TRANSFORMING YOUR LIFE. LITTLE CHANGES MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE
10 Things to Start Your Day Right and Help You Feel Good About Yourself - Especially if you’re housebound!
This is an exceptional time we’re living in. The new normal is anything but. Even the most resilient among us may need reminding that being relegated to our homes to stay healthy, doesn’t mean we should act as though we’re home sick.
This is especially important if you suffer from depression, the late winter blues or early spring blahs, you’re just not feeling great about yourself, you’re grieving the loss of a loved one/marriage/relationship but on the road to recovery, you’re in early recovery from any type of addiction or otherwise trying to change or manage your mood or behavior. And if you’re not prone to any of these things but suddenly find yourself removed for your normal schedule due to social distancing or a self quarantine you may be finding it difficult to adjust.
Even if you’re feeling pretty good about yourself right now but you have a tendency toward feeling otherwise - or just want to stay motivated - these little shifts in your morning self-care habits can make a big difference!
Some may seem like no brainers - some may seem ridiculously simplistic - but if you’re staying home and beginning to feel not so great about yourself for any reason, letting the smallest of things slip can start to add up and work against you.
Here is my top 10 list of a.m habits to help you feel good about yourself!
1. Get up! When it’s time to get out of bed in the morning, do it. Although lying in bed and reading for an extra 30 or 60 minutes on a Sunday morning can feel like a wonderful luxury and a reward for a long week, doing it on a regular basis doesn’t set the tone for a productive day. Try getting out of bed a little earlier than you have to instead of waiting until the last possible minute. Laying in bed too long isn’t a good habit
2. Let the light in. Once you’re out of bed open the curtains, pull up the shades and let the sun shine in. Even on a cloudy, rainy or dreary day the effects of natural light on your mood are well documented.
3. Make your bed. It looks nice, it sends a message that you’re up and ready to start the day, it gets your body moving even if just a little, and if you suffer from depression it may help keep you from crawling back into it for the day - I’m speaking from personal experience on this one! Plus, getting into a freshly made bed every night feels really great!
4. Drink a big glass of water. Before I have my morning coffee, I have my water. It wakes up my body and get things moving. Starting the day well hydrated - and staying that way - can make a big difference in how you feel.
5. Have a have a morning grooming routine even - and maybe especially - when you’re staying home. Keep up - or step up, now that you have the time - your wake up routine. Do it for yourself if no one else!
7. Move your body. Whether or not I’m going for a morning walk or run (and right now we’re self-isolating at home), I do a 5-minute yoga stretch (my video is linked here) with deep breathing. Try it. You’ll be surprised with what a difference it makes! COVID-19 Tip: Now that we’re socially distancing and staying home, extending this to a full yoga practice or morning stretch and guided meditation can help you feel wonderful. It’s also a great way to exercise if you’re housebound.
8. Make yourself a good heathy breakfast. I make oatmeal every morning. It couldn’t be faster or simpler. ½ cup of dry oats, a few dashes of cinnamon, a banana, ½ cup of water and 1 minute in the microwave. Bam, I have a hot, heathy breakfast in about 2.5 minutes. (2 minutes and 23 seconds… yeah, I timed this, too.)
9. Tidy your home. I grab my Swiffer’s (see below) and do a quick dust of the furniture and floor. If you don’t want to use disposable wipes to clean your floor you can substitute washcloths on your Swiffer floor duster, like I do (see below). Just poke the washcloth through the holes instead of the disposable cloths. It only takes a few minutes to freshen your surroundings. Nate Burkus said “Your home should rise up to greet you.” I believe that truer words cannot be spoken when it comes to your home.
10. Set some goals for the day. Even if one of those goals is to catch up on some much needed rest or practice self care, put it on you list and get it done! Why not use this time at home to try something new or return to something you love and have long left behind. Put it on the list and do it!
A special note for skeptics: Taking care of your appearance matters. Why? Because you’re insides and your outside are not mutually exclusive. They are connected and both are parts of the whole you. I’m not talking about hiding behind a mask or false facade, I’m talking about simple things to let you - and your natural beauty - shine!
If needed, remind yourself that self-care and self-esteem go hand in hand and are self perpetuating in both directions. The lower your self worth the less you’ll care about these things and the less you’ll want to put forth any effort. Conversely, the more you value yourself the more invested you’ll be in how you feel and care for yourself even - or perhaps especially - if no one else sees it!
Here’s a litmus test. Have you ever left the house praying you wouldn’t run into someone you knew because you felt you looked an embarrassing mess? How did it make you feel? Now how about a time when you left the house feeling like a million bucks? Better, right? My wish for you is that you present yourself in such a way that you don’t care who you run into even if the only person you encounter is in the mirror. You should feel that good about yourself every day. Like I said before, it takes just as much time to put on something crappy as it does to put on something cute. It takes the same effort to put on an attractive pair of slip on sneaks* as it does dirty old flip flops. So up your game! You can do it and you’re worth the effort! The amount of time it takes to run a comb through your hair and chuck on some lip color is negligible.
No matter how grand or humble your abode, your wardrobe or your presentation, keeping it neat can lift you up and allowing a mess can drag you down. It’s just that simple!
*COVID-19 Tip: Do not wear street shoes in the house and if you do, sanitize them with an approved EPA-registered household disinfectant linked here. Of course be careful that you do a color test before wiping the tops and let them air dry thoroughly before walking around your house - lest you ruin a good pair of shoes or track a bleach solution all over your carpets!
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