As a new mom, does quality time to yourself sound like a dream? I hear you—it sounds like a dream for any mom. It doesn’t have to be. Make time for you—and you alone. Commit to joining The 5 AM Club.
Your days (and nights) are so full, how could you possibly find time to dedicate to you at this stage in your life? We have an answer: you could join The 5 AM Club. Robin Sharma, leadership expert and author of The 5 AM Club, proposes waking up earlier than you normally do to ensure you spend quality time on yourself. There’s more to it, of course, than simply getting up early. The formula includes waking up at 5 AM (or before the household starts to stir) and doing 20 minutes of exercise, 20 minutes of planning and 20 minutes of study. “Winning starts at your beginning,” states Sharma, “and your first hours are where the great heroes are made. Own your mornings, and you’ll master your life.”
I’m a big believer in tweaking things. For me, sometimes this means waking up at 5 AM, other times this means waking up at 5:30 AM or 6 AM. The important thing is to wake up earlier than you usually do so you can build in some quality me-time.
I like to start my early morning me-time routine with some light stretching. I gather my yoga and pilates equipment and move into some of my favourite poses. The stretches and breathing exercises help me wake up gently as it loosens my stiff joints. My me-time routine makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something important already so that I’m in a good mood as I greet my little ones each morning.
A premium yoga mat is essential to help keep injuries at a minimum while being able to execute proper floor stretches. This 1/4-inch Extra Thick Yoga Purple mat from by ZenAthletics is designed with a non-slip surface. It includes a free downloadable instructional video and pose chart.
Next, I like to take advantage of the peace and quiet by jotting down some notes, ideas and plans in my notebook over a nice cup of coffee. My entry might be a brain dump to clear my head, an inspiring quote or phrase I like to come back to time and again, or maybe even a few lines for a future poem, story or book. The point is, I’m giving myself the time and space to be creative and feel inspired.
I love a great inspirational quote! What better way to dig into your deep thoughts than with a journal that helps you start your day on the right foot with an inspirational quote on the cover? The quote on the cover of this journal from Designworks INK reads “Live in the moment”, which is exactly what I aim to do as I wake up early each morning.
Another key aspect of my morning routine is meditation. I like to use the time to practise mindfulness (with Headspace as my guide) and visualization. If you’re a working mom, you might want to get a jump on your work day during this quiet time. And if you’re a new mom or stay-at-home mom, you might use this time to catch up on your favourite literature and fiction books. If you’re looking for recommendations on motherhood and parenting books, feel free to follow me on Instagram (see my Instagram handle in my Bio).
Next? It’s time to fuel up. I am a huge fan of super smoothies; they’re pretty quick and simple to make with the help of a handy blender. They’re also a healthy way to get a vitamin and nutrient boost. You can purchase all your smoothie ingredients in store at Walmart. Bonus? You can get all your smoothie essentials online at Walmart, too! My go-to is a blend of banana, frozen fruit (mixed berries are my fave), yogurt, spinach and cranberry juice. Trust me, you won’t even notice the spinach, and neither will your partner or kids … if you feel like sharing! A little sidenote: I like to pour the leftovers into popsicle moulds and throw them in the freezer, so the kids have healthy popsicle treats later.
I know what you’re probably thinking: Sure, it’s easy for you to say. You don’t have a brand new baby who wakes up every few hours. It’s okay, I get it—I’ve been there! You can make baby part of your me-time experience—it’s not alone time, but it can still be me-time. With the nicer weather, if baby wakes up super early, put baby in a stroller and get moving outside. This way, you’ve already managed to get some fresh air, exercise and vitamin D … and your day is only just getting started! Make sure you’re both protected from the harmful rays of the sun by wearing a hat (make sure baby has a hat, too), sunscreen for both of you and plenty of water for yourself.
What’s that? Baby woke up earlier than usual, and it’s raining out? Not to worry. Here’s your chance to host your very own dance party with a little mom-and-baby boogie time. My two-year-old still loves it when I turn on my wireless and Bluetooth speaker, pair it with my smartphone, pick a tune and hit play. She knows what’s coming! I pick her up, hold her close and dance around—just as I did when she was a week old. As reported in TIME, dancing has health benefits, including improved energy, buoyed mood and lowered stress in ways similar to aerobic exercise.
Keeping a baby monitor in close range as you focus on me-time can help put your mind at ease while helping to keep baby safe. It can come in handy if baby is a light sleeper and you need to move to an area of your home where baby won’t hear you.
The VTech baby monitor is engineered to provide clear transmission and eliminate background noise. It also features LED lights that indicate the level of sound in your baby’s room so you can visually monitor the noise level when the unit is muted. Comes with two parent units.
I know how hard it can be to carve out quality me-time. I joined The 5 AM Club so that I could be the best mom to my four young kids. It has given me precious time to focus on me so I can feel happier, healthier and calmer before I focus on everyone else. BabyCenter asked moms what they do to relax, regroup and re-energize at any point in their day (or evening). Here’s a list of their top 10 indulgences. Anything you can do to help you feel like yourself again is golden. You got this!