As a former corporate maven turned mom-entrepreneur, people often ask me what daily rituals I practice in order to stay sane and effective as I manage my business and busy family life.
While one size does not fit all, I've found that certain morning habits work wonders for myself and my clients where it comes to helping us stay poised and productive throughout the day, even when under stress.
You see, I believe that the secret to balancing work and life in style lies in taking extra good care of ourselves.
Staying healthy and centered is, of course, essential if you want to have the stamina to build a successful career while also enjoying a fulfilling family life.
But more importantly, when you take time for yourself -- to cater to your own needs and wellbeing -- you're subconsciously flexing your self-esteem and self-worth muscles. And those are crucial to being respected and valued both at home and in the marketplace.
If you're a new business owner struggling to charge your worth, know that this mindset piece may very well be the missing push that will help your business take-off.
And if you're in corporate, tired of waiting for that well-deserved raise and promotion, start standing in your power and treating yourself like a queen. Your gravitas will grow, and trust that so will your income!
When your kids see you as this self-assured woman who is calm, confident and assertive as she sets healthy boundaries, they will respect you more and look-up to you.
You'll be setting an inspiring example for your children of what it means to be an empowered woman. You'll be gifting them a precious role model that will set them up for success as they grow into their own adult lives.
So what are these magical success rituals that you can easily do every day, even as a busy working mom?
1. Morning Stretches
The first thing I do when I wake-up in the morning is some gentle stretching in bed.
Many people don't know this about me, but I graduated as a Pilates teacher years ago, just for fun.
Something that Mr. Joseph Pilates, founder of the method, used to say is that our age is measured by the flexibility of our spine. So to stay young, stay flexible!
Aside from the physical benefits of stretching in the morning, you'll be gently waking-up your body and mind with a self-care routine that will make you feel better about yourself, even before you set your feet on the floor.
2. Warm Water With Lemon
The benefits of having warm water with lemon are plentiful. It boosts your immune system with Vitamin C, nourishes your brain and nerve cells with potassium, helps you flush-out toxins, and even makes the pH of your body more alkaline which has been shown to fight inflammation and premature aging.
Aside from the biochemical facts, having a nice cup of warm water with lemon, first thing after jumping out of bed, feels like such a treat!
When coaching other working moms, I always advise them to do this before they take care of the kids and the rest of the family. Sometimes this means waking-up a little bit earlier than everyone else, but it's so worth it.
Use this time to set a positive intention for the day or mentally recite an empowering affirmation.
3. 5-Minute Meditation
I started practicing meditation when I was working in the financial services industry in London. Hours were long and the job could be stressful. Meditating in the morning helped me set the tune for a less hectic day.
As a busy mom, I no longer have time to sit on my yoga mat for half-an-hour chanting mantras, but I do try to fit in at least five minutes of meditation in the morning before I start my working day.
Neuroscience studies have reported that meditation helps reduce stress and anxiety, enhance creativity, increase your focus, and improve the quality of your relationships.
So make it part of your daily success ritual!
4. Empowering Walk
The pun here is intended. This is not only a power walk, but an empowering walk.
Walking is truly good for your heart. You see, we have this muscle called the Soleus that runs from just below the knee to the heel. It's involved in standing and walking, and when you press your heel against the floor (like when you walk, not when you run), it helps you pump venous blood back to your heart.
I walk back and to my daughter's kindergarten every day for 30 minutes each way, which means that I walk for a total of 2 hours a day whenever the weather permits.
Now, I'm not saying that you too must walk for 2 hours every day, but even walking at a fairly fast pace for just 10 or 15 minutes will give you a cardio boost, improve your circulation, and activate your metabolism.
Plus, it's a wonderful opportunity to connect with the beauty of your surroundings. You don't need to live in the countryside or by the beach to see beauty around you. You can find gorgeous flowers, trees, architecture and skylines right in the middle of your metropolis.
Empower yourself by training your eyes to see beauty all around you, right from your heart.
5. Toning Exercises
Now, that you've stretched your body, centered your mind, and connected with your surroundings, you're ready to start your working day with ease and elegance.
But that doesn't mean working for 12 hours' straight, now that you feel fully energized!
Make sure to take a lunchtime break and use that time to fit-in some toning exercises if you can.
Maintaining a fit body will make you feel more comfortable in your own skin, and this directly impacts your self-esteem.
Also, when you make the commitment to exercise daily and you actually do it, you build self-trust within yourself.
Personally, I love yoga, pilates and ballet conditioning. These exercises tone and stretch your body at the same time for a lean and strong physique. They are super effective, portable, and you don't need much equipment to get a good workout on the go.
I invite you to incorporate at least one of these success rituals in your life, starting tomorrow morning.
In the meantime, I want to hear from you. What routines do you already practice on a daily basis to prime you for success? Which ones do you find most effective in your life?
Share your insights in the comments below. I read every response.