What My Dog (and Mara Glatzel) Taught Me About Self-Care

Posted September 23, 2013 by Monica O'Connell in Life After Five
sleeping dog

My online-girl-coach-crush, Mara Glatzel, writes about self-care, self-love, and self everything. I’ve talked about her a few times in my posts and you can find her site here.

She posted something a while back on Facebook about how tender we are in the morning.  I couldn’t stop talking about how true that was. ALL of my friends, colleagues, and clients probably heard me say they should check into that for themselves.

And some did.

We found those precious eyes just waiting to be rubbed, and the best way for our body to be slowly stretched and paid attention to. And how we have a major opportunity to think sweet nothings and find warmth in the bed.

What we actually do is hit our snooze button 4 times, lay in bed, check our email, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter feeds, and hit the ground running for work before we even move.

What my dog actually does is refuses, I’m not kidding, he REFUSES to get up for the morning until he’s stretched himself, found a few positions, gotten some rubs from humans, wiggled his body, and then he slowly meanders to his water dish.

Try as I might, when I’m in a big hurry, to move him along, he will just lay down and look up at me. HE REFUSES. (Let me also say, I never thought I’d be a dog person writing about my dog. If you’re not a dog person you totally think this is lame. And if you are, you totally get it)

So I’ve been taking notes from Mara and my pup.

  • I’ve moved my phone away from my bed.
  • I use an alarm clock instead of my phone as an alarm clock.
  • I make sure I wiggle and give myself a little time to take care of my morning needs.
  • On mornings when I’m not headed to the gym, I find a meditation to listen to or a puppy to snuggle with.

One of my favorite yoga instructors talks through the beginning of the practice of body movement by saying, Gently circle your leg as if you were stretching first thing in the morning. With kindness and care.

Listen, I know you don’t have all the time in the world at 5am. You’re a busy bee with sh*t to get done. Perhaps just changing one minute of your morning routine to accommodate your waking self would help you ease into your own sense of self-love.

What a great way to start the morning!

About the Author

Monica O'Connell

Monica O’Connell is a Licensed Marriage and Family therapist in Minneapolis, Minnesota. In her practice, she spends her career cheering on “Career Girls” as they learn how to get the most out of life. Monica works with arguably some of the most successful, intelligent, inspiring women in the Twin Cities who tackle self-discovery, career success, and what’s getting in the way of their true desires. She shares her favorite moments as those “best described not by words but by the stomach aching, face soreness that comes from spending an entire day laughing with loved ones.”