Self-care has become ubiquitous over the past couple of years since the pandemic.
Although it’s become somewhat of a fad, I’ve personally stumbled upon self-care as a necessity.
After graduating from college and starting my first full-time job, I desperately wanted to succeed professionally. On top of that, I had just started a nonprofit to provide underserved youth with mental wellness resources through workshops.
Trying to be everywhere all at once while still keeping up with other aspects of life was a complete struggle. As a result, my relationships, mental health, and sense of life satisfaction became hard to maintain.
I felt like I had lost balance in life. Needless to say, I was busy running around trying to accomplish and do that I lost my ability of how to be. Which resulted in not adequately taking care of myself.
I felt like I was depleting my own soul at the expense of trying to accomplish my goals. And over time, I noticed that my concentration, focus, sense of self, and happiness began to deteriorate, which paradoxically pulled me that much farther from my professional goals.
I quickly realized that another route was needed. This was when I started searching for answers.
So I researched and ran across the term “self-care” back in 2017. What I didn’t know was that the medical community started to use this term in the 1950s to help patients treat themselves through healthy habits. It was later popularized and politicized in the United States through the civil rights movement and women’s movement – particularly in the Black Panther Party.
For example, former civil rights leaders Angela Davis and Ericka Huggins began adopting mindfulness, yoga, and meditation practices while incarcerated as a means of empowering and taking care of themselves.
Caring for their wellness became a tool for empowerment and self-preservation. Instead of it being a fad or something that you did when you felt like it, to them, it was a necessity.
This was a wake-up call as I unconsciously felt like self-care was something I could only indulge in when I felt like it or when I deserved it. So, basically, after the work was over. And, let me tell you, that never came.
I realized slowly that self-care is a practice that should be integrated into your daily life – whether you feel like doing it or not. It was a necessity to keep my stress at bay, maintain meaningful relationships, overcome challenges easier, and be better at life in general.
Everyone from Oprah, Michelle Obama, Adam Levine, Prince Harry, and Serena Williams has some self-care routine. Particularly in the morning.
I began integrating some of these self-care techniques throughout the day, particularly in the morning, and I quickly noticed that instead of them becoming a burden, I started to enjoy them.
Mainly because I started to notice an increase in productivity, focus, resilience, and overall life satisfaction. The burdensome self-care techniques that I didn’t really enjoy at first became something I began to look forward to because of the massive results they provided in my health, relationships, and happiness.
Ultimately it gave me a sense of power over my life and the inner confidence that I knew I could overcome future setbacks or challenges that I may face.
Self-care gave me a sense of empowerment. And as I began to fill up my cup daily, the more patience, empathy, and encouragement I was able to give to my friends, co-workers, and family without feeling like I was depleting my own soul.
If you are looking for some morning self-care routine, here are three that I use and the science-backed reasons as to why:
Move your body
As Tony Robbins has said, “motion creates emotion.” Changing your physiology is one of the most powerful ways to increase your physical health and improve your overall mental state. Research has confirmed that regular exercise can reduce stress, combat feelings of anxiety and feelings of depression, boost self-esteem, improve resilience, and improve sleep [Source: Healthline.com and medlineplus.com] So find time to move your body, whether it be walking, running, hitting the gym, spin cycle, or even yoga.
Meditation is quickly becoming one of the fastest-growing health trends. Studies have shown that regular meditation can reduce stress, increase patience, reduce negative emotions, increase self-awareness, boost memory, and even improve your life expectancy and immune system [Source]. If you’ve never meditated before, check apps such as calm, headspace, FitMind, or Muse headband if you are looking for a biofeedback device.
As the saying goes, “leaders or readers.” Everyone is a leader, whether in a household, professional life, or even in your personal life. Regular reading has been shown to improve brain connectivity, aid in sleep readiness, reduce stress, increase comprehension, prevent cognitive decline as you age, and add years to your life, according to Harvard Health [Source]. In addition, reading in the morning can do wonders for your health and overall mindset heading into your busy day. So try setting a timer for 20 min on your phone before anyone is up and pick up a self-help book, biography of an inspiring figure, or even research a topic that you’re interested in learning more about to improve your relationships, health, wealth, or happiness.
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- Chazz Scott, Mindset & Resilience Coach, Founder of Supra Mentem, LLC.
Supra Mentem, LLC. provides corporate training, seminars, leadership and entrepreneur coaching, and workshops designed to provide effective strategies to propel individuals toward their potential personally and professionally.