As someone whose goal is to be a better mom, wife, and overall woman, I try to work on improving myself each day. I struggle with anxiety, which can make me unkind some days in terms of patience. I strive to be less anxious and less unkind than I was the day before. One routine that has changed my outlook and also my reactions to people is my morning routine.
I will admit, I do not always do the morning routine BUT on the days that I do, I definitely feel much better. I feel that I can tackle the day effectively, and am a nicer person to coworkers, my husband, my daughter, and the general community.
The 3 steps to my morning routine are:
1. I read two daily devotional books to remind me how I should guide my day.
They are :
- Your Best Life Beings Each Morning by Joel Osteen
- The Power of Being Thankful by Joyce Meyer
2. After I read the devotionals for the day, I put my entry into my happiness/gratitude jar.
3. I practice mindful driving. I especially like this method when when I am not enthusiastic about going to work.
My method of mindful driving looks like this:
1. I As soon as I start the car, I start by paying attention to my breathing.
2. I mindfully talk to myself saying what is going on, such as “I am putting the ignition on, I am backing out of the car, I am driving outside of the parking lot, etc.” I do that for a quarter of my travel time. If I see a car that has pulled over, or been in an accident, I send those people positive thoughts.
3. Then, about a quarter into my drive, I change gears, and start saying positive affirmations, all while paying attention to my breathing.
4. Lastly, every time the car makes a stop, I do kegel exercises. Kegel exercises are exercises that help strengthen pelvic muscles.
The affirmations I use depend on what is going on at work, and counters the resistance I am feeling. For example, some affirmations I have used are:
- I am patient
- I am calm
- I am energetic
- I am organized
- I am smart
- I am an asset
- I am needed
These affirmations help me focus on the positive, rather than the negative. As they say, you cannot change people, but you can change yourself and your reactions. When I do implement this routine, it helps me to not get stuck in the culture of negativity that often occurs in the helping profession. Not only do I change myself, but I also serve as an example for others.
What I Have Learned
Some people think routines are boring and mundane, but I am aware of my need for stability and some kind of routine. It decreases the anxiety I feel on a daily basis. Routines are the foundation of helping me feel safe in a world where I feel full of doubt, worry, and fear. I know at the end of the day, I cannot control anything, and that is where the anxiety comes in. I am working on trying to be at peace with that, on being grateful because I know each day is not guaranteed. Bills, responsibilities, and expectations go through my head constantly, but I do my best to take some time to remember to be gentle with myself and with my family. I am not perfect, other people’s energies affect me constantly, but thankfully I have a loving family who are constantly learning how to deal with my sensitive nature and be as supportive as they can. That is all I can ask for.
Sending you love and light on your journey,