There are thousands of reasons to why sometimes our day can go “blah”. Life isn’t always like a walk in the park and things can happen (in the family, at work, at uni, with friends). There could be a specific situation on your mind that worries you or makes you feel helpless. You might feel like this busy lifestyle is taking over you and you never have time. Or occassionally you can simply wake up and you know that the day will go opposite to what you wanted, planned or expected. The good news is there are ways to change it so you can start your day happier and make that positivity stick around. I am planning to infuse a little series of self-development/improvement posts once or twice a month and this one marks the starting point. If you are in a rut or would like to never get into one, here are my tips on how to start your day in the most positive and happy ways to make the best of the next 24 hours.
It happens to the best of us. It can start with a small heap of clothes left on the chair or a misplaced paper. Then it all piles up creating more disorder. Artistic people tend to enjoy being around their “comfy mess” and it inspires them. While it’s great (for them) I wonder how long it would take them to find an item buried underneath mountains of stuff. No matter if you are messy or neat, clutter and disorder can easily make you feel stressed and anxious even without you realizing it. Look around you and identify the space that needs attention right now. Clean the room, tidy your desk, wash your dishes, iron that pile of clothes, sort out files on the computer. Don’t wait for one cleaning day. Do a little bit every day to maintain that clutter-free environment. Let’s face it: who would say no to clean sheets, spick and span bathroom and tidy kitchen? Your mornings and quality of life will improve with the speed of light.
If you have a busy lifestyle or simply trying to stay on top of things, you need planning and preparation. Being spontaneous is fun but when it comes to mornings there’s nothing great about realizing your last clean work-appropriate top is in the washing machine or not being able to find the keys when you’re about to hit the road. That’s when you can do three simple things in advance to prepare for a positive and stress-free morning: 1) make a (sensible) to-do list for the next day – that way nothing slips your mind and you know exactly what needs to be done, 2) plan your outfit, get your bag ready, make lunch the evening before – it will save you a lot of time and energy in the morning and 3) go to bed at a reasonable time – it can vary depending on when you need to be up but try to get a proper amount of sleep so you wake up fresh (you know you will thank yourself for doing that).
I don’t know about you but I absolutely can’t stand being in a rush in the morning. It almost “ruins” my whole day and gets me frustrated because I feel like I have no time – EVER. So instead of rushing (usually because of staying up till late and sleeping in) I started to wake up about 1.5 hr before the time when I need to head out. Having your very own “customized” morning routine will make you excited to get up and start your day. Many successful people always rave about how they “get ahead” using their morning time wisely and in an enjoyable way. Your morning shouldn’t be all about “get up, get ready, go”. There’s nothing too happy or exciting about that. Instead, try setting that alarm 15-20 minutes earlier and use that time to do something you love like a quick workout or meditation.
I don’t work out in the morning (my body is too “asleep” for that – I do it in the evening) but I make sure to start my day with the right mindset. We all sometimes get so caught up in the whirlwind of life and circumstances that we forget to stop and think. Some sources recommend to pause and “count your blessings” or give thanks for what you have and appreciate. Those are great things to do. I know people who have a gratitude journal and they find it amazing. What helps me to get my mind right for the day is reading a small passage from the Bible and a prayer. I don’t believe in religion but I believe in my Redeemer. The point is use those extra 15 minutes to do something that will make you happy and enrich your mind. Meditation isn’t about sitting with your legs crossed and humming, it is to do with mindfulness. Do what rocks your boat: read, listen to music or simply pause and daydream 🙂
This one is probably the toughest thing I am trying to give up whenever I open my eyes. Our phones to us are like a chocolate cake for those with a sweet tooth. Mine pretty much becomes glued to my hand at the first opportunity. Morning should be a different story. Even though you might suffer from FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out), you will see that nothing crucial is going to happen in the world of social media if you postpone checking it. Starting your day with scrolling down your Twitter feed, liking and commenting on Instagram, checking Facebook or Snapchat, etc. doesn’t only consume a lot of your precious time but also “dumps” all this buzz of information on you. And depending on that influx it can actually make you anxious. If you absolutely must browse, do it for 3-5 minutes and remind yourself about that delicious breakfast you are going to have right now. Phone down.
For many years I have lived in an insane vortex which consisted of no breakfast and no lunch (+ unhealthy snacks here and there). One day it hit me and I knew something had to change. One of the best decisions I made was to include breakfast into my morning routine and actually enjoy it. As tempting as it is to grab your to-go cup of coffee, make those extra 10-15 minutes and sit down to enjoy your brekkie. Start by drinking one glass of warm water with lemon. Not only it rehydrates your body but also cleanses your system. Opt for healthy breakfast options like porridge with fruit or muesli. Try eggs (protein rules) and different nutritious spreads and toppings for brown bread.
Commuting isn’t easy unless you live a short walking distance away from your office or university (lucky if you do!). Either you are on the train smelling all kinds of odours, “folded” into one of yoga positions in the overcrowded underground or driving the car trying not to blast the horn at everyone trying to cut in – stay positive, think of something great, put your ear buds in (if you’re in a public transport) and listen to or watch something that makes you smile. It’s not easy but it’s doable. It could be treated as a new habit you want to develop. With time it will become a normal thing. On the days when you don’t need to go anywhere try and get out of your nightwear as soon as you get up. Moping around the house in PJs sounds quite tempting but it will make your whole day slouchy, lazy and then the guilt will roll in moaning “why did I waste my day away”. Grab a shower, get dressed, eat breakfast, enjoy some quiet time, get yourself to smile – and you are onto a happy day. Like I mentioned in my January Favourites: choose joy. You can make today (and every day) your best day.
I could list at least 20 more tips on how to start your day positive and happy
but it would become a dissertation. I hope you enjoyed this post and found it helpful.
~ The idea behind it is to remind you to have the best day every day.
Even when going gets tough – you can do it!
As cheesy as it might sound: I believe in you. ~
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Leave a comment and let me know what you think about this post.
What tips did you find most helpful?
Do you like your current mornings?
Is there a routine you have that helps you to be on top of things?
What do you do to start your day right/active/positively?