How you start your morning can be of great significance as to how the rest of your day goes. I still remember the countless times I missed my alarm, overslept for classes and had to rush like crazy to get to college as soon as possible...
I hated these mornings not only because I would, normally, have no time for a proper breakfast but also because my entire day would feel a little off. Some years later (I’m not saying exactly how many 😇) - not much has changed. I still have days that start off on the wrong foot because of many different reasons. I did recently become a proud daddy and there are new things, I’m not used to, happening to me every single day.
Don’t get me wrong - I couldn’t be happier! But I still need to balance both my personal and professional life. And it goes without saying that it can sometimes be very difficult. We can have one plan in mind but have to change it drastically due to something randomly unexpected, something out of our control.
So, how can you make sure you wake up on the RIGHT side of the bed each morning?
Well, the first thing you should do when you wake up is to take a brief moment for personal gratitude. We are relatively harsh on ourselves, most of the time, so taking a mental note of a few things you think you are really good at is a nice way to shift your mindset and begin the day positively. You don’t have to write those down, or even say them out loud, though that is always an option. You just need to think of 2-3 things you are truly happy you are able to do, make or feel. My top 3 this morning were 1) singing my baby to sleep, 2) putting a smile on my wife’s face because the pasta sauce I made was THAT good and 3) being a happy person (spoiler alert - I smile a lot).
Secondly, you should nurture yourself. Doing something you like first thing in the morning will help set the overall tone for the rest of your day. You really love your coffee? Make sure you make time in your day to sit down for a tasty cup of the aromatic drink before you get on with the rest of your tasks. You get very “hangry” if you haven’t had any breakfast? Make sure you prep some delicious granola, smoothie, toast or whatever else you love eating in the morning the night before and don’t skip it. On the contrary - enjoy it!
Continue by making a rough plan of what the rest of your day will look like. We literally need to take hundreds of decisions on a daily basis. From which side of the bed to get up from, what clothes to wear and what to eat for lunch to how to tackle a professional task, which route to take back home or what present to get for your partner’s birthday. This ongoing decision making can be extremely exhausting. By making a schematic plan of the next 24 hours you can eliminate at least some of those crossroads and leave room for more important decisions. Plans can change very unexpectedly, as I mentioned earlier, but creating concrete goals for yourself and trying to stick to them for the most will set you on the right track to success AND make you feel happier!
Stretch out. And no - you don’t have to go to the gym to do that. You don’t even need to leave the house. Just take 5 minutes to stretch around and take a few deep breaths. This will increase your dopamine levels, improve your mood and boost your energy levels! It can also be incredibly beneficial for your overall flexibility, posture, and ability to lead an active life.
Last, but definitely not least, you should make a plan for something fun or relaxing for the end of the day. It could be taking a bath or long shower, cooking something you really love eating, seeing a movie, spending an hour reading a new book or meeting up with a friend. It could be anything and it doesn’t have to be grand. But thinking of something that you look forward to doing at the end of the day will put a smile on your face and make the time before that much more enjoyable. If you aren’t able to make such plans on a daily basis, the least you could do is plan something cool for the weekend! Studies have shown that anticipating something exciting can bring you as much excitement as the event itself.
These 5 habits might seem insignificant at first but trust me, once you start practicing them regularly, you will definitely feel the difference. So, don’t wait until the next week or month and start incorporating them in your day-to-day because that would only benefit you in the long run!