How do you start your day?
Morning routines can be automatic, and mundane. They can be compromised of a bunch of habits that have become second nature and often creates little awareness as you begin the day.
How you start off your day can set the tone for the rest of the day. Just notice what thoughts are running through your mind as soon as you wake up. Are you planning the countless number of tasks you need to do? Are you thinking about how you didn’t get enough sleep and or how tired you feel? Just notice the thoughts that run through your mind.
Are you starting your day off feeling rushed and busy, trying to complete these tasks while rushing out the door?
What might help you to ease into your day rather than rush into your day? What could make you feel good as you start your day off? What would it take to make one small change to the morning? What would it take to slow the busyness of your mind? Here are some ideas that can get you started.
Tasks that can be done at night time: If there is too much to get done in the morning, is there anything that can lighten the load? Are there certain tasks in the morning that you could transition to doing at night time? For example, picking out clothes in the morning time, cleaning up at night time, preparing breakfast or lunch. This can allow for more time in the morning and help to create a calm and relaxed state.
What helps you to feel good in the morning: Identify things that help you to feel good. For example, having a favorite breakfast, talking to or cuddling with a person you love, sharing a favorite memory, engaging in physical exercise, listening to a meditation or calming music. Anything that is going to stimulate positive feelings as you move into your day.
Notice what influences you: You wake up with a fresh mind, notice what may quickly influence your mood. For example, perhaps one of the first things you do is check social media, listen or read the news, or think about someone. Just notice what nurtures or depletes you. Even switching the time of the day when you engage in certain activities can have an impact on your day.
Get moving: This can be brief, even 5 or 10 minutes can make a difference. For example, you can do light stretching, going for a walk, or getting off one stop earlier and walking the rest of the way, or parking your car further away and walking an extra 5 minutes to work, or biking or walking to work. This will help to energize you and reduce stress.
Appreciation: This is a simple yet powerful technique. You may say that I have nothing to be grateful for. I invite you to think that it can be a small thing. For example, you breathed all night, or comfortable bed, or the coffee or tea that you drink today, the clean fresh water that you have as you take a shower, or the transportation that gets you to work or seeing the sunrise.
What is going well: There are tasks the most of us do such as you are getting ready to go to work, while you are on transportation or driving, or having a shower or eating breakfast think about what is going well in life rather than the things you need to get done.
Do over throughout the day: At anytime during the day, you can check in with yourself, if the morning didn’t turn out the way you wanted to, it’s not too late, it can be turned around! Any of these activities can be integrated throughout the day. Even a simple check in with yourself mid-morning: How am I feeling right now? What could I do to soothe myself in this moment? What can I appreciate right now? These simple activities can help to influence our day and help us to just feel better.
Crystal Hamill, MC, is experienced in the areas of mindfulness and interpersonal relationships, plus many more. For more information on Crystal and her work, click here to link to her full bio page.