October 18, 2023

The First Hour of Your Day

By Ruth Nathaniel
Mental Health & Wellbeing

Clients often tell me there is hardly anything left in the tank at the end of their day. There’s no time for mindfulness, very little energy for self-care, and so on. But even though there’s little left to spend on themselves, they know there are benefits to prioritizing self-care. The question is how? How can we reasonably incorporate self-care when there are demands such as our jobs, parenting, and other commitments? Let’s talk about the first hour of your day.

How The First Hour Goes

If your household is anything like mine, the moment your alarm goes off is when everyone’s alarms go off. You’re up, the dog and your kid are up, your housemate’s up, and the once-still house is now bustling. Everyone’s got approximately an hour before they’re expected to be at their desks at work, or dropping the kids off at school, etc. It’s a mad rush from start to finish, and you sit down in the evening with a certain breathlessness that only daily life can cause. But you get it done every single day, and why should today be any different?

Well, today can be the first day you actually take control of your needs. Let me explain. If your day is jam-packed from the moment you wake up to the moment you go to sleep, it’s completely understandable that there is not much left you can squeeze in, let alone self-care. But what if you carved out something special for yourself before the daily run of events? What would that look like? Welcome to the first hour of your day.

The Inner Message

If you were to set your alarm just one hour earlier (and sleep an hour earlier!)What would that magical quiet hour do for you? One thing I emphasize for clients aiming to carve out extra time for themselves is the incredible validation of giving yourself the first bit of energy and time of your day before your other responsibilities. For some, this means reminding themselves that they are worth waking up just a little earlier so they can go on a quiet walk, do some deep breathing, journal, or eat breakfast slowly. You give so much to everything and those around you. Why not intentionally give to yourself, too?

Using The Hour Realistically

As mentioned earlier, there are loads of options for how you might spend that extra hour. The key is to commit to one or two (maximum) practices so that you can reasonably commit to them and not use the extra hour to just start packing more into your schedule. Remember, this hour is for you and not for everyone else. That means it is not an extra hour to do chores. It is your time to invest in yourself.

Preparing for the hour

If you’re waking up an hour earlier, you can reasonably expect to go to bed a bit earlier, too. How will this impact your routine? This may mean you need to start your bedtime routine earlier and be intentional about setting yourself up for success the next morning. You might need to start practicing saying “no” to certain things to say “yes” to your self-care. No investment comes easily, but the returns do follow eventually!

As you consider practicing intentional self-care in this season of life, I encourage you to remember just how finite you are. You are not an infinite energy resource; you have limits and needs, which is the beauty of being human. We’re not meant to keep going indefinitely; we need to be aware of what we can and cannot do. To replenish ourselves is an honor and privilege that belongs to only us. No one else can do this work on our behalf.

If you’re interested in living a more mindful life, I’d love to meet you and hear your story. Give us a call about setting up an appointment today!

Written By

Ruth Nathaniel

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