Popular media depicts life in your twenties as one long marathon of fun. Days are spent at jobs where we have our best work friend to pass the hours with, followed by nights at happy hour where you seem to meet a cute guy everywhere you go.
Real life goes a little more like this, you wake up to go to work, where most likely your best friend doesn't sit next to you all day. Happy hours are occasional, but most often you have a ton of other shit to do like buy groceries, do that laundry that's been piled up for weeks, and don't get me started on the mess in the kitchen you swore you'd clean up last night. For some people, including myself, you also have the responsibilities that come with attending grad school, ie homework!
It can be hard to take care of yourself when you feel like you're juggling a dozen things at once, but practicing self care doesn't have to be hard, or take up a bunch of time. There are plenty of things you can implement into your daily routine that won't disrupt your day or feel like another thing on your to do list. Read on to learn about eight things you can do each morning to take care of yourself first thing every morning.
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1. Create a morning only playlistWe all have our favorite songs, but I think a few of us are guilty of playing those songs on repeat until the allure of them is gone. Start each morning off right by listening to a morning only playlist. Try to keep the songs upbeat and positive to keep your mood lifted.
2. Do some physical activityI know, I know!.There's no way in hell you want to get out of bed, let alone workout first thing in the morning, but hear me out! No one is saying you should go for a run or jump out of bed and into pushup position, but doing some early morning stretches or quick yoga get's your blood flowing while giving your brain some time to fully wake up. Plus, I think by now we all now what endorphins can do for the body.
3. Unplug for a momentRaise your hand if you like to wake up, roll over, and scroll through your notifications. *Raises hand all the way to the ceiling* I know it's fun, most of the time, and I know there's some important info on there, but maybe the best way to start your morning doesn't include the highlights of people's lives. Save the mindless scrolling for your commute, use your mornings for something more productive.
4. Light a candleI don't know about you, but up until a few weeks ago I had convinced myself candles were not to be lit unless it was dark outside. That or I was waiting for a hot date, but that's not the case! Find a scent you love and light it on mornings when you need a little something to boost your mood. If you have pets like me, wax melters are a safe alternative to use around animals, even when you're not home.
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5. Call your best friendGrowing up my mom used to wake up at 5:30am to get herself ready for work and pack everyones lunches. Some mornings she would call her best friend and have full on conversations before the sun was even up, as in loud, gossip swapping, stomach cramp type of laugh, conversations. If you have a friend with a simialr schedule to you, try catching up in the morning as you get ready for your day. Just make sure he or she is okay with you calling early first!
6. Make an already done listMaking a to do list is my form of therapy, which is probably why I have entire notebooks (yes, plural) dedicated to lists of things I'd like to get done today, tomorrow, and in the future. But here's the thing, all those journals are full of things I have yet to accomplish. Go the opposite route every once in a while and create a list of things you've already managed to get done, big or small. It may seem dumb, but starting off your day feeling like you've already got a jump start on your goals sounds much better than being bogged down by a long list of tasks.
7. Eat something nourishingI know, again with the healthy lifestyle shit, but hear me out. I love cookies as much as the next person, probably more than the average person, but I feel so much better about myself when I manage to eat a healthy meal instead of a processed treat. Your something nourishing doesn't have to be all green and full of vitamins, but try out something that won't lead you to crash or feel icky within a few hours of ingesting it.
8. Wake up a little earlierI think I know what's playing in your mind right now. "Is she fucking crazy, I thought this list was to take better care of myself, what's better than a little extra sleep?!" Hold on a second before you close the tab and call me crazy. Waking up earlier doesn't mean you have to lose out on precious sleep, especially not if you just give yourself an extra 15-20 minutes each morning. By giving yourself to go to bed a tiny bit earlier and waking up earlier, you give yourself a little push room to frantically look for your keys, perfect that eyeliner that will make you feel like a badass all day, or just take your time doing the things you're usually rushing to get done.
What are ways you practice self care in your daily life? I start a new job this week, plus my last semester of grad school, so I'd love any recommendations!