At the beginning of the Summer, I found myself feeling exhausted and stressed about Motherhood. I would wake up in the mornings to my toddler crying and begging to get out of his crib. Exercise, to-do lists, blogging and things that made me happy were being pushed to the back burner. I felt exhausted, despite having had a full night of sleep. My days were off to a rough start.
At that time, I decided to make a huge lifestyle change. Inspired by the book, Morning Miracle, I began setting my alarm clock for 5:30am. Those of you that have known me for a while know I am not a morning person. Pre-baby, making it to church at 11:30am on Sundays was painful. I was the person who stayed up all night working on projects. A self-proclaimed night owl.
With my morning alarm set a solid hour before Brody’s usual wake up time, I dedicated this hour solely to myself. What this hour has given back to me has been nothing short of fulfilling. The hour is filled with a combination of reading, meditation, exercise and relaxation. These are all things to help bring a sense of calm to the day. Things that always leave me with energy and excitement for the day that lies ahead. Things that leave me feeling excited when I would hear Brody wake up and ready to have a great day. My new morning routine has been a game changer to my mood, my focus, and my gratitude towards this wonderful stage of life.
My morning power hour, as I’ve now termed it, has had such a positive impact on my days that I wanted to share it with you. Maybe you’ve been struggling to find time for yourself in your day-to-day life. Perhaps you are waking up and the first sound you hear is a crying baby. Maybe you are struggling to recognize the old you now that you have become a mom. Or Perhaps you could use a little boost to remind yourself that you are so much more than just a mom these days. If any of these statements ring true, you are not alone. I’ve been there a million times and the only cure I've found is a little self-love.
So today I am challenging you to 10 days with a morning dedicated to you. I want you to see how life changing it can be. I want you to feel the energy it can give you. I want you to feel a sense of calm and relaxation, even when some days may be anything but.
How The 10-Day Morning Power Hour Challenge Works:
- Set your alarm for 1 hour before your little one usually wakes up, or 1 hour earlier than you currently wake up.
- Print off the Morning Power Hour worksheet + 10-day tracker below.
- Plan out your Morning Power Hour
- Pick a Start day and for the 2 weeks that follow (M-F) incorporate the Morning Power Hour into your day.
What is the Morning Power Hour?
My morning power hour is made up of 6 different parts. You can pick and choose which of these you would like to incorporate into your morning routine and how much time to allot for each of them. Below is an overview of what my Morning Power Hour looks like. Use this as a guideline as you craft your own with the downloadable worksheet. These categories have been adapted from the book Morning Miracle.
Reading: 15 minutes
I kick off my mornings reading a book while I take a bath. You can read anything you would like. The newspaper, some chick lit, or articles you have been meaning to read. The key is having what you are going to be reading prepared the night before. I usually spend this time reading books that will help me become a better childbirth educator (right now, I’m reading Gentle Birth Choices). Since I rarely find time to read theses days, this is one way to ensure I am constantly learning. I keep the book I am reading on the edge of my bathtub so it is ready to go first thing in the morning. The bath on the other hand is totally optional.
Journal: 10 minutes
The next ten minutes are spent journaling. There are no rules to my journaling. I just start jotting down everything that comes to mind. Sometimes it ends up looking more like a to-do list for the day and other times I am recoding motherhood moments I never want to forget. I use a Cambridge Journal for this. At the bottom of the page I also write one thing I am grateful for that day and one single task I would like to accomplish throughout the day. Just accomplishing this one task is always a boost.
Meditation: 10 minutes
My favorite part of my Morning Power Hour is the daily meditation. I’ve dabbled in meditation a few times in the past, but always gave up after my mind would immediately wander. Meditation takes training and consistency and I never gave it the time. My new morning routine has helped me to see the difference this short period of quiet and calm can bring. I started out using guided meditations that teach you the basics. During the day, I use the Spire Mindfulness + Activity Tracker to track my calm, tense and focused moments. If I’ve been tense, the tracker will vibrate and I can do a quick breathing boost in the app to calm down. The app also has timed mediations and guided breathing exercises that I use in the mornings. It’s incredible what being aware of your breathing can do for you mindset.
Exercise: 15 minutes
After meditating, I do 15 minutes of exercise. I try to find something energizing, yet still relaxing. I usually search YouTube for short yoga videos, stretching routines, an ab workout or a quick Pilates video. I set a mat down on our bedroom floor and do the workout. This short workout really wakes me up for the day.
Affirmation: 2 Minutes
An affirmation is simply a short statement that defines who you are and what you would like to do. Earlier this Summer, I wrote out an affirmation that summarizes my goals both professionally and as our family. An affirmation is most effective when it is in the first person. Try using phrases such as “I want, I will, I am” Repeat this out loud every morning.
Visualization: 2 minutes
My final step of my morning routine is closing my eyes for a couple of minutes and visualizing what my plan is for the day. It hardly every goes as planned, but closing my eyes and picturing myself going downstairs and sitting at the table typing up a blog post or tackling that project I’ve been working on helps prepare my mind for the day to come. Visualization is a powerful thing!
These little pieces make up my Morning Power Hour. Some days, Brody wakes up towards the end and I finish the routine with him in the room. Other days, he’s still sound asleep for 30-45 minutes after I finish and I am able to start checking off that one task that I wanted to make sure I accomplished for the day. For those that have asked when I find time to blog, this is when the best blogging happens. After each Morning Power Hour, I am still amazed by how it makes me feel. It has been a game changer and I can’t wait to hear about the impact you feel after giving it a try! I’m challenging you to 10-days with a Morning Power Hour and I can’t wait to hear how refreshed and invigorated it leaves you feeling.
Are you up for the challenge?
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.