By Sarah Ligon, LCSW
It’s still dark out. The bed is warm. The covers are comfy. The dog or cat is cuddled at your feet. You hit the snooze button for the third time. At this point, you’re thinking self-care means staying in bed!
I totally understand. Mornings are hard, especially in the winter when the last thing you want to do is leave the warmth of your cozy bed.
And though it may feel like those extra ten minutes will make all the difference, the fact is they won’t do much for you in the long run. Just as you may have heard about the importance of a nighttime routine, a morning self-care routine is just as important. In fact, a consistent morning routine of self care can increase productivity, energy, and mood.
Mornings can be chaotic, even if you get up with the first alarm. For some it’s the rush to get the children dressed, fed, and on the bus in time; for others it’s just the simple time crunch of getting yourself ready and to work. It may feel like you don’t have the time or energy to care for self-care at the start of your day, but how you begin your morning may set the tone for the rest of your day. Often, it just takes a few changes and an extra few minutes to set yourself on the right path to a healthy morning routine.
Here are a few things to consider…
- Wake up at the same time every day. This helps to set the internal clock of your body to build a routine.
- Stretch! It increases your blood flow throughout your body and helps to increase concentration and energy.
- Eat something. Even if you aren’t a breakfast person, a banana or a power bar will go a long way. Eating breakfast boosts your metabolism so you burn more calories throughout the day and thereby end up consuming less fat throughout the day. Doing so also gives you the energy you need to stay focused.
- And finally, my favorite tip…
- Take a few minutes to relax. Ten to twenty minutes is ideal. Read, write, or… my personal favorite, enjoy that first cup of coffee. It ends up being one of my favorite moments of the day.
I can hear the parents out there saying “Yeah, but that’s really not possible!” I get it. Mornings with kids are hard—honestly, mornings are hard in general—but I promise, you do have time to do a few of these self-care activities. I think you’ll be surprised at the difference they make!