Are you craving self-care or are you intentional and scheduling it? You've heard the phrase: you can't pour from an empty cup. In other words, how can we expect to give our best to our family and career if we can't even give the best to ourselves? Here are two important steps I took to build self-care into my day, which helped me level up my mindset, health, and, yes, my work.
I remember chatting with a group of moms not too long ago and most of them said they didn't take time to wash their face daily. If you're a mom, especially of littles, you're probably nodding your head "yes" right now. Taking care of my skin is now an important part of my day, it rejuvenates me and boosts my confidence, but when our boys were babes I felt I was lucky if I got to take a shower. Should we be lucky to take a shower?
If you can't find a little bit of time to take shower, then, please, sit down with a pen and paper and write a timeline of your day. Yup, actually write down how long it takes you to do what you normally do... including scrolling on social media - eye opener! My guess is you'll find some things you can cut out completely, cut back on, or, dare I say it, ask for help with...
Now that you've found more time, take a closer look at batch working. It is NOT multi-tasking. Doesn't it make sense that you'd be more productive if you followed through on a task to it's completion before moving on to the next? If you want to know more about it, listen to Jenna Kutcher's Goal Digger Podcast on this topic. Batch working has helped me organize my week. I have power hours four times a week and themes for each day so that if the unexpected comes up or the boys need more attention, at least I know to pick up where I left off.
Let's assume you have trimmed down your daily routine and laid out your batch working schedule. What will you do with this precious time you've discovered? (Mamas, resist the urge to empty the dishwasher - don't be afraid to delegate, again, more time!) Is there a goal on your list that you're not taking action on because you keep telling yourself there is no time? Time to take action. Do you want to travel but you have no idea how much your dream trip will cost or when it will happen? Time to make a plan and stick to it. Or is it just a good time to sit and sip tea in the sun? (Yup, I love that.) Hey, even Jesus created alone time (Mark 1:35)!
Self-care is your fuel so schedule it into your day. If you're like me, you'll find that you're better at all the roles in your life because you're fueling yourself up first. Remember what they tell you on an airplane, put your oxygen mask on first, then help the person next to you.
Yeah, morning routines are a thing and there is no denying they’re important.
I remember when I was a kid I was an early riser and usually the first one to appear in the kitchen. My mom was already up, sitting at the kitchen table, reading the paper or making a list while she sipped her Salada and my Dad was almost done getting ready for work.
When I was older, I asked her why she got up so early and she said, “it was the only time I had to myself.” Well, don’t I get that now that I am a mom! She was a school teacher and mother to six so, truly, there were no breaks…
It’s definitely taken me some trial and error to nail this down and now that our three boys are school aged, a morning routine is more realistic. When the following things happen before the boys are circling for breakfast, my day, and theirs, is all around better. When I don’t hit this list, I’m, how shall I say this, yelly. Enough said.
1. Start the night before.
My best mornings actually start the night before. I actually set an alarm on my phone so I stop working (or more than likely, dozing on the couch) and get things together. Taking some time the night before can change your morning. I lay out their clothes and mine, take care of my skin, brush my teeth, take a look at the my calendar and read before I go to bed.
2. Get up before they do.
It’s kind of like the airplane thing, put your oxygen mask on first before you help those around you. By waking up early, there I said it, you’re not trying to meet everyone’s needs before your own through sleepy eyes. (Though if you need an ah-mazing eye cream, I know a girl.) Typically 45 mins to 1 hour before the brute squad rises is ideal for me. Gives me plenty of time to do 3, 4, and 5 on this list and put myself together.
No, I don’t work out this early but I do stretch. I do some simple range of motion exercises my chiropractor gave me and I BREATHE. If you're not up to a full work-out, at least try stretching, it feels good and it's a simple way to take care of yourself.
I don't look at my phone yet! I sit in silence and get my mind together, this includes prayer. You can pray, meditate, journal, or make a to-do list, whatever helps you set the tone for your day.
I try drinking some water first. When you sleep, your body uses up some water so give it a boost before you drink coffee or tea. Do you struggle with just water? Get a fun tumbler and straw, and try infusing it with fruit.
Maybe you need to do these in a different order or maybe your five are completely different but figure out what works for you and be consistent! On the days I’m intentional and get to do this list FIRST, those are the days I’m a better wife, mom, and businesswoman. You can’t control everything that happens in your day but at least prepare yourself to navigate through it…
I’m Liz Montigny, a boymom and entrepreneur who loves tea and statement earrings. I hope you're always working to level-up because I that's what I'm all about...