First Step in Creating a Morning Self-Care Routine: GET UP.
You know those people who get up at 5:00am, work out, take a shower, blow dry their hair, cook scrambled eggs and bacon and slowly sip a cup of hot coffee while setting an intention for their day? Yeah, I never really trusted those people. I mean why in the world would they give up two extra nourishing hours of precious slumber for endorphins and a full belly?
I’ll tell you why – because they’re freakin’ genius. And they understand the value of a morning self-care routine.
There are few things I love more in life than sleep – pizza, Game of Thrones, massages, donuts, gifs, and the home section at Anthropologie, or better yet, having the money to actually buy something in the home section at Anthropologie. But if I’m being honest, and why wouldn’t I be, choosing sleeping in over a morning self-care routine has given me more stress than pleasure. In theory, I think sleeping in an extra two hours will give me more energy for the day. But in reality, choosing to sleep in an extra two hours doesn’t really give me anything and instead actually takes away time that I could be using to set myself up for a successful day.
Let me paint a picture for you. When I sleep in and snooze my alarm 5 times, I end up jumping out of bed at the last minute, running to the kitchen to make coffee and pack my lunch, running back into my bedroom to figure out what the heck I’m going to wear to work, and simultaneously shoving a banana in my mouth to satisfy my grumbling tummy. I can’t imagine if kids were thrown into the mix! Then I scurry to my car as anxiety and overwhelm buckle in next to me. For my 45-minute commute, I usually berate myself for not getting up earlier. In short – what I thought would give me pleasure, ended up giving me the opposite – pain.
Rumi, the 13th century Persian poet famously wrote, “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” Rumi, drop the mic why don’t ya!
In all seriousness though, I think Rumi was really on to something here. Perhaps my task isn’t to seek for self-care, but find all the barriers within myself that I have built against it – i.e. oversleeping in the morning. This month I decided to make a SMALL change because when we commit to making too big of a change, we usually set ourselves up for failure and thus self-judgement and shame. This month I decided to wake up just ten minutes earlier than I normally would. And in those ten minutes I started doing a guided morning meditation on YouTube. The reason I chose to implement this change is because I wanted to center myself and practice “being” before getting up and “doing” right away. I also knew that setting an intention for the day would offer me peace, and peace is what I need more than anything at this time in my life.
Next month, once I’ve made a habit of doing my morning meditation, I will set my alarm for ten minutes earlier. In those extra 10 minutes I will make coffee and eat something without multi-
tasking. I know it sounds small, but again, in my experience, setting realistic goals is what sets yourself up for success and helps build confidence in your ability to create change.
If you’re someone who, like me, loves to sleep in, ask yourself how much it’s actually serving you. Is there something you could implement into your morning routine that would set you up for success? Is it possible to wake yourself up ten minutes earlier? What would you lose? What would you gain? Time is neither working for us or against us – time just…is. How we use time, however, can become our greatest tool for success.