Self-Care Morning Routine to Keep Your Cool and Slay Your Day
State of mind: Florida Sunset
Our little family is just about 1 week into voluntary home quarantining/social distancing and i’m already climbing the walls. To make it more challenging, it has been raining off and on (mostly on) here in Los Angeles for the better part of 3 weeks. The Governor has just closed schools, restaurants, bars, clubs, libraries, museums, and virtually every other diversion in the city and i’ve caught myself staring out the window more than a few times, hoping this time i’ll be able to correctly estimate just how long until the rains start again so we can go steal a walk, some fresh air, or an oh-so-special puppy sighting.
In this uncertain time, faced with the possibility of financial ruin (thank you self-employment), and the constant threat of an unseen enemy (screw you Covid-19), I find myself startling awake at 2 and 3am worried about my future and wanting to immediately check my bank account/instagram/news feed, in no particular order. I’m self-aware enough at this point in my life to recognize that this pattern could lead me down a dark and anxiety ridden path if I let it go unchecked for too long, so, i’ve decided to fall back onto some of my favorite wellness routines. They say it only takes 21 days to make or break a habit, so whatd’ya say gang? Sounds like we’re all stuck in our homes for at least that long so what do we have to lose by adding some good habits to our lives? Here you go! Self Care Version 2020!!
Meditation. Affirmation. Visualization. Exercise.
Some time ago, I stumbled upon the Achieve Your Goals podcast by Hal Elrod, and then went on to read his book, The Miracle Morning which in a nutshell, outlines 6 action steps to take each day (preferably) before 8 am to get your day off to a bang-up start. Circle back to… I have a one year old, so chances of me getting all 6 done before she wakes up at 6:30 are slimmer than my chance of not eating more than the recommended serving of trader joe’s cookies with my morning coffee. Let’s be honest here folks.
HOWEVER, I’ve discovered I can reasonably get 3 of the 6 tasks plus 2 cups of coffee, and sometimes a quick shower in before she wakes if I get up just 30 minutes earlier each day, because SURPRISE (complete sarcasm) i’m dead tired at 8pm anyways regardless of what time I wake up, so waking up 30 minutes earlier doesn’t change the end of day game much for me but DOES help me feel SUPER ACCOMPLISHED (even if i’m still wearing Saturday pants on a Wednesday). So here goes, and I recommend conquering them in order…
Multiple studies have shown that meditation can positively effect ones mood, reduce stress, help us manage anxiety and depression, and even improve our sleep, yet there are myriad reasons that the average person can find to prevent them from trying or continuing the practice (including me until this last year).
There are also however, a million free guided meditation apps in the world, probably even more, and all it takes is as little as 5 minutes of morning meditation to clear both your head and heart and send you merrily on your way. So, in an attempt to make it easier for you to try it, I’ve narrowed the playing field to 4 easy and mostly free apps that may work for you:
- Stop, Breathe & Think | Guided Meditations & Mindfulness This one is pretty dope, has the added benefits of being appropriate for the whole fam, has meditations in Spanish, and its parent organization Tools for Peace | Compassion in everyday life. teaches meditation skills to inner city teens further boosting the apps “feel good” factor.
- Head Space is a great app for beginners and those who tend to worry as soon as your head hits the pillow.
- Simple Habit: Wellness & Sleep on the App Store Has a little something for everyone.
- Chopra Meditation This is Deepak Chopra & Oprah’s 21 day meditation challenge, in an effort raise the emotional and spiritual vibration of the world during this tough time, it’s free to everyone until May 1, 2020, and I HIGHLY recommend doing it. I did their last meditation challenge with a group of girlfriends and felt super motivated and emotionally lighter by day 2!
This is my fave. To be honest, meditation always makes me squirrely, but affirmations are my homegirls, I could hang with them ALL DAY. And I do. My core girlfriends and I practice mindful affirmations daily, and frequently check in to remind one another of their power and positive effects in our lives. According to Louise Hay Author of You Can Heal Your Life and founder of Wellness Website Hay House the key is to write/speak all of your affirmations in the present as if they already exist, start with “I” or “My”, and write them in the positive, not negative, example: “I am Joyful” rather than “I am not crabby”.
Here are my personal, tried and true faves:
- I welcome financial abundance.
- Money comes frequently and easily.
- I recognize and communicate my boundaries with clarity and ease.
- I listen to my body and my heart.
- My body is healthy and well rested.
- I am in a loving and supportive relationship.
- My passport has many stamps.
- I am a kind and patient Mother.
- My daughter is healthy and happy.
- I laugh constantly.
I’ve been consistently practicing affirmations for a few years now and frankly I am STUNNED at how freakishly effective they are, call it woo woo if you will, but i’ve used affirmations and seen the specific result the very next day in some cases.
A fancy word for day dreaming. Take a few moments each morning after you write (and read) your affirmations, to close your eyes and see them all coming true. What does your first home look like? How much is the check you just received written for? What does your child sound like when he laughs with you? Do it just once and see how yummy it makes you feel, then try it again the next day, and the next, and soon that feeling will stay with you all day!
This is NOT my strong suit, no pun intended. I struggle with making time for myself and when I do, exercise is the last thing I want to be doing, that said, I also desperately want my pre-baby butt back.
To be clear, you don’t have to do a full workout here, if there’s one thing i’ve learned about motherhood so far, it’s “Be thankful for tiny victories!” I try to practice forgiveness with myself for not being the girl I was prior to baby, because the Woman I am now, is a helluva lot more multi-faceted and multi-talented (and exhausted) than she was, so here are a couple little tidbits that’ll only take around 5 minutes each, get your blood moving, and your buns a little higher and A LOT tighter.
**Added Benefit Alert!!** If done correctly, each of the following has the added benefit of strengthening the pelvic floor!! YAHOOOOO!!
- Squats 3 sets of 10
- Donkey Kicks 2 sets of 15-20
- Bridge Pose 4 reps, held for 15 seconds OR 2 reps of 4 slow, continuous movements up/down
That’s it gang! I hope one or all of these habits stick for you, I ultimately want us all to be walking on fluffy clouds of joy as much as humanly possible, because honestly the world would be so much more chill. As always, holler at me with any questions or to share your success story or experience with any of these tips!
Until next time!