the morning miracle of five to thrive

Today is the first day of the #last90days.

If you follow Rachel Hollis, you probably know what I’m talking about. If you don’t, you should, because she’s a load of inspiration.

But moving on… her 90 day challenge is designed to help you instill daily habits to improve your mental, emotional & physical health. The “five to thrive” daily habits include: hydrate, wake up earlier, give up one food category that has a negative impact on your health, move your body, and practice gratitude. These are simple, simple, simple ideas that are incredibly life changing. Waking up early to exercise, practice gratitude & have time for yourself before the chaos of the day begins helps create a healthy mindset for the day.

This is officially my first 90 day challenge though I’ve been implementing the ‘five to thrive’ habits in various ways over time already. Several other authors and experts have spoken to the effectiveness of a morning routine, each with a slight twist but similar theme. My first encounter was the book The Miracle Hour, in which the author, Hal Elrod, writes of waking up early daily to a routine of SAVERS: Silence, Affirmations, Visualize, Exercise, Reading, Scribing. Reading this book encouraged me to find time in the stillness of the morning, despite my desire to stay sleeping, to focus on my day ahead. To spend time with each of the above categories. And it helped me become so much more in tune and in charge of my day.

Except when the time swallowed me and my ambitions far exceeded my available time and energy. I WANT to be successful at doing these things. I WANT to spend an hour of uninterrupted time as the sun rises, filling my own cup and imagining my best self. But expecting I can spend a full hour in these practices and still get the sleep I need while being a full time caregiver to my husband and having two young kids, at some point, became a greater stress than help. So I adjusted. I took the practices I liked best (affirmations, exercise, scribing) in a time line that worked and molded it to better fit my life.

Caregivers … who of you are woken up once, twice, three times a night to help their loved one? Who is up early already, either already in caregiver mode or preparing to squeeze care giving needs into an already busy day? Who, when they wake up even early, is instantly called upon to help? These morning routines may not work the same for many family caregivers as they do for other adults. Our days run differently, but that doesn’t mean we can’t find a work-around.

Any routine must be balanced with the understanding that care giving takes a heavy toll and requires flexibility. Perhaps you cannot commit a full hour, perhaps you cannot hit each item each day, so give yourself grace to know that it’s okay to not be perfect. But there is so much value in identifying what WILL work rather than letting care giving be your excuse to not put in any effort. Creating new, life changing habits, doesn’t need to be an extensive effort. It just needs to be intentional & consistent.

Find some time, even if its 10 minutes during your day, and select a handful of these concepts to implement. Intentionally control your day by spending time directing your thoughts, focusing on you and reclaiming your inner strength.

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