I once was challenged to complete a pretty interesting simple exercise designed to help me find some of my strengths. The assignment was to ask 15 people what my three best qualities were. (If your self-esteem ever needs a boost I would highly recommend trying this out) Didn’t matter who as long as I had some sort of relationship with them. I wound up getting a pretty good mix of family, friends, co-workers, and clients. It wasn’t long before the responses started pouring in. Terms like “articulate,” “patient,” and “dedicated” were among some of the more common responses. But what took me by surprise was the most common response: “Caring.”
The fact that I’m caring wasn’t the surprising part. I think any of us that go into a service based career are inherently pretty caring people. The reason it surprised me so much is because its not something I feel towards myself and reflecting on that concept only made me that much more aware of it. We are all taught from a very young age to be nice to our siblings, friends, relatives,etc…But how many lessons do we receive growing up about caring for ourselves? And life pulling us in so many directions its even easier to put ourselves on the back burner. It happens to us all. Our kids need us, we have professional obligations, and a slew of other areas of our life that require our attention.
We’ve all been reminded by the flight attendants on board to make sure our oxygen mask is safely secured before trying to help others when we fly. Well making ourselves a priority and caring for ourselves deeply, we can increase our abilities and capacities to help others.
Quick and simple morning self care routine
- Gratitude Journal – I like to start my day using The Five Minute Journal. As the name suggest its a pretty fast way to start a daily gratitude practice. But you can do this by using a simple all note book. All you have to do is take inventory of three things you are grateful for each morning. Its an excellent way to start the day off in a positive mind frame.
- Reading – Take 5 minutes to read something spiritual, philosophical, or motivational. For me this has made a huge change as compared to before when I would find myself losing track of time by checking email or scrolling through Facebook and Twitter.
- Do a short workout – I added this for a few reasons. Its good to get the blood flowing and wake up the body early in the morning. Also should the day get incredibly hectic and I happen to miss a workout, I know I still did something no matter how small. Depending on how much time I have I’ll do 1-3 circuits of this bodyweight routine: 30 jumping jacks, 30 squats, 20 push-ups, & 10 pull-ups.