It is said that the way we begin our day, from the moment that we awake, is the most important time in our day. It is the way we begin to set the tone, to set things into motion, and create an energy that will flow throughout the day.
Most of us have created habits and patterns of behavior as we begin our day. We often start thinking about everything on our to-do list within the first 5 minutes of being awake. Some people, out of habit, grab their phones to read emails, texts and the latest news.
We drag ourselves into the bathroom and do a quick stare into the mirror just to see what we look like from either a restful or a difficult night’s sleep. Many of us will think negatively about the image being reflected back, especially if we have already overwhelmed ourselves with thoughts of everything we have to accomplish that day.
Now imagine waking up and beginning your day in a different way. Creating new habits and new behaviors that may change the trajectory of your day into a more positive and centered one. Here are a few examples of how I begin my day. I’m not always consistent. I don’t do it perfectly. And I don’t always do every one of them. Each one has benefits on their own. But as they say, the more the merrier, and honestly the more I’m able to do, the better I feel about myself and about starting my day.
JUST BREATHE -- I sit on the edge of the bed, I close my eyes, and I breathe deeply in and out several times. I am not thinking about anything except listening to my breath.
EXPRESS GRATITUDE -- I express my gratitude by saying thank you for being given another day.
AFFIRM & CHOOSE -- I affirm that this is going to be a great day, no matter what challenges or obstacles may present themselves, because I am choosing to feel good, right here -- right now.
GREET & SMILE -- I go into the bathroom and look into the mirror, I greet myself by smiling and saying, "Good morning, my friend."
BE INSPIRED -- As I wait for my coffee to brew, I go to a quiet space where I can read something for a few minutes that will inspire me, pray or simply close my eyes and sit.
BLESSINGS & PEACE -- I take a moment to think about those who touch my life in some way: family, friends, co-workers, clients, the hospice patients and the memory care residents I visit, to those who are sick or struggling with some challenge, and to the stranger I may have spoken with the day before. I tell myself how blessed I am and how grateful I am for all who are part of my life. I finish by sending them peace.
LISTEN -- I often listen to a song or some type of music that moves me. It lifts me up and motivates me. My special song is Let There Be Peace on Earth.
GIVE THANKS & LET GO -- I get my cup of coffee and write in my journal about anything that is coming up for me. This is a perfect time to write down what I am thankful for in my life, and what I am looking forward to or what I am excited about for the day ahead. This is also the time if anything negative comes up for me, to get it out and on paper. It helps me release negativity and let go.
THINK OF OTHERS -- I identify one person that I am going to reach out to during the day. It might be a call, sending a card or simply writing an email letting them know I am thinking about them.
CONNECT WITH NATURE -- Finally, I finish my morning with a walk. A time to breathe in the fresh air and connect with the natural world around me. If I’m not able to go outside, I sit in front of the window for a few minutes and witness the beauty of nature at work.
After I finish, I feel more relaxed, more connected to myself and to the world around me. I have more energy and a sense of peace and calm as I get ready to meet the challenges of the day.
These are the ways that I begin my day. You can choose what works best for you or create your own. Doing one or two that resonate with you can begin to create subtle changes. Most importantly, it’s about creating a new awareness in how we start our day. The first step is to notice what we do. How do you begin your day? And what changes would you like to make to create a more positive start?