When my last baby turned one last month, I feel like a timer went off in my head. Time to get your sh*t together, Sarah.
Arbitrarily, I gave myself a year after she was born to just make it through. Just keep two kids alive, keep myself alive, sleep when I could- just slog through.
And we made it. Hallelujah! I’m very thankful that we’re in a (short-lived, I’m sure) everyone is sleeping okay phase, so I figured now was as good of a time as any to get myself into a routine.
Are you a routine person? I’m a fan. I like having my plan and mentally checking off the boxes as the day progresses. I’ve completely dived into the world of personal development books and a few things I’ve found keep coming up.
First, gratitude. It seems like it’s a very buzzworthy topic- and for good reason. Having an attitude of gratitude can completely change your outlook. Life is so fast-paced these days, it’s easy to get caught up and feel overwhelmed. Making a point to find those small moments and things you are grateful for helps my mood exponentially. It definitely gives me some perspective, which I need.
Second, move your body. I’m a big Rachel Hollis fan. Girl, Wash Your Face and Girl, Stop Apologizing hit home for me on many levels. I follow her on social media and one of her pillars is to move your body for 30 minutes a day. And she’s not the only one- I feel like many of the big motivators and influencers that I follow and look to for inspiration are saying you have got to get moving. Exercise cannot be overlooked. Well, I’ll tell ya- I’ve been overlooking it. I know I shouldn’t but pretty consistently, my Apple Watch is buzzing at 8:23pm saying I can hit my move goal with a brisk 27 minute walk. Anyone else knows this feeling?
Along the same line as gratitude, one other thing that has helped me immensely has been meditation. Besides coffee, it’s been something that clears that fog- particularly in the early months with a newborn. This time around, I found myself to be very quick to anger. Think ugly rage, snap in a second, no fuse, no warning type anger. Yeah, that was me. And meditation was the thing that grounded me and brought me back to, maybe not a totally peaceful place, but it tamed the flames. And for that, I think my whole family is grateful.
So what do my mornings look like these days? Now that my internal alarm said it’s time to get yourself together. Well it goes a little something like this.
0500- Wake up!
(I’ll never not be on nurse time. Military time for life.)
Meryl usually gets up around 0600. Ideally she would sleep until 0630, but it is what it is. I need that hour to myself. I need the quiet to set my mind and get ready mentally for the day ahead. (Except for today when she decided to get up at 5:15 can’t win them all!)
I used to just lay in bed. I’d probably be awake around 5 but I’d just lay there on my phone, lost in the instascroll. Some of you must know the feeling. So instead of that, I get my butt out of bed and start my day.
0510- Move My Body
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I set out clothes the night before and as soon as I up, I change into work out clothes. Despite my long history as an athlete, I had been so inconsistent with working out. It’s so easy to say you’re tired, the baby was up last night, you’re too busy- but some part of my brain said “that’s bullshit and you know it.” And my brain is correct.
So now, before my brain even has time to object, I’m lacing up my shoes and pressing play. That workout is over in no time and then the box is checked off for the day.
I’ve found a workout that’s keeping me going. Keeping me engaged and actually wanting to push myself. It’s been a long time since I’ve found something motivating me like this does!
I’ve been using the Start Today journal, from my girl, Rachel Hollis‘s company. It’s broken down into two parts, gratitude and then dreams. I love taking ten minutes and really focusing on what I was grateful for the day prior, what made me smile. And then focusing on what I want for my future.
Putting thoughts onto paper just feels more powerful than letting them run through my head chaotically. It feels more real writing them down.
0550- Water is boiling for the French Press at this point.
I have to drink my coffee.
0551- Open up the Calm app
I’ll usually pick a 10ish minute meditation. Meryl will be getting up soon so sometimes this gets interrupted, but we do our best right? I love their Daily Calm meditation, so oftentimes, I’ll just go with that.
0600- Little eyes are open
And the chaos begins.
I’ll tell you, since starting this practice and getting my routine in, I feel ready to attack the day. Ready to handle whatever the kids throw my way. It’s in the small details that I notice a difference. I may pause and think before yelling or not become instantly annoyed if a cup spills or PlayDoh specks are all over the floor. Believe me, its not like I’m sitting there overjoyed about the mess, but having that time to myself in the morning allows me to pour into me a little bit which translates into a happier, more patient mom for my girls.
What do you do to start your day?