I truly believe that your day’s tone is set by your mornings. Go to sleep late and have to wake up super early for work? Sorry hun, but you’re off to a rough start. Trust me, I know! In my mid-twenties I would go out Friday nights and pour into bed around 4 in the AM only to wake up 4 hours later to head into work. It was brutal! My body was cursing me and no amount of coffee could pep me up. That went on for a few years… YOLO (you only live once) were words to live by back then. Not so much now! I HAVE to get my 8 hours of sleep or I know I cannot function. These days I work on being kind to my body — and mind for this matter. Mentally preparing yourself for what lies ahead can be the difference between taking charge or being left behind. So here are some ways I prepare myself to have the most productive and enjoyable day. WARNING: Results may vary. I too have had my share of days where I am in a funk and can’t seem to shake it, but that’s just normal.
- Get a good nights rest. I can’t stress this one enough. Trying to go about your day on little to no sleep is excruciating. Your body just feels heavy and you cannot think straight. This is your body telling you, “HEY! YOU! YES, YOU! Get me to bed!” So listen! If you’re having trouble falling asleep think about your pre-slumber rituals. Do you stay up watching TV? (guilty — when else will I catch up on my Housewives?) How about you nix the tube and grab a book? This is a fail-safe for me. Even with 50 Shades of Gray I would be snoozing by the end of the 3rd page. Something about reading can really lull me to sleep. And try to get off your electronics at least an hour before bed. Also, make sure you’re not consuming drinks with caffeine past 5pm. That latte can wait until morning! Instead, opt for some decaffeinated chamomile or green tea. Lastly, try to get yourself under those sheets early enough to get some good shut eye. If I know I have to be up by 7am then I try to get in bed by 11pm.
- Take some time to meditate. Meditation can be as short or as long as you want, or what your mornings allow if you’re pressed for time. It can also be super simple. I just wake up and lie in bed for a few minutes. I breathe, think positive thoughts, think about what I want to accomplish for the day, and last, be thankful for my family and what God has blessed me with. This is also a great time for prayer.
- Make your bed. My mom taught us early on that making our bed should be first priority when we get up. Some mornings this is impossible if my kid happens to be sleeping with me. I usually let her sleep as I slip off to work. But whenever possible, I make an effort to get this task done. Just being at work knowing that my bed is made puts a smile on my face. Same effect that having my kitchen clean before bed has on me. It’s just the thought of knowing that there is order in my life and one less thing I have to do when I get home. Also the fact that you feel like you got a task done early on. I recently came across a video on YouTube of a commencement speech in 2014 where the speaker spoke about the exact thing in regards with getting this task done the importance of making your bed and I couldn’t agree more. I would love to share it with you here.
- Eat breakfast. Now, how many times have you heard, ‘breakfast is the most important meal of the day?’ that’s because it is! Breakfast replenishes your body after hours of no food or water. It re-hydrates you and fills your belly. Now don’t be took quick to get in that McDonalds drive thru. Instead, grab some hearty oatmeal or whip up some scrambled eggs and an english muffin if you have time. A morning smoothie is also good because you can put a bunch of greens and fruits and it will taste amazing. I recently bought some overnight oats because I can prepare them the night before and they are ready to go when I wake. I can also take them with me if I’m rushing out the door and they are super yummy.
- Don’t rush. Give yourself enough time to get ready in the mornings and not have to rush into work. I hate to be late. Nothing ruins my day faster than being late. There have been so many times that I’m rushing out the door and get caught in some bad traffic that it completely changes my mood for that day. I used to have some major road rage, especially when people would cut me off in traffic. That all changed once I was pregnant with Olivia. I no longer wanted to put myself or my unborn baby in position of danger so I started to make enough time for myself to get ready, eat breakfast and calmly drive to work. I listen to some good music or a funny morning talk show and just stay in my lane.
All mornings, just like all people, are not created equal. So what works for someone may not work for all. But I have noticed that these 5 tips work wonders for me. Like I said before, some days I may not be able to accomplish every task but trying is all you can do. Make the effort and you will see the difference. And What are some morning rituals you like to accomplish before heading out the door? Let me know, I would love to hear about them! In the meantime, here’s a little pick me up from this weeks’ car line.