Arrgh! The alarm is going off and you are not ready to face the day. How do you shift from that state to ensure that your day is filled with creativity, productivity and even fun? It’s all in how you start up your morning.
Sometimes things are not the way we would like them to be. The key to a low stress and productive day is in preparing your mind, body and emotions to deal with the challenges that appear, oftentimes unexpectedly. Morning rituals help to build the resiliency that you need to face the day. Simple routines free you from having to think while your brain is still waking up. Here are five simple habits that can support you to have a healthy body and calm mind, prepared to deal with the rigors of your multifaceted and hectic life.
1. Give thanks every morning. I formed this habit when I was feeling the worst. Two of the dearest people in my life died suddenly. I had a hard time even wanting to get out of bed. What shifted my energy and enabled me to move onto the path of healing and positive action was forcing myself to find five things to be grateful for each morning before I got up. If you have a spiritual practice, include your gratitude moments in your morning prayers. Both will help set your day up in a favorable way.
2. Meditate. Give yourself the gift of even 10 minutes of quiet time each morning; you will be pleased with what you get in return. Meditation is powerful, and has been proven to boost your ability to concentrate, stay calm under pressure, improve interpersonal relations and health. Psychology Today’s research states that meditation even makes you wiser.
3. Stretch. Commit to stretching, walking and or exercising sometime during your day. It doesn’t have to be that long, the 15 minutes that you would have spent scanning things on the Internet will do. You will get more positive improvement for your body, mind and overall mood than being on social media for the same amount of time. Of course if you can spend more time exercising, even better.
4. Eat a healthy breakfast. Start your day with some nutrition that will power you as you venture forth. An apple with some almond butter, or a quick smoothie, healthy does not have to take a lot of time, or be a huge meal. Regard your breakfast as fuel to energize you for the trials of the day. Prepare your breakfast the night before if you are rushed in the morning. Reduce your sugar consumption so that you minimize the sugar highs and lows.
5. Smile. Smiling triggers the endorphins in our bodies to activate. The more you smile, even when you are just faking it, the more the endorphins that promote happiness are produced in your nervous system. When you are in a good mood, you are more capable of managing issues, people are more receptive to your perspective, and you are more productive and healthier too.
Now go back to the scene where you hear that wake up alarm go off. What do you do this time? You give thanks for having the alarm to alert you that you need to get up. Now you only need four more things to be grateful for before you bounce out of bed to meditate for 10 minutes (or more), have a healthy breakfast, and smile as you cheerfully launch into your day. In addition you’re making a mental note of when you are going to fit in your 15 minutes of stretching so that your morning routine set up your entire day to be low stress, fun and productive!