On Monday I shared my AM/PM system that I’ve used for four years now as the basis of my self-care practice.
It’s simple: Do something for yourself in the AM and in the PM. Easy. Boom. You’re done.
A few of you wrote to me with some questions so I figured I’d break it down so you can figure out for yourself what would make your mornings hum and your evening refreshing.
As I’ve said before, there is no one on the planet tasked with ensuring you have a good day. Nobody!
That is why it is so crucial for you to be that person for yourself. For you to be the one who stops and asks, “What do you need? And how can I get it to you?”
First, there are three questions you have to ask yourself:
- What’s accessible (for me)?
- What’s affordable (for me)?
- What’s affirming (for me)?
I added that parenthetical because it’s important to focus on what you like, and not what folks tell you should be a part of your self-care routine. It doesn’t have to be IG worthy or even particularly beautiful.
So let’s break each of these down:
Accessible simply means that it is not difficult for you to have access to this. It doesn’t require a two-hour commute or any prohibitively expensive equipment. It’s you and the things you have on hand or could reasonably have on hand at a given moment.
So what may be accessible is hot water and a tub. Or hot water and a tea bag. Or your sister’s Spotify Premium password. (Hey sis!)
I don’t know about you, but the cheapest forms of self-care fill me up most. So I don’t believe that you have to spend money to take care of yourself. All those fancy room sprays and aromatherapy soaks have their place, but when it comes to self-care, I frequently think in terms of $20 or less (or free!).
What’s affirming to me are things that appeal to my senses. I love things that make me feel good in my own skin, give me a sense of calm and ground me when I’m feeling off-balance. For that reason I love music, I love smell goods, I love a good meal. You know that mix of joy and anticipation you get when you see the waiter bring your food? That’s the feeling.
So in looking at these three considerations, build your morning routine. In between the time you wake up and noon (or whatever your “morning” is, for third shift folks), add one thing that will set the tone for the day ahead.
Your morning routine could look like this:
- 6:00 a.m. Wake up
- 6:10 a.m. Turn on your “Good Morning” playlist. (Here’s mine.)
- 6:15 a.m. Get some tea and sit in silence for a minute, mentally clearing out space for the day to come. (Or journal or do some yoga stretches or dance to your favorite song or…or…or……..)
- 6:30 a.m. Shower, get dressed, prep for the day ahead
- 7:30 a.m. Leave the house
It’s not about creating elaborate routines that you have to do in the same exact order every single morning. It’s about clearing out space to add an affirming, affordable, accessible activity to your day.