Is mom life causing you to skip out on self-care? You might want to rethink that. Let’s face it: if you aren’t at your best, how can you expect to be your best for everyone around you who depends on you each day? You can’t. And that’s why taking time for self-care isn’t a selfish act. It’s actually pretty selfless, because when you make time for your own wellness, it allows you to be at your best. And that’s good news for your entire family.
As great as self-care is, mom life is hectic. That’s why starting your morning off with this simple five or 10-minute routine should be every mom’s new best friend. You can make time for five minutes even on the busiest days, or 10 if you have a little more time in the AM, and it will do wonders for your physical and mental health.
The Speedy Morning Self-Care Routine Moms Will Love
Silence your phone (time: five or 10 minutes). As much as you may want to reach for your phone when you first wake up, try to resist the urge. Silencing your phone for a few short minutes as you give yourself time to adjust to the day is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself. By removing the distraction of the ring or ding as you focus on self-care, you allow yourself to be fully present for what you are doing.
That not only helps you to stay consistent with your self-care routine, but offers its own health benefits as well. “Frequently using and responding to your phone could increase stress and anxiety and lead to sleep problems such as lower quality of sleep,” explains Janine Faber, MEd, RDN, LD, of Janine Faber Nutrition.
So use that ‘do not disturb’ function and stop stressing over it. Your messages will still be there waiting for you when you are ready.
Practice deep breathing (time: one minute, or three if you have more time). Once you have removed distractions, take one minute to focus on your breathing. Practice taking deep, slow, controlled breaths in and out. Breathe in deep through your nose while trying to pull the air into your belly. Hold the breath for a few seconds before releasing. As you breathe out, exhale deeply through pursed lips as if you were whistling until all the air from your belly has been released.
This act of belly breathing plays a large role in stress management. “Deep diaphragmatic breathing helps stimulate pathways in the body that lead to relaxation and stress relief,” explains Sarah Pflugradt, MS, RD, owner of Sarah Pflugradt Nutrition. Although taking a few moments for deep breathing in the morning can be beneficial to stress and mood, regular practice of deep breathing can help when stressful situations arise at any time of day.
Stretch (time: two minutes, or four if you have more time). After you have had a chance to breathe, it’s now time to stretch. Not only can stretching help you to feel energized as you start your day, but the act of stretching can offer a variety of benefits. Stretching daily can improve flexibility and mobility, which can help reduce injury risk while improving posture.
In addition, stretching can also directly impact overall health. “Daily stretching can improve blood flow, which, in the long term, may help lower blood pressure,” explains Pflugradt. The act of stretching also helps to reduce the levels of circulating stress hormones like cortisol in the body and may have a positive impact on the immune system.
What are the best stretches to do in the morning? Try starting with a simple child’s pose and moving into a downward facing dog to help open up your shoulders and stretch out your back. Then work your way into a warrior 1 pose to help open up your hips and get ready to start the day.
Drink a glass of cold water (time: one to two minutes). Drinking a glass of water may not seem like self-care, but this simple act can go a long way in helping you to feel your best. “Drinking a glass of cold water not only helps with hydration but cold water is also refreshing and rejuvenating, which can provide your mood with a boost as well,” explains Faber.
So, take some time to sip on a glass of cold water while you complete your self-care routine, and you may find yourself feeling more alert and refreshed for doing so.
Write down one thing you love about yourself (time: one minute). For the last step of your morning self-care routine, take one minute to write down at least one thing you love about yourself each day.
This simple act can shift your mindset away from self-critical thoughts and instead to uplifting ones. “How we view ourselves impacts our mood for the day and how we can empower and treat our body in a positive way. This is a good model for your kids to witness as well for their own self-esteem,” adds Faber.
This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for medical diagnosis or treatment. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or condition. Always check with your doctor before changing your diet, altering your sleep habits, taking supplements, or starting a new fitness routine.