Spinal Cord Injury Community

Living with SCI: Morning Routine

Aaron Baker
Spinal Cord Injury Lifestyle Specialist | Shield HealthCare
01/16/23  9:00 AM PST
aaron baker morning routine

PART 1: Mornings

As we move into 2023, I look to the past to see what worked, what did not work, where can I improve, and what new goals I want to achieve. Aging comes with its challenges, but aging well with a spinal cord injury is a whole new game! I use the last week of December each year to evaluate my “year in review,” so that I can do better as each year goes by. It’s been 20+ years since my injury, and as I have become a husband and father, my goals change just as much as my injury does.

For instance, what worked as my normal morning routine in years past may not work as I change careers, face new secondary complications, or need to tend to my family’s needs.

1. Bowel Routine: Move to Evenings

Before my daughter was born, I would do my bowel routine in the morning, every other day. However, that schedule now does not work for me as I look back at managing day-to-day life in 2022. My bowel program can take anywhere from one to three hours, cutting into my mornings with my increasingly-active daughter or any meetings I would like to schedule early. This year I’m moving my bowel routine to evenings to accomodate my life changes.

2. Breakfast and Morning Workout

My morning routine now looks more productive by getting in a workout earlier – even a bike/stroller ride with my daughter does the trick. Looking into 2023, I intend to regularly include higher fat and protein breakfasts into my routine. Starting the day with these ingredients instead of the carbohydrate-heavy meals of the past can support my work performance and involvement with family activities.

3. Introspection and Self-Care

One aspect of my morning routine that I would like to continue is reading, meditating and journaling. For ten minutes each morning I turn on my salt rock, read a passage in a book, reflect on those words, and then write about my thoughts pertaining to what I have just learned. In a world full of social media and instant gratification, I have come to appreciate the moments of calm and the exercise of routine. Keeping my mind sharp and alert will help me to make the right choices for myself, my future and managing my injury!


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