By Erin Daniels, The KNOW Women

As high-achieving and ambitious businesswomen, the desire to consistently achieve more is always on the forefront of our minds. From scaling and expansion to brand new business ventures, there is consistently a goal we are trying to reach. This determination is what leads us to be highly successful.  Nonetheless, this willpower also often leads to the struggle to achieve work-life balance and maintain a healthy relationship with our career. Taking time for yourself and your health is vital to living a successful life as well as running a successful business.

When people think of self-care, images of manicures, facemasks, and mimosas often pop into their heads. While these activities can definitely be a part of it, true self-care is carried out on a much deeper and more consistent level.  Are you staying up too late working and not allowing yourself proper sleep? Are you interacting with friends and family, or canceling plans to focus on work? Do you allow yourself time to engage in your hobbies? Answering these questions honestly can help you start evaluating where in your life you could use more balance. We often hear the excuse “I don’t have time,” but there are plenty of ways to weave daily self-care into your routine that will help you consistently be the best version of yourself.

We asked our high-achieving KNOW women different ways they work toward work-life balance. Follow along on our four-part mini-series to learn about implementing self-care through intentional morning routines, journaling and meditation, and various applications and tools.

What is your morning routine?

I typically wake up between 6-7AM. I start the morning with a brief prayer of gratitude for another day. I then head to the opposite side of my bedroom to connect with my exercise mat. I stretch and repeat positive affirmations for about five minutes and then I try to spend about five or so minutes in quiet meditation visualizing my day and/or my future. After this, I work out for 15-20 minutes and then I begin the process of getting ready for work and checking on my children. I find that when I skip any of these steps, I am more stressed, less present and more rushed.

Dr. Lisa Folden, Healthy Phit Physical Therapy & Wellness Consultants

I wake up and make my bed! I make myself a cup of tea, feed my dog, water my garden and kiss my husband goodbye. I situate myself in a special place in my home, or outside, and meditate anywhere from 10-30 minutes. Then, I journal for at least 10 minutes a day, sometimes up to 30 minutes. I write about anything that is in my head, from how I feel emotionally and/or physically to things that I need to remember to get done. I love lists, so I oftentimes find myself adding a list at the end of whatever I am writing. Then if I have time; I will stretch; do a little yoga or workout and then hop in the shower and get ready for my day! It sounds like a lot, but in all, if I wake up at 5:00-5:30 a.m, I can get it all done and be at work by 7:30-8:00 a.m.

Juanice Oldham, Forefront

Every morning, I try to wake up with a positive thought and attitude. Then, I tackle my “to-do” list. Make coffee, get the (4) kids up, ready, and out the door, feed/ walk the dog, eat a hardboiled egg and a handful of blueberries. While I get ready for work, I listen to my book. My current read is Pussy, A Reclamation by Regena Thomashauer. Once I’m at work, before I do anything else, I journal. It may be a sentence or a whole page. Next, I make my work to-do list with my 3 most critical tasks. Only when I have completed that do I turn on my computer and start my day.

Camilla Tulloch,  Inceptus Cybersecurity

I always get up with my alarm and scrape my tongue before drinking water so that I’m not swallowing toxins! Then I try to get sunshine on my face first thing so that my cortisol level stays low. I have to get in movement so that could be a brisk walk, lifting weights, or a pilates class. After that, I’ll do a quick morning meditation (could be anywhere from 2-15 minutes). Then it’s my skincare routine and coffee!

-Gabriella Galante, GG & CO

When I get up I like to just have quiet time and be with myself and my thoughts. It is the perfect time because it is so quiet and the world is still sleeping. I get up at 6 and sit on my patio and meditate, a short yoga session, then I have coffee and read. I don’t pick up my phone for the first 2 hours of my day.

Carrie Juliao, Douglas Elliman

Every morning I wake up saying my gratefuls, kiss my son, then make coffee or warm lemon water to go outside and sit in the stillness for a few moments. No phone, no intention, just quiet. Three mornings a week I go to a yoga class, every morning I meditate (for as long as I need that morning) with an intention, move my body in some way (stretching, walking, body weight work out), connect and love myself as a woman (with or without my partner), check my calendar then begin my day with intention.

-Jen Smith, Jen Smith Consulting

I start my morning with a cup of coffee, and then I take my dog on a 30-minute walk. After that, I usually work out for about 45 minutes with a combination of a Peloton cycling ride, and then some type of Pilates, Barre, or Strength training. I find starting my day with activity gives me focus and helps improve my mindset for the rest of the day.

Elyse Flynn Meyer, Prism Global Marketing Solutions