The transition from working/school full-time to being a SAHM to my 8-month-old was, in a word, rough. Major loss of self. Then I heard about a simple morning routine from a podcast that gave me tools to reconnect with my old self with some significant upgrades.
Loss of identity is a major player in postpartum depression and anxiety for moms. It can hit at any time, first baby, second, job change or loss, or when kids are suddenly all in school. I've found that this simple, highly adaptable routine helps me stay grounded. The routine is taken from the book The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod.
The idea behind the routine is to start the day aligning yourself for success by checking inward. There are six steps tied to the acronym SAVERS. Every step can be done in as little as one minute, but you can expand as desired. The goal is to complete your miracle morning before everyone else wakes up and starts drawing from your energy. I'd also recommend that you don't check your phone until after you've finished connecting with yourself through your miracle morning. That can seem intimidating, but 6 minutes can make a big difference!
SAVERS covers Silence (meditation), Affirmations, Visualizations, Exercise, Reading, and Scribing (writing by hand).
For my miracle morning, I set a timer for 5-10 minutes of meditation first thing. There are lots of ways to meditate, I simply focus on my breath while sitting up straight in bed or on my couch. Then I either do a yoga flow (tons of free options on YouTube) or move on and exercise at my 9 a.m. mom workout group in my community. I do affirmations, visualizations and scribing simultaneously. I pull out my journal and write down a few affirmations and goals written in the present tense, then add any other thoughts I feel like I need to get out. I journal in cursive, there is compelling evidence that shows cursive is healthy for the brain and memory. Finally, I read 3 or so pages from a hard-copy book. Usually I choose a self-help book that I'm ok with reading slowly or scripture.
My miracle morning these days takes anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. Right now I have one toddler, so completing my miracle morning only requires me to get up at 7 at the earliest. The beauty of the system is that you can decide how and how long to do each of the steps for whatever stage of life you're in. If mornings are impossible right now, taking 6 minutes during nap or before bed still bring a lot of benefits.
I've found myself looking forward to waking up the next morning (!!!) when I go to bed, because I know that I'm starting my morning focused on my own needs. I start my day intentionally and I end feeling accomplished. I've found the energy to reconnect with old hobbies and start new ones. I feel like I have more to give as a wife and mother. I've also found more inner peace as I postpone logging in to social media until after I've checked in with myself. This routine is the base of my self-care.
Written by: Kelsie Hasleton