Your alarm clock goes off and as you blink your eyes awake you quickly remember all the things on your plate for the day. You pry yourself out from under your warm covers and start the day off running.
By setting a good morning routine, you can start the day off on the right foot and have the positive energy you need to manage your duties as a caregiver.
Maybe you have kids to get up for school, or a dog to feed and walk. Always, in the back of your mind is the constant worry about the person in your care. If they had a rough night, it is likely that you also had a rough night of little or restless and disrupted sleep. And whether you had a good night’s sleep or not, your mind is probably busy trying to think about how to balance everyone’s needs. With this type of morning stress, you’re lucky if you have a chance to grab a coffee or tea, or run a comb through your hair.
Have you ever noticed that on days when you wake up feeling well-rested, have a little extra time to enjoy a healthy breakfast, and maybe even take a moment to gather your thoughts for the day, those are the days where that positive and calm energy sticks with you?
Mornings are important because they can set the tone for the day. By setting a good morning routine, you can start the day off on the right foot and have the positive energy you need to manage your duties as a caregiver while balancing the rest of your life.
Eat a Healthy Breakfast
One great reason to find time to eat a healthy breakfast is that it will provide you with the energy you need to start your day. Take a look at our Elizz Eats video to learn three easy ways to prepare oatmeal. Incorporating fresh fruit into your breakfast routine is an easy way to meet the recommended daily serving. By eating a healthy breakfast and enjoying a balanced diet you’ll have more energy, feel better overall, and notice your concentration has improved.
Drink a glass of water soon after you wake up to get your body going and replenish lost hydration. Staying properly hydrated is important to your overall health because every part of your body depends on it to function normally. To give your water a bit more flavour, try infusing it with lemon slices, mint and cucumber, or your favourite fruit. Check out the Government of Canada’s website for additional tips on how to stay hydrated.
Exercise, Stretch, or Walk
First thing in the morning is a great time to fit in a daily workout. What? You might be thinking ‘How on earth am I going to do that if I barely have time to brush my teeth?’ It can be as simple as doing a few light stretches, or going for a short walk. Incorporating exercise into your morning routine helps keep you on track for staying active. Plus, you’ll feel great by accomplishing a workout first thing and you won’t have to worry about finding the time later in the day. Find a type of exercise that you enjoy and you may even catch yourself looking forward to it!
A Resilient Mindset
Tell yourself that you can handle anything that life hands you today. This doesn’t mean that your day will, by definition, be free from stress, challenges or glitches. What it does mean is that you will be better able to manage stress and solve problems as they arise. The good news is that a resilient mindset can be learned. With time, patience, and practice, your mindset, which is really about your thoughts, actions and behaviours, will revolve around adapting and bouncing back when things don’t go as planned. And let’s be real-many days don’t go as planned!
Read, Meditate, or Listen to Music
A morning ritual of taking a few minutes to meditate, or sit down to read the news or a few pages of a good book is a simple way to take a moment to do something just for yourself. Playing some of your favourite music as you get ready for the day can also boost your mood and get your day off to a positive start.
Plan Your Day
It always helps to have a plan (and be prepared to use your resilient mindset if or when things don’t’ go as planned). In the morning, jot down what you need to do that day. Do you have appointments or errands to run? Having a written schedule of when the person in your care will need their medication or other regular care can also help you plan your day and stay on top of things.
If possible, try to do some pre-planning the night before. This is a great way to set yourself up for success the next day and make mornings less stressful!
If you plan to be out for the day, pre-packing a lunch and snacks the night before is a great way to ensure you’ll have healthy options available throughout the day. It’s also one less thing to worry about in the morning.
Some people find choosing what they are going to wear the day before (or even for the whole week!) is a great way to take the guesswork out of getting ready in the mornings. Remember to take a look at the weather forecast in order to select weather-appropriate options!
Gather everything you will need (wallet, keys, etc.) to walk out the door in the morning and designate a spot by the front door for these items to live. You can even make a list to keep posted by the door to glance at as you leave as a way to double check that you haven’t forgotten anything.
Using a checklist can be very satisfying way to give you a sense of accomplishment. Think of a checklist as more than just a to-do list of chores. Include items related to self-care and you’ll be more likely to make time for yourself throughout the day!
That’s a lot of stuff to fit in to your mornings! If you’re short on time, or incorporating a morning routine is new to you, try picking a few things off of this list that make you feel good and help you stay on track. It may be eating a healthy breakfast and going for a walk give you the positive energy boost you need to start your day off right.
Starting your routine may mean waking up just a little bit earlier, or spending a few minutes preparing things the night before. Remember, implementing a morning routine shouldn’t add to your stress — it should help you focus and take a moment for yourself before your busy day starts.
Let us know in the comments below what you do in the morning that helps you start your day off right.