I am a big believer that how we start each day truly impacts where it goes from there. More importantly, I think it helps influence our reaction to things that happen throughout our day. If we can set ourselves up for success then we can react more positively to stressors throughout the day. Also, if we start our days off being productive, we can build on that momentum for a more successful day. We’ve all had our routines thrown off a bit with having to stay at home & work from home & in many places adjusting to slowly going back out again, so I thought this was a perfect time to write a post on how to start your day off right. These are a few tips that help me so much & I hope they do the same for all of you!
How to Start your Day Off Right
Below are my tips on how to start your day off right. These are things I’ve learned or added in over the years & I finally feel like I have a great handle on my mornings. I’ll get in to more detail on my routine with workouts, skincare, vitamins & supplements, & more down the road.
Start the Night Before
Your nighttime routine the night before sets you up for success on the following day. I charge my phone in the hall bathroom so that I’m going to bed without screens. I’ve noticed a huge, positive shift ever since doing this. I do more proactive tasks like read or spend quality time with my family before bed rather than scrolling on my phone. I also am not anxious about any sounds or vibrations from it in the night. When my alarm goes off the next morning, I have to get up out of bed to turn it off so there is no easy way to hit snooze & start my day off by procrastinating. If you can’t charge your phone in another room, charge it across the room & have no screen time for at least thirty minutes (preferably an hour) before bed.
Get Up When Your Alarm Goes Off
I touched on this before, but don’t start your day off wrong by snoozing. In a training on sleep I attended, it was recommended that you set your alarm for the absolute last time you can get up that day. This way, there is no ‘ten more minutes’ that turns into thirty. I used to be someone who would turn my alarm off in my sleep, not even realizing I had done it. I intervened by putting my phone & hence my alarm, where I couldn’t do this. Don’t turn your alarm off & go back to bed! Get up & start that morning routine.
Have a Routine
A morning routine is so important to start your day off right. When I get up, I turn off my alarm on my phone in the bedroom & I leave it right where it is. Then, I go to the bathroom, brush my teeth, & put in my contacts. If Charles hasn’t already, I feed the dogs & make sure they go outside. From here, I change into my workout clothes. Whatever your routine is & however long, make sure you have a few things that you do every morning to kick your day off in a productive way that benefits you!
Make Your Bed
I’ve made my bed just about every day since college. I knew I loved the sense of accomplishment I got from it & as a clean freak, I love that it neatens up the room first thing. I read the book ‘Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life & Maybe the World‘ by a former US Admiral & it really helped me further understand why this simple act is so important. By completing a simple task like making your bed each morning, you are setting yourself up to have accomplished one small thing & then can pivot that energy further to continue to accomplish things– no matter how big or small– throughout your day.
Move your Body
I wrote an entire post with 9 reasons to workout first thing in the morning because I think movement is such a key part to starting. your day off right. Even if you don’t get your full workout finished early in the morning, go for a walk around the block, stretch, do a five minute yoga flow, something. Movement makes our bodies signal our brains that it is time to wake up & get everything going.
Take time for Yourself
This is key. I love to read The Daily Stoic each morning. It allows me just a few minutes of quiet time to myself to read a page 7 reflect. You can pray, you can journal, you can sit silently outside & enjoy coffee, you can meditate, just do SOMEthing for yourself.
Hold the Phone
Notice how I went through all those steps & you still haven’t gone through your phone. I keep all of my notifications for e-mail where I have to go ‘fetch’ them & they aren’t always popping up. Any texts, emails, social media alerts, ANYthing that came through from the time I put my phone away before bed the night before until after I’ve gone through my morning routine can wait. I don’t text back my best friend, I don’t scroll the ‘gram, nothing. Hold off on looking through your phone for anything, especially the news or work related content, as long as you can. When you allow in the outside world, in any form, into your morning, you are allowing potential triggers for stress or anxiety in. If you go through your morning routine without these possible interruptions, you get to decide how your day starts off & be more prepared to deal with any struggles that may arise. This is not the easiest habit to get in to, especially for someone who’s job totally revolves around their phone, but trust me, it is a complete game changer.
Transition into Work
Now that you’ve gone through your morning routine & set yourself up for success, you can transition into work. This may mean getting ready for the day, changing, walking or driving to your office, checking an e-mail, reading the news, pouring a cup of coffee, whatever. Before jumping in to work, find some way to transition into work to let your body & mind know that you’ve moved into that part of your day.
If you wake up first thing & check your e-mail in bed, you are starting your day off with work & no time for yourself. I always come back to what they tell you on airplanes, ‘You have to put your mask on first before you can help those around you.’ This is so true! You can’t poor from an empty cup. When I was working full time in the field of School Psychology in addition to my blog, I would get up at 5:00 every week day to ensure I could have time to myself & go through a productive, healthy morning routine before I jumped into my often 16 hour work days. It is SO worth it.
>Related: Positive Ways to Deal with Anxiety
I hope my tips on how to start your day off right were helpful to you all! I’ll work on a full post about my morning routine including skincare, supplements, workouts, & more soon. Let me know if there is anything specific you all want me to cover. I’m happy to help in any way. XO