Are you last on your list?
Are you last on your list? When you think of self-care are you doing enough of it for yourself? There is a saying that goes, ‘How would you look after someone who was in your care?’. Of course, you would look after them with special care and attention. But are you looking after yourself the same?
You are aware that we are living in extremely busy times and the demands placed on us are huge. As humans when we get busy it is natural for us to prioritize what is important and we seem to think everything else is more important than us.
You start to neglect your needs to make time for other duties. You skip breakfast, stop exercising and other activities that nourish and replenish you because you are so busy and there is no time to do anything that you enjoy or that keeps you healthy.
A typical morning sees you get up and go straight on your phone leaving you open to distractions like your emails and then social media then there are text messages and you can’t help watching a bit of YouTube. This leads to time management issues causing you to rush around and now you have brain fog. You feel lost and try to focus on what to do and end up doing nothing. By the time you leave the house you are making mistakes - you realise you have forgotten your wallet at home again and have to run back and get it.
You go to the shop and buy a can of coke or a red bull and a sugary bun hoping that you are not going to be late. You work for x hours and then come home eat junk, watch Netflix and fall asleep on the sofa. You are not achieving your goals because you are lacking motivation and focus and you are starting to put on some extra pounds
You are lacking self-discipline. You are failing with your self-care.
What has to go wrong before you go right?
In my work as a life coach, people generally carry on this way until their health is affected they haven’t had an exercise routine in place, sleeping habits were poor and diet was usually bad so the body could only hold on for so long before they were experiencing stomach aches, back pain and headaches or in other words stress and in some cases burnout.
If you want to avoid this lifestyle then it all starts with how you start your morning. Research shows that how you spend the first hour of your day will determine how the rest of your day goes for you.
Have you ever found that when you keep snoozing the alarm and when you do eventually leave for work you’re still feeling lethargic?
This because you spent your first waking moments basically telling your brain that you don’t want the day to start and then your brain responds with the struggle you find yourself in. If you are getting up and going straight on social media or your emails then you are denying your body and mind the best start to the day. You are inviting the day to take you instead of you taking the day.
When we incorporate a morning routine into our lives, we allow ourselves the chance to spend time giving ourselves the self-care we need to give ourselves every day to give us the best chance of success. Your routine should take in mind, body and soul.
A morning self-care routine
A typical morning self-care routine should see you wake up an hour earlier than you usually would. Then, it's time to practice the following:
A morning exercise routine is great for reducing stress since it lowers blood pressure, according to a 2011 study. Aim for 10 minutes a day or two hours a week. Exercise means getting the blood circulating and some breathlessness. You don’t have to run the marathon, but you should feel challenged.
Water keeps you hydrated and is natural so you can’t go wrong. You should drink between 1-2 litres a day depending on the size of your stomach.
Replace snacks with fruit and get the energy you need in the day.
The most important meal of the day. Make sure you are getting enough sleep and not eating late at night. Lots of people say they cannot eat breakfast in the morning but this is because they are usually rushing around in a blind panic.
Daily productivity sheet
What three things do you need to achieve today? What are you grateful for?
These are just two of the questions provided on a daily productivity sheet. Using a productivity sheet ensures you don’t get stressed about all the things that can’t get done by focusing on what is really important that day
Thought gym or journal
Spending time with your thoughts every morning is vital to ensuring you stay calm, focused and prepared for any eventualities.
'Thought gym' can help you identify what's causing particular stress or anxiety. Once you've identified your stressors, you can work on a plan to resolve the problems and, in turn, reduce stress.
Questions to ask yourself include: ‘How am I feeling today?’, ‘What do I want to happen today?’ and ‘What do I need to be prepared for and how will I manage it?’
You would go to the gym to build muscles. 'Thought gym' is the same concept, you are exercising the brain and keeping it healthy.
Make your bed as soon as you wake instead of going on social media. Making your bed clears your mind and it’s good to have a tidy room to start the day.
Research in neuroscience suggests that mindfulness helps manage anxiety, which you can do in five to 15 minutes every morning. All you need to do is sit down and pay attention to the present moment - without judgment focus on your breathing, and accept whatever thoughts and sensations you're experiencing. This technique helps to get you out of your head, think more clearly. Spending time focusing on your breathing is a great way to start the day as it will give you clarity and focus
Is it time to be first on your list?