If you feel like your life is always one step ahead of you, there may be a few things you can do each day to slow things down, make you more productive, relaxed and efficient. Often, it’s the little moments that can change the course of events for your day. Have you examined your habits to see how they may be impacting you on a day to day basis? Sometimes, it's in changing the small things we do that make a huge impact on how each day goes. When I work with people that come in for treatment related to stress, anxiety, insomnia etc, I like to help them examine their habits and routines to see if there are small achievable changes that can be made.
The first place we start with is what do their mornings look like and what they are doing when they first wake up. It is here where we set the tone for our day, and actually, the foundation for a restful sleep. The first five things you do when you wake up in the morning, can greatly impact the flow of the rest of your day and the emotions tied to it. For example, if you are having anxiety, and the first thing you do is check your phone for notifications, you may be kicking your anxiety into high gear before you even get out of bed!
I generally advise patients to set themselves up with a list of 5 healthy habits that they can start their day with to help empower their sense of ownership over their day. This helps with flow, or the ability to be in the zone with the task at hand, which improves not only the outcome of the task, but enjoyment. The alteration of your morning and evening habits can lead to improved flow throughout the day.
These practices can be short and simple, but that doesn't mean they aren't powerful in helping to reduce anxiety, improve stress management, regulate thought patterns or promote restful sleep. Here are some examples of tasks and habits to start your day the right way. Not all of these will work for everyone, but they are good examples of how to build healthy habits. Once you set the routine for the beginning of your day and prepare yourself for action, you take some of the chaos of out what happens next. The examples below are just that, examples, you can adapt and modify them to what works for you.
Start the Day:
- Stop hitting snooze, or start by limiting it to once
- Drink 1 full glass of room temperature water, or even better, add lemon
- Avoid your phone for the first 30 minutes of awake time
- Take your herbs and supplements
- Tend to your pets
- Move your body for 10 minutes
- Take 5 deep cleansing breaths
- Write a few words in a journal about how you're going to make today great
- Make yourself a healthy breakfast and prepare your lunch
- Step outside and soak in the sun for 5 minutes
- Do a 10 minute guided meditation
Play around with these or make up your own until you find a routine that works for you, that you can stick to and that helps you feel empowered and excited about your day.
**All information and resources found on balancedstonewellness.com are based on the opinions, experience and research of the author unless otherwise noted. All information is intended to motivate readers to make their own nutrition and health decisions after consulting with their health care provider...even if that provider may be the author ;)