You look up at the clock some days and see that it’s practically lunch time and somehow the day seems to have gone off the rails. You raced around getting ready, practically ignoring your spouse. You snapped at your kids, made them hurry, and the little one cried. You got to work and hardly were in the door before someone wanted to complain about something. Your inbox was full of stuff you didn’t want to deal with and you ended up in the break room eating doughnuts and saying things you wish you hadn’t. Healthy lunch? Exercise? Building new habits? It seems impossible.
Once your day starts, things happen that you hadn’t planned and you can’t control. You can choose your responses, but it’s hard when things are happening all around you. Other people’s choices, circumstances beyond your control, and a million distractions come into play.
First thing in the morning, though, you can make good choices more easily. Here are five things you can do to start the day off right:
- Get up a little earlier than the people you live with. This may not be the easiest thing on the list, but it can make all the difference. Having some peaceful time to make yourself the top priority is worth getting to bed a little earlier.
- Move. If going for a run is something you want to do, get dressed and get out there before you’re fully awake. Don’t think about it or decide; just do it. If that’s not quite your cup of tea, spend a little time stretching. Either way, you get your circulation revved up and prepare for the day.
- Eat right. Within half an hour of waking up, give your body some protein and some fresh produce. Have a glass of water, too, to rehydrate. It’s easier to make good choices in your kitchen than in the coffee shop, and breakfast is the easiest time to choose healthy fuel for your body.
- Get some positive input. Whether it’s a TED talk while you’re getting ready, an inspiring podcast during your commute, or a quick call with a supportive friend while you enjoy your coffee, starting your day with good input is better than watching a TV news mashup of all the bad things that happened this week or jumping into your email and getting sidetracked by fires needing to be put out.
- Plan your day. That doesn’t mean you should move the 27 things you didn’t get done yesterday onto today’s to-do list. Pick the most important thing you can accomplish today, add the three next highest priorities, and think about how you can help and enjoy the people you know you’ll be seeing during the day.
Taking these steps can get your day off to a good start.
Sometimes taking care of yourself isn’t enough. If you need someone else to help you with your self-care, give us a call.