The morning often feels like one long sprint to get out the door in record time, feeding and clothing little ones and answering emails as you grab breakfast-to-go. Sometimes it seems that despite your best efforts at organization and planning, your morning ends up a hot mess of stress. And that makes it hard to get in the zone for the rest of the day.
While you can’t control toddler melt downs or road closures during your commute, you can implement a few quick changes to your morning routine to help you deal better with life’s stressors. No matter how long your list of morning tasks, there are some simple ways to practice self-care and slow down long enough to put yourself in a positive state of mind before starting your day. So, here are five ways to work in some self-care during your hectic morning routine:
Take a moment before you start your morning routine to reflect on what you want to accomplish today. What are you worried about? What are you grateful for? How do you want to go about your day today? What are your priorities?
After you’ve journaled and de-cluttered your mental space, take a step back and just breathe. Meditation will help you regulate your nervous system and ground you before you get started on your day.
What better way to practice self care than to feed your body with nutritious foods? Create a solid, healthy foundation for your day. If you’re in a rush, make overnight oats and cold brew the night before, storing in your fridge in mason jars. That way, even if you have to eat at your desk, or while chasing a toddler you’ll at least have a healthy breakfast to start your day. If you can use your breakfast as time to listen to a podcast, read the news, or enjoy the company of a loved one, then that will help to further set you up for a great day — and these are much better alternatives to scarfing down a breakfast bar in the car on the way to work.
We all love that cup o’ java in the morning. But why not layer on nature’s natural energizer: exercise. That post-workout glow does wonders for your endorphin rush and your mood, helping you to burn off any nervous energy before important meetings or presentations you may have that day. Your workout doesn’t have to be a marathon sweat sesh, either. Many trainers agree that the best exercise you can do for whole body fitness is walking. And if you can do it in the great outdoors, the fresh air and sunlight bring extra psychological benefits.
The fewer decisions you have to make in the morning, the less stressed you’ll be as you move through your morning routine. Set out clothes and accessories Sunday night for the whole week — or, if that’s too much planning, the night before. That way, you don’t have to waste time or energy considering what you’re going to wear, and can slow down, enjoying your routine. Same goes for your beauty routine: if you can simplify your routine down to a few key, basic products, that helps to cut down decision fatigue and allows you to enjoy your morning.
If you are like most people, your morning beauty routine is the only time you get to really look at yourself in the mirror! Whether your style is no fuss or full glam, set aside at least 10 minutes in the morning for skincare and makeup before you leave the house. During these precious minutes, take time to gaze into your own eyes and reflect on your beauty. Think about your many accomplishments, big and small and mentally prepare yourself to achieve your goals for today. Turn up your favorite music while you get ready and make it your beauty theme song. Be sure to use the highest quality tools and products you can afford – your skin with thank you for it.
Self-Care is for Everyone No matter how busy you are, self-care is a critical factor in success. Without taking the time for yourself, it’s much easier to get burned out and suffer in your performance at work. Self-care also helps to create space for you to check in with yourself: is what you’re doing making you happy? Do you need to make a personal or professional life change? Often, it’s easy to use our “busy” schedules to charge ahead and go through the motions, and it can be scary to allow for quiet moments where we consider these questions and our overall wellbeing. So challenge yourself today to dedicate yourself to self-care and lasting happiness, even with a crazy schedule.
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