self-care. The 5AM is totally optional but it should be done at a time when you aren’t going to be interrupted in the morning before you have to be “on”.
Three key components of a nourishing routine include movement, reflection and enrichment. Ideally, you would break this into 3 equal parts. So, if you give yourself one hour in the morning like I do, it would be 20 minutes for each. If you have just 30 minutes to work with, then break these into 10 minutes each. If you don’t have that much time, then I recommend just picking one or two things and carve out at least 10 minutes.
- Movement – This can be virtually any kind of movement. Maybe you prefer to get up an go for a run first thing. I prefer yoga as it’s gentle and gets my blood flowing. What ever you chose should be something that you enjoy. Don’t feel stuck with one thing either. Sometimes I mix yoga with Pilates! Need some ideas? Take a look at Lauren Tarr’s post.
- Reflection – This can include meditation and/or journaling. Or any other practice you have that gives you some quiet introspection. Personally, I can feel a little unhinged if I don’t get at least a 5 minute meditation into my day. Journaling also helps me to get swirling thoughts out of my head, so that I can have a better meditation practice.
- Enrichment – Learning something you love, taking an online course or just listing to a podcast you enjoy can feel nourishing. It also gives you an opportunity for personal or professional development that you may otherwise skip. For me, I’m taking a course right now on developing my memory. It’s something I’ve been wanting to do for ages as I have the hardest time remembering names! I also use this time to make and sip coffee, quietly, enjoying the warmth and taste without the interruption.
When you take care of yourself through a morning routine, everyone around you benefits. You make better decisions for you and your family because you aren’t feeling rushed and stressed. Your family (especially children) and colleagues will feel the shift as well and you’ll see they connect with you differently and reflect your more grounded and happy energy.
After just one week of doing this new morning routine, I felt more present, calmer and more in control of my day. This was also a life saver for me and my family last August when we had some stressful events happen. I would never go back to the “before”.
What do you think? Are you ready to create your morning routine?