Until a few years ago the concept of self-care was foreign to me. Care for others? Yes, always. Self-care? What the hell does that even mean? And I certainly had no awareness of the concept of setting up your day with a ‘morning practice.’ My morning routine consisted of snoozing my alarm for a full hour and then making questionable decisions like not washing my five-day-old hair to gain another 15min of snooze time (because of course 60 min isn’t enough).
These days one of my most valued self-care practices is my ‘morning practice’. Which is just a fancy way of saying, my 10 minutes of alone time each morning which I give to myself, just for me, outside of eating or showering or getting ready or getting jiggy. Time just for myself, to journal, stretch, dance or meditate, or whatever I feel like in the moment.
Lest you think I’ve become some sort of enlightened guru overnight, let me give you a snapshot of how the vast majority of my morning meditation sessions go down.
Notice the breath. Follow the breath in and out.
I hope my flatmate remembered to take out the rubbish. I bet it’s not been done. Honestly, it’s like I-
Oops. Notice the thoughts float away. Breathe.
Follow the inhale and exhale of the breath.
Oh crap I didn’t send that email yesterday! How hopeless is that, I-
And we’re back. Breathe.
F**k I’m horny today. How epic would it be if Chris Hemsworth just came and scooped me up off this mat and-
You get the picture.
So why keep showing up?
Because a non-negotiable morning practice sets up your day like nothing else. It’s a powerful way of programming yourself for the type of day you want to have, and how you want to be with yourself during it.
Because life is hectic and those 10 minutes might be the only real alone time, the only true connection with yourself that you get all day. The only 10min within 16 hours of awake time when you’re not requiring anything of yourself except to just be.
(And because when you’re a recovering perfectionist, sitting down on the mat to meditate even when you know you won’t do it ‘properly’ is a pretty amazing training ground.)
So, my challenge to you: two weeks of changing it up in the mornings and including just 10min of me time in your morning routine.
Take that time when you’d usually be mindlessly scrolling through Instagram or Facebook to give this gift to yourself. To connect with and offer kindness to yourself.
You might choose to use it to write a list of what you’re grateful for, do some free-flow writing in a journal, listen to a guided meditation, do stretching or yoga poses, or my personal favourite, dance naked around the room to some epic tunes.
Who doesn’t love a bit of Shake It Off or Bootylicious before 8am?!
Don’t make up fun-sponging rules for yourself that it must be meditation or it can’t be light and enjoyable.
And find this 10min for yourself not because you ‘should’.
Do it because of how it will make you feel (it’s unbelievable what a difference ten minutes can make). Because moments of self-connection and self-love are so precious and important in our crazy world. And because in caring for yourself, making yourself a priority, you’re more able to show up for your loved ones too.