by Shawn McQueen
Can you relate?
Have you ever caught yourself allowing the “things” of a day to sweep you away.
Find yourself simply reacting to everything?
Feeling like you have so many things to do…
Yet at the end of the day – asking yourself, what did I really get done?
Was I productive, or just busy?
Feeling overwhelmed with all things coming at you.
Work, kids, projects, friends, to do’s, the house, bills,
…and a couple hundred other things.
People asking for our attention.
Texting or calling.
Feeling pulled in a bunch of different directions.
Eventually getting burned out.
Unhappy and unsure why.
I’ve been here too.
It’s not fun and the mental fry you experience feels like it dulls the joys of experiences in areas that normally bring you happiness.
Or diminishes your motivation in certain areas.
And worse – makes us not act, feel or even think like ourselves.
Reactive or short with those we love.
Stressed and just meeting every interaction from that state leaves us feeling always on edge.
What can you do?
Create Your Own Morning (self-care) Routine.
Too many of us wake up and either go right to our cell phone, aimlessly scrolling through facebook or instagram right away.
We either begin to program ourselves to seek the gratification of a like, a comment or to be in complete reactive mode.
Assessing (or worse judging) everything we see in comparison to ourselves.
Or we wake up and immediately jump into work mode.
I’ll give you an example of when I feel my best throughout the day…
When I block off at least 30-45 minutes in the morning to
- Stretch for 8 minutes (my body is usually stiff in the morning – can you relate?)
- Read 5-10 minutes of a book. (Current read: Take Back Your Mind by Lodro Rinzler)
- Perform a short meditation 6-9 minutes.
- Quick Journal (get my thoughts out of my head, write & express gratitude) (<3 min)
- Listen to something that begins to set my mind right (could be a podcast, something on youtube) something that helps me GROW.
Now you don’t have to do those things – your routine is your own.
But when having one it should be things that are your own version of self care.
When I hit these I feel great.
When I do what most of us do…
When I wake up – jump on my email, respond to work emails, or go on social media right away, I have found myself to be
- Reactive to things all day.
- Tasked obsessed.
None of those things are urgent and demand my immediate attention.
And doing them first thing programs us to keep doing them, checking the invisible box, getting the quick dopamine release.
And lose our true sense of self in the process.
The most important thing is our own mental well being and making sure we are our own best selves.
When we make ourselves (and our self care) a priority that’s when our minds, bodies and days truly begin to feel better.
The IMPACT of a Morning SELF-CARE routine:
- We are much happier (& when we are happier everything feels better!)
- We are LESS stressed and reactive (put down those invisible weights we’re carrying!)
- Our bodies feel better too (stress creates tension, suppresses our immune system, makes our bodies tight.)
- We are less reactive to situations throughout our day (allowing the better versions of ourselves to show up!)
- We create the space to show up better for others.
- We perform better in our jobs.
- The space is created to be more present (& less focused in the past or future which create anxiety!)
So where you do begin?
Carve out time for you.
Find what works for you, what resonates.
It can start as small as 10-15 min in the morning.
It can be as simple as 1 hour cell phone free to start your day.
It can be waking up 10 minutes earlier to have some YOU time.
Three months ago while getting my teeth cleaned at the dentist, the hygienist and I were talking of morning routines and hers was getting up early to enjoy her coffee and watch the sun rise.
It gives her peace and quiet and sets her day up for success.
And she radiated nothing but joy throughout my experience with her.
If you want better days, to be less reactive to everything and to increase your own mental fitness,
it’s time to create a consistent morning routine.
It’s time as my dear friend Lodro says, to take back your mind.