September 23, 2017

Why You Should Practice Self-Care as Part of Your Morning Routine

Your morning routine sets the tone for your entire day. Whether you want to be productive, morning-routine-successin a good mood, or just feel relaxed throughout the afternoon; how you begin your day is crucial to your mindset.

While Summer vacation is still in session for some, it’s important to start planning for Fall now. Think to yourself: What goals do I want to accomplish this season? What can I do to ensure my success? Are there rituals that I can add to my morning routine that will bring me closer to my goals?

Success Starts in the Morning

Someone once asked me, “How do you get so much done in a day?” My answer was simple, “I go to bed early and wake up a couple of hours before I need to start my day.” A couple hours may seem like a long time, especially for those who love sleeping in, but waking up early allows me to start my day on the right foot. I prioritize myself in the wee hours of the morning.

Many years ago, I noticed that most of my super successful mentors all had one major thing in common, they all took time in the morning to “work” on themselves.  I decided to follow their lead and came up with my own morning rituals to suit my needs. I take this time to establish my goals for the day, to meditate, exercise, read, and to ease into the flow of the day without any rush or panic. I call this my “Personal Prime Time”.

Dr. Nathalie’s Personal Prime Time

Personal Prime Time refers to tending our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual self-development needs before undertaking the tasks we’ve planned for the day. From a productivity standpoint, it may seem counterintuitive. Why not just get straight to work? Why waste two hours of my time when I could be getting things done? The answer to that is: Personal Prime Time is WHY I get so much done. When I take care of myself, I focus better l and my decisions are less emotion-driven. I have a clearer outlook on situations, and a better sense of self. Easing into the day keeps your adrenal glands (more on this in the hormones section)? from going into overdrive and prevents automatically putting your body into fight or flight mode. You are calmer, more in control of your time, and more organized.

Personal Prime Time may involve different things for different people and vary from day to day. While meditation is a part of my Personal Prime Time, it may not be a part of yours. The idea is to develop daily rituals that promote our well-being. In this day and age, we are constantly bombarded with information and expectations. We are expected to do more, be more and have more at a faster pace. With technology at our fingertips, distractions are everywhere. With so much to accomplish in a day, most of us even have a sense of guilt when taking time for ourselves. Yet we need to realize that in order for us to continue growing at such a fast pace, we NEED to prioritize ourselves. We cannot pour from an empty cup. Once we prioritize our needs and have them taken care of, we can effectively tend to others’ needs.

It’s important to set a time for these rituals and integrate them into our daily routines. This might mean going to bed earlier or waking up earlier. It takes a conscious effort to put ourselves first. With time, established rituals can develop into habits. You will no longer have to think much about them, your body and mind will know what it needs to function optimally.

So, what can you put into your Personal Prime Time?

1) Physical Development

 Movement can be a key component of your morning routine. The increase of circulation and release of endorphins (feel-good hormones that are increased following exercise) can help you feel positive and energized throughout the day.

2) Mental Development

Your brain is primed to learn, plan, and execute first thing in the morning. This is because our pre-frontal cortex (the part of the brain responsible for planning, judgement, and impulse control) is most active right when we wake up. This supports the importance of spending time nurturing our mental development before taking on the obligations of the day.

3) Emotional/Spiritual Development

We wake up with a clear, undisturbed mind, connected from within. Incorporating meditation, positive self-talk, and even journaling are great ways to become mindful of the present and nurture our emotional needs.

How to Add Personal Prime Time to Your Morning Routine 

Example 1: 75 minutes

  1. 60 minutes Fitness Class (like Crossfit or Kickboxing) with warmup and cool down
  2. 15 minutes of guided meditation

Example 1: 60 minutes

  1. 20 minutes of interval training on the bike
  2. 20 minutes of yoga stretches and deep breathing
  3. 20 minutes of reading

Example 3: 45 minutes

  1. 15 minutes of learning a new language
  2. 20 minutes of core and functional movement exercises
  3. 10 of meditation or prayers

Example 4: 30 minutes

  1. 10 minutes of Tabata bodyweight intervals
  2. 10 minutes of lower body mobility
  3. 10 minutes of monthly goal setting

What will your Personal Prime Time look like? Feel free to leave a comment below!


This blog is a snippet from Dr. Nathalie’s upcoming book “Hack Your Health Habits” to learn more visit www.hackyourhealthhabits.com.

Comments

  1. Est-ce que tu médites après ton exercice? Si oui, tu trouves que c’est aussi facile calmer ton esprit à ce moment?

  2. Hi Christine, I meditate either before or after my exercise. If exercise stimulates you too much consider doing before!:)

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