For many of us, working from home has definitely become the new normal. Even though there are many benefits, such as spending more time with furry friends and avoiding the evening commute, one thing that I’ve personally struggled with is the loss of daily routine.
As the months have gone on I realised I was hitting the snooze button far too regularly, probably due to the fact my desk was around a 10-metre distance from my bed.
One key thing I noticed was that the days I slept in, my productivity, concentration, energy, alongside my ability to cope when things got busy definitely took a nosedive. After looking into ways to improve my daily wellbeing a ‘morning routine’ definitely kept coming up as a non-negotiable.
A recommendation led me to Hal Elrond’s book ‘The Miracle Morning’. This book promises to ‘transform your life’ by simply incorporating a 6 step routine known as the ‘Life S.A.V.E.R.S’ every day before 8am (which seemed fairly doable). With nothing to Iose I took myself up on the challenge and gave my morning routine a much-needed makeover.
The six simple steps known as S.A.V.E.R.S are:
Silence (Mindfulness) – This initially sounded slightly stupid to wake up and just lie/sit there in silence before even doing anything, however, given that mindfulness has proven health benefits, I gave it a go.
With the help of Calm I did the same morning meditation every day, as it actually tied in multiple other steps through the guide all into 10 minutes. I realised after just a few days not frantically checking emails or aimlessly scrolling Instagram upon opening my eyes actually gave me time to think how I was feeling and what I needed to have a good day.
Affirmations – These are a few simple sentences around who you want to be, who you want to start showing up as and what you need to accomplish this. It’s best to repeat these out loud and once I got over the ‘talking to myself’ phase they did make me feel good. Elrod explains “They immediately make an impression on your subconscious mind and transform how you think.” Many of us are stuck in repetitive limiting beliefs that we have ingrained in our mind that aren’t even true.
Visualisation – This can be on anything you want, just spend 5 minutes visualising something. I started easy with ‘what is my dream day, how do I show up, how does it run’. There is no right or wrong here, it could be anything. The more I did it the more creative I got, I also found it easier to make small changes to improve my day.
Exercise – This was a complete game-changer for me, It’s amazing how many of us put exercise off until later in the day only to never get around to it. Choose something you enjoy if you don’t have a lot of time, choose something quick, set your clothes out ready to go, no excuses.
Reading– I personally found sitting down reading a little difficult so I started listening to a podcast on my morning walk, which made things easier. If reading is your thing, grab a coffee and aim for 5-10 pages of something that will impact your day.
Scribing (writing/journaling) – Scribing simply means ‘writing’ but the W would mess up the acronym. Simply put pen to paper and write down anything that comes. I chose to write down my intentions for the day alongside my gratitude list, however, there is no right or wrong answer for this.
After completing this for a month, my top four takeaways were:
- You can really change the repeated message the subconscious mind has been telling you all this time. I noticed, simply by repeatedly sitting with my thoughts first thing, realising my vision and writing down how I wanted to show up really brought to light any recurring messages that were showing up.
- Morning exercise has allowed me to get it done, nothing else crops up to stop you doing it, alongside this you also feel a lot more energised throughout the day.
- There is a lot to be grateful for even in these testing times: a nourishing breakfast, a comfy bed, our health, a brand new day. This practice really made me think about how unthankful I can be for those little things.
- Don’t beat yourself up for the days you can’t do it, however, if you are short on time still pick the ones that make you feel good, even if it’s just one. The more days I completed it, I actually found it easier to do and I also missed it on the days I didn’t. A tip for people with no time, check your phone ‘screen time’ usage and if it’s high, question if you don’t really have the time (I was shocked).
A final thought, with February being a perfectly aligned four week month, there’s no better time like the present to start that new habit and prioritise your own self-care.