It’s another Manic Monday! For so many of us, this is how we feel the first morning of a work or school week. We start with stress, often tired and rushed as we start the week early, by an alarm clock after a weekend of possibly more freedom in the schedule.
But maybe if we change our morning habits, we can approach Monday’s or any day with renewal, rather than stress. Here is a list of 10 things that we can do to start our mornings calmer, more relaxed and ready to tackle whatever Monday or the week brings.
10 things you can do this morning to start your day:
- Set the alarm for 10 minutes earlier and do not hit snooze. When we hit snooze we are just stalling and setting up ourselves to dread the day rather than embrace the day. Setting the alarm for 10 minutes earlier is to give us the “extra” time to practice the rest of the list.
- Breathe. Take 5-10 deep, cleansing breaths. According to many different sites; Deep breathing can help you relax, decrease anxiety, improve coping skills and even help to lower your blood pressure.
- Stretch. As a suffer from back pain for many many years, the only way I could get out of bed was to stretch in bed first. Sometimes that included yoga moves such as cat and cow, but for this purpose, just do a few full body stretches. Hands above the head, reach legs out, anything that feels comfortable. Maybe bring legs up to the chest and stretch back out. Do not do if this hurts, but focus on feeling body elongate and the muscles stretch out across the body.
- Meditate for 2-3 minutes. Find a meditation that you enjoy. One that perhaps is specific to waking up. Instead of the moment we awake, we hit the ground with constant thought and movement, try to calmly start the day with quiet, soft music that allows you to center thoughts.
- Drink a glass of water. Before going to bed the night before set a glass of water next to the bed. After all the breathing, stretching and meditating, drink the water slowly. Supposedly this can help increase energy, the flow of oxygen through your body and help in digestion.
- Snuggle your partner if you have one. There is no specific order for this one. When you turn the alarm off, this may be the first thing you want to do, perhaps practicing the list together. But instead of being in a hurry to leave your bed and tackle the day, take a moment to hug your partner. Physical touch can be healing, a source of comfort and a reminder you are a team, tackling the world together.
- Look at the calendar. Now is when you can pull the phone out, as we all seem to sleep with our smartphones these days. Look at what you have scheduled for the day. Don’t look beyond the day, just start with this morning. Get an idea of what is on the agenda,
- While on the phone, either look at Pinterest for a quote or set up a daily quote to be delivered to your email. Something inspirational, motivating. If you are starting a workout regime, read a fitness post. If you are about to be home with kids all day, read a mommy blog. If you are heading into a long day of work meetings, find a quote about teamwork or fulfillment in a job well done. Reading a positive affirmation or quote sets your mind on positive ideas. Rather than dreading the day or worrying, find ideas that bring a smile.
In our house, we ascribe to the mindset that what you focus on will be how you behave, so set your mind on positive things. This does not mean those bad moments won’t occur, but this is a much better way to start the day on an upbeat, positive note.
- Make a list. I keep a pad of paper next to my bed because I am a writer and often wake up in the middle of the night with some thoughts I want to write down. Utilize that pad of paper to make a list for the day. For the chores or errands or notes for a meeting. It could be a list for the kiddos or partner. Writing down a list can help organize your thoughts and help you feel more prepared to tackle the day.
- Make the bed as you get out of it. I am a bed maker. Something about having the main piece of furniture in the room looking nice and all put together makes me happy. If you make the bed first thing, then as you are getting ready or come back and forth through out the morning, you will already feel that one thing was accomplished. It’s not a BIG thing, but it’s one less task you have to come back to.
Monday is still going to be there 10 minutes later. The kids will still be getting up and needing breakfast and all things else. But when you start the day calmer, refreshed, less hurried and frazzled, you are more approachable for those family and work mates that you will be interacting with. Taking 10 extra minutes to take care of you in the morning could be vital to creating peace and tranquility in your self, home, relationships, etc.
What are your thoughts? Do you have any ideas to add to the list? Do you do something every morning or weekly that helps create calm in your life as you tackle each day? Share with me, I would like to hear your ideas as well.
We do not have to dread Mondays! When we start the day calmly, we have more patience and energy to tackle whatever we might face.
Embrace the day! Go out with a smile and a sense of renewal.