If you’re anything like me, you know what it’s like to struggle every day just to find a few minutes alone to do anything for yourself. Every day just kind of runs into the next. It’s like living on auto-pilot. Get up, fix the coffee, take a shower, wake the kids for school or daycare, go to work, come home, clean house, cook supper, bathe the little ones, clean again, sleep, repeat. Of course some of us have slightly different schedules, but you get the point. Our lives become focused on making sure everyone else is healthy and happy, even when that means that our own self-care takes a back seat.
It doesn’t have to be this way though. Did you know that the first 20 minutes of your day sets the tone for the remainder of your day and can even determine your level of success in most all you do? Your subconscious mind is the most active the moment you open your eyes in the morning. Not after hitting snooze 10 times. I am talking the very first moment you wake. This is the time you can train your brain to think positive thoughts for the day and therefore accomplish more.
My question to you is, what do you do in the shower? Now that I’ve got you thinking, let me tell you what I do. To get started, there are two things you should do as soon as you open your eyes.
First, don’t hit the snooze button.
When the alarm goes off, open your eyes and say thank you for another day. If you hit that snooze button, you are training your brain to believe that it’s OK to procrastinate. This is the opposite of what you want to do.
Second, drink a glass of water.
Keeping a glass of water beside your bed (16 oz is preferred) is a great way to ensure your body wakes up right. Water not only hydrates you, but it also helps your body flush toxins, kick starts your metabolism, fuels your brain, and as a bonus it may even help you eat less throughout the day. You can not go wrong with a glass of water!
Now, jump in the shower!
This is probably going to be the most valuable, and most abnormal, piece of this article that you will read so listen closely. As moms, the shower is our sanctuary because it’s typically the one safe place we can count on to be alone, so let’s take full advantage of this time! In addition to washing your hair and body, there are (at least) four things you can do in the shower every day to get your day started off right.
1. Pray – I always take a few minutes to say a prayer while I am in the shower. This may not be for all; however, it is something I value and can really focus on when I am I have a few moments alone to myself.
2. Visualize your life – This may sound strange to some, but if you research this, it is seen as a wonderful way to make your brain drive the actions needed to put your life on the path you want. Thinking about where you want to be in five years or twenty years from now, and the steps you need to take to get there, is important if you truly want to meet certain goals with your life.
3. Repeat affirmations – Compile a simple list of affirmations for your life that you can remember without having to read from paper. Then repeat them every morning while you have a few minutes to yourself in the shower. Simple ones like “Today I will not allow myself to become distracted by social media” are a great start. (FYI affirmations have worked for many successful people such as Steve Jobs.)
4. Exercise – YEP you heard me right! You CAN exercise in the shower!! Never crossed your mind before? I know it sounds crazy, but it’s actually perfect! You can work up a sweat and wash it off at the same time! Who knew?!? There are four primary exercises that I stick to with every shower. These exercises get my heart racing, work up a sweat, and build muscle in my legs, arms and abs! Basically a full body workout between rinsing and repeating! I have provided the workouts I use below. I do three sets of each with a count I know I can handle. What works for you may not be the same. My rule is to push yourself until it burns, then repeat two more times. After a few weeks, increase it (time permitting of course).
4 Exercises You Can Do in the Shower
1. Wall push-ups – Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Place your hands on the wall in front of you shoulder width apart and preferably shoulder height. Lean forward against the wall and then push out. Make sure you don’t cheat. Use only your arms! You will feel this, I promise!
2. Squats – Feet just a little wider than shoulder width apart. Keep your back straight and sit down in a squat. Then stand and repeat.
3. Calf raises – Place one foot against the wall behind you. Place one hand on the wall for balance. Raise yourself up as far as you can on the ball of your foot that is on the floor. Repeat with both feet for a count you can handle for 1 set.
4. Standing ab crunch – Stand with your hands behind your head and elbows out. Bend one leg slightly while raising the opposite knee across your chest and reach for that knee across your chest using the elbow opposite of your knee. Repeat on both sides for a count you can handle for 1 set.
As moms, time is extremely valuable and difficult to find. I have found that sticking to this plan every day has made a big difference in my mood as well as my productivity. I hope it will do the same for you!