Posted in lists

Monday Musings—5 ways to start your day

This past weekend I was reading through old posts, thinking about what I have written, where I am now and how I want this blog to grow and evolve.  In looking back through some of my old posts, I found the one about how to get out of the morning funk and thought it was a pretty good list. I like lists.  I like seeing progress.  And I think I often do these items, with some modifications, and each day I am able to stay centered and fairly up beat and in a good mood (most of the time).

I have updated this and hope this list will inspire you to start your day in a positive mindset.  To build your best life, you must clean house in your mind.  You must clean out the cobwebs, get rid of the junk and generally keep it neat and tidy in there.  These are some tips on how to do that.

5 things you can do to start your day from a great place! 

  1. Start with some stretches!  Perhaps a bit of yoga.  By this, I truly mean about 5 min of stretching.  Cat, Camel, Child’s Pose.  I try some deep breathing as I sat in these poses. Trying not to think about anything for just a few minutes. Clear out my head.
  2. Journal.  Write down what you are thinking, what your dreams were about perhaps. Again taking just a few minutes and write random thoughts.  Sometimes your best ideas come right after sleep.  I try to keep my journals next to my bed for those thoughts that hit before I fall asleep but also for the start of my day.  Free flow or be deliberate, but just write.
  3. Drink a large glass of water! Before coffee! Not sure I need more info on that.  Just do it. It’s good for your body.
  4. Read. Again, just 5-10 minutes. Sometimes all I have time for in the morning is to read for this brief time.  But it helps me to start actively using my mind.  I like the “one day at time” style for this time of day.  Something inspiring, heartfelt, quick.
  5.  Make your “to do” list for the day.  Knowing what tasks you need to tackle for the day, keeping it to just a few items, will keep you focused. Being able to cross them off will help you feel accomplished.  

As you can see, I like to make lists.  I like to use a pen and paper for some of these things.  Some may prefer digital.  I like being able to cross items off my lists and see some completion.  Not all are required to start my day off on the right foot, but each day that I do these 5 things, I am better prepared and calmly equipped to tackle a new day.  

Do you have things you do to start your day in the best way possible?  Please share. 

Oh–one last tip; don’t hit the snooze!  Wake up!  Put your feet on the floor!  Embrace that you are alive another day!   Happy Monday! 


Posted in lists

How to get out of that morning funk when you wake up on the wrong side of the bed.

I woke up this morning in a bit of a funk.  Trying to write when your mind is clouded by things it doesn’t need to be bothered with anymore, is a bit tough.  When we start our day “on the wrong side of the bed” as they say, it can be tough to change your focus.  But I am committed to growth and not allowing the past (even if that is just yesterday) to take away any joy from today.   I know there will still be bad, sad and negative things I will face in my days; but I do not have to bring yesterday’s or last weeks or 6 months ago’s tough moments into today.

So what do we do when we start the day with a bit of a funk?  How do we change our focus and attempt to “restart” the day?  To change our mood or redirect our thoughts?

I seem to like lists; so let me share with you what I have done this morning to redirect my thoughts and to “restart” my day.

  1. I did a tiny bit of yoga.  By this, I mean truly like 5 min of stretching.  Cat, Camel, Childs Pose. Some deep breathing as I sat in these poses. Trying not to think about anything for just a few minutes. Clear my head.
  2. I sat quietly, actually giving into my negative thoughts.  Trying to see if I could decipher why this particular line of thinking was on my mind.  Was it the date, did I have a strange dream.  I just let my mind wallow in these thoughts for a few minutes.
  3. I wrote down my thoughts.  Kind of randomly, haphazardly, just let them flow. Not censoring myself.  When finished, I re-read and tore up the paper.  Lots of tiny pieces, telling myself, ok…this was how you were feeling, now let that go and start again.  Move forward.  And then I threw all those pieces in the trash.
  4. I opened Facebook and watched some funny videos that others had posted.  I am a firm believer in laughter.  I have “making me laugh” in the top 3 things I want in a partner.  When feeling down, or blue, nothing beats watching something funny to break the negative mood.  In fact one year for our family goals, my kids and I put laughing every day on our list.  We all took turns to notice if we had not laughed yet and one of us would find a funny story or comedian or video and make each other laugh.  This truly changed our connection as a family.  I encourage you to find a way to laugh; EVERY SINGLE DAY.
  5. Also on Facebook, I read stories of all the things going on in this world right now, the hurricanes, fires, earthquakes, etc and made a mental note to look around my house, my life and to BE GRATEFUL.   I know there has been a lot of talk for years about how being grateful; making lists about what we are thankful for, can help us, and I am jumping on that bandwagon as well.  There is a lot of truth to it. When we take the focus off what we are sad or angry about and place the focus on all the things we have to be thankful for…it’s hard to stay in a funk.

Let me share with you some of the things I wrote down on my Grateful list:
My house.  I had to abruptly move last year, days after Thanksgiving and found this great house to rent.  It is just the right size for my kids and I and close to where some of my family lives.  And for the first time renting a house, I could not have found a more perfect fit for us.
My family.  We are just back from a vacation with family that I grew up with, my brother, his wife, cousins and new friends.  I am so thankful that we have all maintained contact. That we are close and can enjoy a weekend hanging out with each other.  That we all end one trip planning the next one.  It is an awesome thing to be all grown up and we still want to spend time together even after we are no longer required to because our parents said so.
My job.  That I have one.  Even though I am still out on medical leave due to having back surgery and this summer has been coined the “bummer summer”,  I am grateful to have a job with insurance that covers me while I get healthy again.  And that I have it to go back to soon.

I could keep going, but this is just the top things this morning that I have done to pull me out of the funk I started today with.  To help me change my focus and redirect my day.  I could have wallowed in my feelings.  I could have chosen to keep thinking on those negative thoughts, but it steals my joy.  For the first time in over 3 years, my daily life, even when dealing with pain, sadness, anger or tough moments, is full of joy.  I am very content and love my life.  I have said there is something about being in my 40’s that has given me new life.  I no longer care so much about what others think.  I no longer censor myself or think about if what I am doing pleases everyone.  So when I wake up in a funk, or on the wrong side of the bed, I am committed to finding the best ways to get myself out of that mood.  To change my thoughts.  To do everything that I can to keep me in that joy filled place.

This life is hard.  There are so many things that can bring us down, every single day IF we let it. But we do not have to give into the bad day.  We can just have our bad moments and then redirect our thoughts and find that peace again.

What are some things you do to help you get out of a bad mood?  Share with us your ideas and ways that you restart your day…perhaps you will help someone else find their way back into joy.