Brighten your Mornings One Step at a Time

The alarm clock starts blaring. It’s 6:45am and the sun is just barely shining through your shades. It’s time to get out of bed, start that hectic morning routine, and get out the door in a short, rapid-paced time frame.

What’s the first thing you do? Perhaps you reach for your phone to do a quick check of email, social media, and your texts and calls. You see an email from your boss, a text from your partner with a list of to-do’s, and a few social notifications. You hop out of bed frazzled and stressed, your mind racing with what you need to do during the day ahead.

Sound familiar? Mornings are hectic for many of us. Between getting ourselves ready and for some, also making sure our kids prepared for the day, it’s easy to get stuck in a pattern of throwing a piece of toast in the toaster, grabbing a quick outfit, and running out the door.

But what if you decided to be intentional with your mornings? Inevitably, how you spend your morning sets the tone for the rest of your day (and week, and month, and year!). If you get out of bed stressed and frazzled, chances are you’ll take that feeling with you throughout your day. With the negative health effects stress can pose (both mentally and physically), perhaps it’s time to rethink your mornings.

How do you start?

  1. Wake up with intention and gratefulness. Grab a notebook and take a few minutes to write down those things you’re grateful for from the day before. While you’re at it, set a few key goals for the day ahead. They don’t need to be “to-do” related, like getting to the gym or pitching a new idea at work; they can focus on being kinder to others, believing in yourself, or having a meaningful conversation with a friend.
  2. Make some headspace. When you wake up, hop out of bed (only to the floor next to it – not even very far!) and make a few minutes for meditation, yoga, or stretching. Feeling at one with your body and mind as the day begins sets you up for stress-free success.
  3. Enjoy a healthy breakfast and some tea. As your mom always said, eating a healthy breakfast is key to kick-starting your metabolism and beginning your day right. There’s truth to that adage! Instead of grabbing a granola bar, take a few minutes to fry up an egg, prepare some chia-infused granola, or put together a nice yogurt-and-fruit bowl. Your body will thank you, and the time it takes to create and eat your meal are great for thinking through step one above.
  4. Listen to music and relish getting ready. If putting on an outfit and your makeup is typically a rushed endeavor for you, try slowing down. Take your time in choosing a stylish outfit that makes you feel great; enjoy the process of putting on lotion, makeup, and hair product. You’ll go into the day feeling confident and energized.
  5. Read the newspaper or a book. How often do you get the time to sit down and read printed books or other texts? In our digital world, chances are not often enough. Take fifteen minutes in the morning to read a book you’ve been meaning to get through or to catch up on the day’s events with your local paper. Setting time away from your phone and taking advantage of the beauty in print is guaranteed to start your day on the right foot.

By starting your day with one or more of these steps, you allow yourself a chance to think deeply and choose how to set the tone for your day, rather than letting outside forces (other people, your phone, etc.) dictate your day ahead. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the new, no-stress you!

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