Imagine this: you’ve been given one cup of water. Throughout the day, you’ll meet other people who are thirsty. They’re going to ask to drink from your water. Most of these people will be loved ones, like your friend who needs you to listen as she talks about her difficult day or your child who needs help with homework.
Without morning self-care, you start the day with a cup that’s only half full of water. Now, you have to carefully ration your time and attention so there will be enough for your loved ones and for you. This can make you feel grumpy and cause you to resent your friends and family.
But what if you started the day differently? If you used your mornings to fill your own cup, then you’d be able to share your water freely with others. This is why morning self-care is so powerful.
Start with Silence
When you wake up and immediately reach for a screen, you start your day with noise. This can distract you and make it difficult for you to mediate. You might try meditating afterwards but your focus would be on the headlines you just read or the Twitter debate you’ve responded to.
Instead of noise, try to begin your day with silence. Don’t pressure yourself to do anything or review your to-do list. Let yourself relax and focus on being present in this moment. Dial into your five senses and listen to what your body is telling you.
Capture Your Reflections
When you’ve quieted your mind, you’ll notice that some thoughts naturally bubble to the surface. It might be that you’re thinking of a fight you had with a loved one or the funny conversation you had with your kid after school yesterday. Whatever you’re thinking, capture it in a special reflections journal.
There’s no right or wrong way to express your thoughts. You can draw, journal, or color those thoughts. Give yourself space to explore how you feel without judgement or fear. You are safe to voice your inner emotions.
Read Something Motivational
Once you’ve expressed your inner emotions, reach for something motivational to read. Try to read a physical book, not a digital one. Reading on a device will tempt you to stop and check your email or send text messages.
If you don’t have any motivational books, you can start with one like Miracle Mornings by Hal Elrod and Robert Kiyosaki or The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. But don’t think you have to read a certain type of book or that you must read something you find dull. Any book that inspires or motivates you is a good choice.
Your morning routines should center you and bring you comfort. If you try a self-care routine and it doesn’t feel right for you, then let go of it and try something different. The important thing is that you discover what morning activities fill your cup and you focus on doing those. This will allow you to be the best version of yourself and give you extra water for friends and family.