“How you start your day is how you live your day. How you live your day is how you live your life.” - Louise Hay
These challenging times we are facing can bring much anxiety and stress into our lives. One way to ease the stress of the day is to follow a morning routine. But, not the morning routine that many of us are used to. Hitting snooze multiple times, grabbing our phones to check texts and emails before even getting out of bed, reading multiple newspaper articles about doom and gloom, or lying in bed full of worry about all the unknowns. This type of routine has many of us stressed out, anxious, and in a panic before our days have even started!
If how you start the day sets the tone for your entire day, then wouldn’t it be better to start your day with ease, calm, and a little bit of happiness?
Regardless of what your day looks like, this 5-step morning routine is guaranteed to help you begin your day with more ease and calm.
Give thanks for what you have in your life. Short on time? This can be done before you even get out of bed. When you first open your eyes, connect with the Universe and give thanks for a new day. If you have more time, come up with more things you are thankful for. You will be surprised how good it feels to start your day being thankful! You can also write things down in a gratitude journal. Starting your day with gratitude shifts your thoughts to positivity and abundance. Thinking about things that make you happy is a great way to start the day!
Open the windows, or at least the curtains, and let in the sunshine. That bright beautiful sunlight is a natural mood enhancer. Exposure to sunlight increases the brain’s release of a hormone called serotonin, which is associated with mood improvements, calmness, and focus. Calm and focused is a great way to start the day!
Every morning, move your body. It can be a quick 15-minute yoga routine to stretch out and get your energy moving, or an hour-long bike ride, or anything in between! Do whatever feels good to you. Shoot for 15-20 minutes of movement. This is YOUR routine.
Doing some sort of meditation is guaranteed to get you into the right headspace to start your day. Depending on how much time you have, this could be 3 minutes or 30 minutes, whatever works for you. Meditation does not have to be sitting in silence trying desperately not to think! Anything that quiets your monkey-mind and brings you calmness is considered meditation. If sitting in silence is not your thing, try listening to a guided meditation or even dancing along to your favorite songs. Any time you notice your mind wandering, just bring it back to the moment. Be sure to set a timer, you don’t want to be too zen that you end up running late!
The best bang for your buck to start your day off right is to journal. Spend a few minutes free-writing about anything that comes up. This might be how you want your day to look, things that you feel uneasy about, or any situation that you are trying to work through. Don’t worry about spelling or grammar. Just write and see what your subconscious brings forth. Sometimes you will find the answer to your questions was within you all along. Journaling also gives you a way to release the stressors that you have been holding in. You might be surprised how much lighter you will feel after journaling. Not into journaling? This is a great time to visualize how you want your day to look. Picture in your mind the outcome of how you want whatever is stressing you, or weighing on your mind, to turn out.
Bonus tips to make your morning routine even easier:
1. Stay off technology.
One surefire way to bring immediate stress and anxiety into your day is to start by looking at your phone; checking your emails or texts, reading the news, or scrolling through social media! Try to get through these 5 steps before checking your phone or turning on the computer!
2. Keep it simple.
Make sure to keep your routine simple. If you want to do a yoga video or a guided meditation, make sure to find it and save it on your phone the night before.
3. Watch your time.
You can spend as much or as little time as you want on each of these activities. The whole point is to make your day easier, not more stressful. If something feels good, do it longer. If something else is not really your thing, spend less time on it. This whole routine can be done in less than 15 minutes.
Although these strategies are a great way to start your day, they can be used anytime throughout the day whenever you find yourself feeling anxious, frustrated, stressed, or upset. As these emotions arise, pick one (or two, or all) of these steps, find a spot to sit by yourself for a few minutes, and find your calm.
In a world with so much we cannot control, the way you choose to start your day doesn’t have to be one! As Louise Hay once said: “How you start your day is how you live your day. How you live your day is how you live your life.”
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