What if you only had 6 minutes?
Hello Hard-Working Moms and Dads!
I am here on the sidelines applauding you. Can you hear me?
I know this hasn't been easy on you. I hope that you are doing okay.
If you have done any searching on "How to Parent During Co-Vid," the first thing you'll see is the importance of self-care. Self-care isn't selfish, but it can feel impossible. However it does help you to cope better, feel less anxious, and less depressed.
How are you supposed to find the time to actually do it?
I have a great idea I'm excited to share with you!
Enter the 6 Minute Morning Routine. Just a few weeks ago, I came across a routine that was created by reviewing habits from various thought leaders, and I am eternally grateful to Hal Elrod for his Miracle Morning Routine.
I have been practicing this routine for 4 weeks, and even in the midst of the chaos swirling around me, I have been able to remain calm with my children, lower my frustration, and increase my focus.
I urge you to try it. 6 minutes. You deserve it. Your sanity needs it! If you're in, read on...
6 Minute Morning Routine for Overwhelmed Parents
Ok, first you need to find 6 minutes, I like when I first wake up but after I have had my coffee so that I have a coherent thought! You might wake up 6 minutes before your kids, or try when they are absorbed online.
Now, set a timer. I like the Timer Timer App, as it shows the time actually going down. (It's a great one for kiddos, too!)
Minute 1: Silence.
Simply sit and put everything down. Take a nice deep breaths. No to-do lists, no listening to music. Just sit.
Focus on your breathing. In and out. If thoughts start to creep in, picture that they are clouds, and watch them move past. You might look out the window and notice what you see. I like to watch the trees blowing in the wind.
Minute 2: Affirmations.
This is a little like a mantra, but it is something that you want for yourself. The trick is to say it as though it already is. "I can do hard things."
Or you might just say, "I am a good parent." It's like setting an intention though it is stated in the present. "This is not forever, I can handle it."
What do you need to hear today? You can also write these down. Some people write them 10 times, but there's really no right way. However you do it, have it be yours.
Pro Tip: Take the best one and write it on a post-it where you can see it. Post it where you most need to see it. Over the desk, over the sink, or the changing table.
Minute 3: Visualization
Picture you in motion, being who you want to be. My daughter loves to watch the UCLA Women's Gymnastics team videos, and the team always uses visualization before a meet. Picture yourself at the end, or doing the thing that you set your intention for.
If you are dreading the grocery store, picture yourself putting on the gloves, the mask, and going down the aisles getting all of the needed items. Imagine that you are calm, breathing and handling it all with grace.
If you have been reacting strongly to your kids arguing for example--imagine yourself going over, getting down at their level and addressing the behavior in a calm way. When you imagine it, you are actually training your brain so that it will be easier to DO the thing that you want. Cool, huh?
Minute 4: Exercise
This is just some kind of movement, it doesn't need to have a certain heart rate, just moving helps to focus the brain. Do jumping jacks, or a yoga pose. I like Warrior II because I can reach into the future, reach back and visit the past, and then stay still in the present moment. It also makes me feel powerful.
Other days I call on the Humble Warrior so that I remember to connect first with my family members. Especially in times like these, starting from the Warrior perspective doesn't usually work out so well!
Either way, do what you like to get up and move!
Minute 5: Read
Now it's time to read something that inspires you. Not Facebook, Insta, and certainly not the news. I do not recommend a novel, but a poem works well. I also just go to my shelf and pick up a book that I have loved, open it up and start reading.
Choose anything that inspires you. Maybe it's a verse from the Bible. What about a favorite picture book you loved to read your child? Who or what inspires you? Lean in to that.
Pro Tip: Have a book in mind before you begin so you do not spend 1 minute (or more) searching for something to read.
Minute 6: Scribe (Write)
Here is where you will write. You might take this time to jot down your intention for the day. Or you might begin your gratitude practice.
What are you grateful for? Paying attention to the good actually trains your brain to see more of what's good. But it takes practice. What is a silver lining you are seeing as a result of the quarantine?
Again, it doesn't matter what you write, just that you take action of writing something down. If you are feeling a great deal of overwhelm, you might ask yourself--what is my next right step? Better yet, make it something impossible to fail and you are on your way.
Are ready? Will you take the 6 Minute Challenge?
How many of you can commit to 6 minutes a day? If so, let me know and let's do this together!
We are better together. So if you are in, post below and let me know. Let me know how it goes, I want to know! Then we can celebrate your success together.
Ok, and remember--you got this!