Your alarm clock goes off, you blink your sleepy eyes open and almost immediately your mind begins racing with thoughts about everything you need to do that day. The next thing you know you're feeling stressed and even anxious.
The problem is that the stressed feelings that you've started the day with can shape how you feel and behave the rest of the day.
Instead of starting each day off in the direction of stress, try starting it off in a more positive, predictable trajectory.
They key is to put in place a daily morning routine that you do every day right when you get out of bed. You do it without even thinking about it and questioning it. It's a routine that you've consciously created to provide a nourishing mental and physical start to each day and get things moving in a positive direction.
You'll do your morning routine every day even when you don't feel like it. In fact, especially when you don't feel like it, because those are the days that help make it into a habit. You'll get up simply thinking, "I'm going to start today with my morning routine. I know it's good for me. I don't even have to think about it."
So, what to put in your morning routine? Here are some ideas:
Time: Begin by getting up at the same time each day including weekends. This can help your body and mind get into a healthy rhythm. Even if you want to stay in bed, try getting up and starting your morning routine. [You can always climb back in bed after your routine if you need to.]
Physical activity: Do some type of physical activity even if it's just a walk around the block or a light stretch for a few minutes. The goal is to get your blood flowing.</p>
Nutrition: Eat a healthy breakfast to give your body and brain some energy since it has been without fuel while you slept. Eating the same nourishing breakfast every day can simplify things.
Gratitude: Your mind is its quietest in the morning. Take a few minutes to reflect on what you're grateful for in your life, from the previous day or that you're looking forward to in the day ahead.
Mindfulness: Take advantage of your quiet mind and do a mindfulness meditation even if for just five minutes. You can get a lot more insight into what's happening in your mind early in the morning before it becomes filled with the stress of the day.
Goals: Write down the most important goals you'd like to accomplish that day. Keep it short and simple. Which areas of your life would you like to put energy into? Try to align your time with these goals.
Yes, it will take a few minutes each morning to do your routine. However, if you think of it as an investment in the rest of the day, you'll likely find it well worth your time.
Remember, the idea is to do the same routine every morning. Don't question it. Just do it knowing that it is good for you both in the short and long term.
Try it for a week and see what happens!