Do you ever feel like a hamster running in circles on a wheel? I know I do! Day-to-day life can be overwhelming. Work, family, keeping the house in order…the list is never ending. I get grumpy, sensitive, and defensive and start snapping at my husband and kids. Then I feel guilty for not appreciating my family and everything I have. Sound familiar? Around and around it goes, a downward spiral into a terrible day.
So how do you snap out of it? I truly believe it all starts in the morning. Here are 7 things I do that help me start, and finish, the day feeling good:
- Get Sleep
A good day starts the night before. Let go of the need to get everything done (it’s impossible!). Going to be early will make you more efficient the next day and stop the stressful cycle. Ideally you’d be in bed by 9 p.m. when your melatonin production starts.
- Meditate in the Morning
Just 5 minutes of meditation or prayer can clear your mind and nourish your soul. Instead of hitting that snooze button, force yourself to roll out of bed and use that extra 5 minutes as time to center yourself. Give yourself a few weeks to get in the habit, and then you’ll crave it!
- Exercise or Move
Make it a routine to get your blood flowing in the morning. You don’t have to run a marathon or flip tires down the street—just commit to getting some body movement in the morning. If I’m short on time, I do my 10/10 routines, where I dynamically stretch for 10 minutes, followed by 10 minutes of a higher intensity, full-body strength workout. Just 20 minutes will do a lot to improve your mood.
- Spend Time with Friends
With our busy schedules, it’s hard to stay connected. Make sure you stay in touch with your friends—you can even establish a weekly or monthly meet up. I combine my morning workouts or walks (I usually sneak in some hill repeats) with friends, which is a good way to do two things that make you happy at once.
- Take a Cold Shower
If I’m feeling really brave that day, I take a cold shower. It not only wakes you up, but also burns fat, and saves time. You won’t want to dally under cold water—it’ll be your fastest shower!
- Eat a Healthy Breakfast
Everyone is different. My husband will skip breakfast, but I need it and believe it can help you stay even-keeled throughout the day. I usually eat blanched greens with healthy fats and proteins. This prevents insulin highs and lows, so my blood sugar is even, which helps my mood.
- Smile When It’s Not Perfect
The kids are fighting at the breakfast table, you can’t find your phone, and you just spilled juice everywhere. Of all times of the day, mornings can be especially chaotic and almost never go to plan. Life is too short to sweat the little stuff, so tell yourself over and over to just let it go. It may not feel natural at first, but a great way to keep your mood positive is to simply smile more. Smiling can produce happy hormones (endorphins) in our bodies. So even if you aren’t feeling all that smiley, try it anyway and see the effect it has on your mood.
These 7 steps are simple, but important, ones. I strive to do these every day, but it’s ok if I miss a few steps (remember, let go of perfect!). What morning routines work for you? Comment below to share it with me!