You can imagine my thoughts when my alarm went off this morning after a week of vacation. None of them were good, I can assure you. But I have made a real effort in recent months to start the day with positive thoughts and intentions for the day. So as soon as the negative thoughts start rolling in, I immediately stop that stream of thought and say “Today is going to be a good day”. Then I start my morning routine of a positive mantra, recite the things I am grateful for, and end with my personal intentions. And I’m not even out of bed yet. I then continue the good vibes by meditating for at least 10 minutes and I am feeling ready to take on the world by the time I hit the shower.
If all this sounds a little too much for you, how about a list of what NOT to do to start your day. I can say I am guilty of #1, but happy to say the rest I do. Give them a try and note your feelings. Reflect on how different your day unfolded after doing some of these things. Perhaps start with a couple so you aren’t overwhelmed. I think we can all benefit from a cheery start to our day.
1. Don’t check your email
Right after you get out of bed (or even while you’re still in bed) what’s the first thing most of us do: check our email. Well, it doesn’t really contribute to your happiness. Why? Because it forces you to wear your “thinking” hat. We don’t want to start our day hitting the ground running. Even if you’re expecting an important email, it can wait until you leave your house, 30 minutes later or so.
2. Don’t watch the news
If you need to check the weather for instance, use your smartphone instead (there are plenty of apps for that.) Some people who live by themselves, turn on the TV or the radio because they feel the company of others. Think about the benefits of silence and quiet time for yourself. News in general tend to be a bit more negative, and you don’t need a filling of negative stuff right after you start your day!
3. Don’t skip breakfast
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Period. If you know you’re going to be rushed in the morning, either leave something prepared, or get the groceries you need. You can grab breakfast on the go one day a week, but don’t make it every day.
4. Don’t be rushed
Waking up and start running because you’re busy and have tons of things to do, kill today’s happiness. Even if you thrive on challenges and eating problems for breakfast, waking up at 60 miles an hour doesn’t allow you to connect with yourself.
5. Don’t think about the tons of things you have to do today
Ideally, you took care of that the night before, before going to bed. We all have stuff to do the next day, just don’t make it a habit to go thru the huge list first thing in the morning. There’s going to be time for that in the next hour or so.
6. Don’t forget to take a shower, and brush your teeth.
A shower always energizes us, and helps us start our day at a nice pace. Starting fresh, wearing nice clothes, smelling nice, helps you feel good and welcome a great day.
7. Don’t leave your house without a smile
It’s a fact, when we’re rushed we tend to be and look serious, frown, and tense. Even if you don’t find concrete reasons to smile, it’ll still help you have a better day. Try it for 5 days in a row, and you’ll notice the difference. If you could do some meditation or some breathing exercises before you leave the house, that’s ideal.