So, yesterday I shared with some more steps I’m taking on my Feelin’ SoFabulous for SoFabCon journey in terms of getting a better night’s sleep. Today, I thought I’d fill you in on what I’m doing for my morning routine to wake up and set myself on a smooth path for the day.
- First of all, I think that the first things you see in the morning can have a positive or negative effect on your whole day. So, I try to keep the clutter in my room to a minimum. No baskets of laundry waiting to be put away, no piles of paperwork waiting to be dealt with, and I’ve even stopped placing my ever-growing To Do list right on my bedside table where it can immediately greet me upon waking up. Instead, I have photos of my loved ones and pictures of my “happy places” (places that mean something to me, where happy memories have been created, where I know I can go to chill out) in my line of sight. On my bedroom and bathroom mirrors, I often place inspirational quotes or Bible verses. If you’re into affirmations, that’s a great place for those as well.
- It’s important to have a gentle wake up. Most alarms are quite jarring and can induce a panic reaction in our bodies. Cortisol builds as we sleep and then is released throughout the day to give us energy. If we wake up with a start, we can release a great deal of cortisol all at once, depleting our supply for the rest of the day and resulting in an afternoon slump. Besides, who wants to start the day like that? Try setting an alarm that plays music – starting off softly and slowly and building gradually in intensity. And whatever you do, avoid hitting that snooze button! It interrupts your body’s hormone cycles and just makes things worse. If you have to, place the alarm across the room so that you have to get out of bed to turn it off. Once you’re out of bed, it’s often easier to stay out of bed.
- Before you get out of bed, count 5 blessings in your life. This gets you thinking about the positives and sets the tone for the day. Maybe your photos of loved ones and happy places can help with this.
- Let there be light! Get those curtains open, turn on some lights if needed. Light and darkness are important triggers to our bodies – signalling either time to be awake and alert or time for relaxation and sleep. Usually around this point in time, I turn on my morning wake up playlist – it’s filled with music that makes me happy and makes me feel like dancing. I find it a great way to get revved up for the day. You can find my list here but I encourage you to make your own so it fits you and your personality.
- Don’t turn on the computer and jump right into work! This one is really tough for me. I’ve had to move my phone and tablet across the room so that I don’t instantly grab them and get sucked into answering emails the moment I wake up.
- I have terrible allergies – I would call them seasonal but really, they are there all year round – just worse in the spring and fall. I find my Neti pot invaluable in helping me feel like I’m breathing more clearly and let me tell you, that sure makes my brain feel clearer too!
- I like to move it, move it! Ok so maybe I’m not that fond of it but it’s really important to get the blood flowing with some sort of activity. With my health, sometimes all I can do are my physiotherapy stretches but hey that’s something.
- I know, I know – you’ve heard this before but it’s true. You need to eat a good breakfast. I’m not much of a breakfast person either but I try. It’s better to actually eat something than to drink some sort of an energy drink (smoothie etc) but I think the smoothie is better than nothing. Sometimes that’s all I can manage first thing in the morning and then after a couple hours, I can have a mini-meal to round things out. Make sure to include some protein and fruit for energy.
- I like to engage in prayer prior to beginning my day. It helps me focus on what’s important and to clear my mind before I settle down to work. If you aren’t religious, just a few minutes of meditation or just sitting there doing some deep breathing and letting your mind clear can be helpful. Another way of doing this is to do “morning pages” a la Julia Cameron.
- Finally, I review my To Do list/agenda before I begin anything. I like to have a game plan prior to getting started, prioritized with what’s most important for that day so that I deal with things in the best order.
What are your tips for having a smoother start to your day?
Are you coming to SoFabCon? It’s such a fantastic conference and I learned so much last year. I can’t wait! If you are going to be there, I’d love to meet you!