“New year, new me!” Or so the saying goes. I’m a firm believer that every day is an opportunity to try again, but this year I gave in and signed up for a “fresh start” program that focuses on building sustainable habits. One of my favorite pieces of this program is the morning routine module, which emphasizes having some peace and quiet before starting your day.
Here at Bluebonnet Data we started off the year planning how we can prioritize our mental health and wellness. At the top of our list were determining when our summer break is going to take place, designated a no meeting day, and Mare, our Operations Manager, is going to be leading a work-life balance session soon. We love the work we do, but also recognize that we need to take care of ourselves in order to function at our best!
We love the work we do, but also recognize that we need to take care of ourselves in order to function at our best!
Prior to the start of the pandemic, my weekday mornings involved making a green protein smoothie to start the day. It gave me a couple of minutes to be present, not thinking about everything I had to do during the day, just pure bliss being in the moment before heading out the door for work. At first I lost that part of my day due to the transition to working from home, but honestly, starting the day scrolling through social media and feeling so gloomy afterwards is an even bigger reason I couldn’t get myself back into the groove of my morning routine.
The morning routine part of the program is inspired by the Miracle Mornings book by Hal Elrod. Elrod encourages a morning routine composed of silence, affirmations, visualizations, exercise, reading, and scribing- or SAVERS, as he calls it. Because the program is all about building sustainable habits, we’re encouraged to pick two of these, add them to our morning routine, and develop them into a habit before deciding to add more. According to the Harvard Business Review, “A behavior has to be a regularly performed routine before it can become a habit at all.”
Because the program is all about building sustainable habits, we’re encouraged to pick two of these, add them to our morning routine, and develop them into a habit
I chose to add silence and affirmations to my morning routine. Which means I’m not scrolling through social media first thing in the morning, rather I’m taking five to ten minutes to enjoy the peace and quiet of the day. After a couple of minutes of silence, I include affirmations, I like to give thanks through these. Starting the day intentionally is certainly a lot better for me than the doom scrolling I’ve been doing for nearly two and a half years. As it turns out, gratitude helps lower stress levels.
This January we want to encourage you to incorporate stress reducing activities into your routine- whether one or a couple of the SAVERS or something else! The most important thing is to incorporate things that work for you and your mental wellbeing.
About the Author
Kassandra Aleman is a Program Co-Director at Bluebonnet Data. She is currently completing the LBJ Women's Campaign School program at UT Austin. She is passionate about policy, civic engagement, and training.She calls South Texas home and is a big fan of hiking and cats.
OR, want to join in the action? Apply to be a Bluebonnet Fellow by March 6th, 2022 here.