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Type A Burnout? Start here.

How a simple morning routine can restore and renew your energy, memory and concentration.

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Sunday anxiety – I know you have had it at least once in your life. Since accepting that I’m more of the Type A personality, I realize that although high functioning, my anxiety has a tendency to rear its head with environmental influences. Somehow I truly believed I could or should be able to prepare myself for anything.

The stroke of noon on Sunday became the alarm for getting the final chores done and started that mental count down to Monday morning.   For me, the looming dark clouds of unfinished business would start me thinking, dreading, worrying that I couldn’t forecast the week to come. It was like I needed to solve all the problems in preparation for the week before it even started. I suppose we would label this as an unhealthy routine.

As annoying as it was, my husband started his own Sunday routine of asking me 20 questions about my change of pace.  Apparently, I’m quite legible. When my face gave into the anxiety by lip puckers, forehead scrunching with head shakes and eye rolls, he learned I was silently working through the “to be continued” episodes in my mind.  His answer was always the same, “make a list”.

After years of running from his obsessive and scheduled ways, my impulsive-self gave in, and I decided there must be something to his linear methods.  I started making lists. Then, it happened, and I crossed over. I decided I was going to do the same thing every morning like he does so I would force myself to avoid thinking of my work day before the routine was complete. My husband goes so far as to set out his breakfast items the night before, complete with frying pan, seasonings, plate and utensils for morning.  I still giggle about that to myself, but it works for him.

I learned that everyone has different routines and should. My goals: restore and renew my energy, memory and concentration. In training as a Holistic Health Coach, I learned all the essentials for transformation. The hardest task for me: exercising consistently without overdoing it.

Having two of the most amazing dogs as companions, I called on them for their assistance in getting me out the door. It was easy. After realizing that morning coffee was critical for the necessary jolt of energy, their job was to wait patiently for me to say the word.  On saying “let’s go”, I was dressed and out the door within minutes or I’d literally get dog piled. On my short daily walks with them in the morning, it wasn’t the exercise that was memorable. It was the fresh air and smiling dogs that brought me happiness. Breathing in deep, the oxygen and happy pups became my addiction.

Each morning, I started the same. Woke at 6 a.m., started coffee, fed the dogs, drank coffee and was out the door. Breakfast came once I was hungry, usually around 9 or 10 a.m. eating my snacks at the office. It wasn’t long before I started to “add-in” something new to the routine as I was trained. The thought of adding something into your diet, life or day was easier than making a drastic change or removing it altogether.  It made sense. It wasn’t an all or nothing; rather, I could celebrate just one more good move.

Today, I wake at 6 a.m. with no alarm, start coffee, listen to the top 5 news stories, feed the dogs, drink coffee and I am usually out the door soon after. When I return from my walk, I listen to “Soft Morning Music” a station on Spotify which is mellow and calming while I stretch slowly to mentally seal in the effort of my walk.  I also alternate reading a short devotion or solving a word puzzle.

Starting my morning the same everyday has removed the “Sunday” or nightly anxiety and started healing my brain and body. I believe my energy is restored and renewed daily with improvements in memory and concentration ever increasing.  With my morning routine, I don’t allow anxiety or worries to enter my path until I meet them head on.  What a difference a small routine has made.

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