Morning Self-Care: 5 Best Ways to Start Your Day Off Right

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Every morning you have a chance to decide how you’ll face the day.  Starting your day off with a little self-care can make all the difference in how your day will go.

Unfortunately, most of us don’t make a deliberate decision to start our days off right but rather leave it up to habit or chance.   We allow our emotions of the moment and our sometimes depleted energy reserves to overwhelm us. And guess where that combination will take you?  Not where you want to go!  

The simple truth is that how you start your day will determine how you live that day.  When you get off to a lousy start in the morning, you’ll find it hard to give your best effort throughout the day.  You simply won’t be equipped to handle the challenges you face.  

It’s time you got off “autopilot”  and started your day with a little extra self-care. This will keep your stress levels low and set you up for a happy and productive day.

This is far more important than most people realize. You see, how you live each day is how you’ll live your life.  String one bad day after another after another, and you’ll find yourself irritable, unsatisfied, and downright miserable.  Start the process of approaching each day by practicing self-love and self-care, and your whole life can change for the better.

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dont leave your happiness to chance start a simple self-care routine in the morning

How to Start Your Day Off Right

If you want to live a happy, fulfilling, and successful life, you must take control of how you begin each day.  

Here’s the secret:  starting your day off right has very little to do with the circumstances in your life and everything to do with your attitude towards your life, your clarity about what you really want, and your commitment to being the “best you” possible each and every day.

Below are five ideas for starting each day off with a self-care habit that will make a HUGE difference in your life.   Each self-care activity listed here can easily be done in the mornings.  You may not do all of these every day;  but try to start each day with at least one nourishing and rejuvenating act of self-care.

When I first started my own morning self-care habit,   I wasn’t willing to side aside more than about 10 minutes.  So, if that’s what you’re willing to start with, start there.  In time, you may find that you want to devote more time to this practice (I did.).   

But just do what you can for now.  ANY self-care in the morning will help make you better prepared for the day ahead! 

1. Choose Happiness. Choose to Enjoy Your Life!

Deliberately reminding yourself to choose happiness takes mere moments, but it’s incredibly powerful.  Truth is, I not only take this step first thing in the morning, but I also repeat it multiple times throughout the day because I never want to forget how I want to live my life.    

I WANT to live a happy life.  I WANT to enjoy my life. But – and this point is very important –   “want” is not enough;  I must CHOOSE to make this happen.  So I make a deliberate choice by speaking this simple mantra:

“I choose to be happy. I choose to enjoy my life.”

If you don’t embrace any other self-care habit, be sure to do this. Your choices determine the quality of your life. Choosing happiness … choosing to enjoy your life has great power. Every time you speak these words you are planting seeds that will grow and grow and help you live the life you really want.

2. Nourish Your Soul

There are many ways to nourish your soul, and since our beliefs vary so greatly, there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution.  Here are four of my favorites … choose the option(s) that resonate with you:

Express Gratitude. 

It’s often said that being grateful for our current blessings is the way to receive more blessings. I think that’s true, but I don’t express gratitude just to get more. This isn’t some deal I’m trying to strike with the “giver of blessings.” 

Recognizing our current blessings is key to understanding just how blessed we already are. If our life shows us anything it’s that blessings are always entering our life … though we must be attentive to see them. Taking time to recognize and be thankful for the blessings of yesterday, today and those yet to come is a way to understand that we’re already living in abundance. 

To ensure you get your day off right, begin it with an attitude of gratitude!  

 

Meditate 

Our lives are so busy. Demands on our time are never-ending. Information is flying at us nonstop. Technology has taken over… you may even be reading this on a computer or a tablet right now. It’s great, and it’s also not so great. Our souls crave to be heard and nourished. Spending time in silence has soothing properties that bring more peace and contentment into our lives. Plus, it is in stillness that we’re able to receive answers to the questions that are troubling us.

While there are many ways to meditate (just search “meditation” on YouTube for ideas), I usually keep my meditations pretty simple. I put on some soothing music (I personally like instrumentals or Gregorian chants), close my eyes, and turn my attention away from my mind and towards my breathing.  My goal is to silence the inner chatter and remain in peace. When thoughts come (and do come), I just imagine them to be clouds in an otherwise blue sky and let them drift off rather than engage with them. Quieting the mind takes some practice. Be kind and gentle to yourself as you begin your meditation practice.

Meditation can be helpful whether you do it for 2 minutes, 20 minutes, or more. 

Pray 

This may or may not be a choice for you, depending on your spiritual beliefs. I personally believe in a Higher Power, and I choose to call that presence God … you may choose another name.  Remembering that I don’t need to carry the weight of the world on my shoulders and reaching out to God in the morning for guidance and support is a simple act of self-care that keeps me at peace and focused on what matters most in my life. 

3. Focus Your Mind on What Matters Most

As Ben Stein said, “The indispensable first step to getting the things you want out of life is this: decide what you want.”

You’ve got to get clear on “what matters most” by asking yourself the following questions:

  • What’s your vision for your life? What do you really want?
  • What are the values that are most important to you?
  • How do you want to “feel” about yourself and your life? 

Give these questions more than a mere glance. This is NOT an exercise you do each morning, rather, this is foundational work you’ll do before you incorporate it into your morning ritual.

Focusing your mind on what matters most to you will not happen by accident. You need tools to stay the course.  A few tools I suggest include: 

Create a Vision Board

Place pictures and words on the board that convey what you want, what’s most important to you, and how you want to feel.  In short, it’s a visual of what you want your life to look and feel like. Place this vision board in a prominent place you’ll see every single morning (and every evening, too!).

Create Reminders that You’ll See Often  

It’s helpful to surround yourself with visual reminders of what you want and what matters most for you.  For example, your family might top your list for what matters most – so have pictures of them around you when you’re not around them. Don’t just place these pictures on your desk and ignore them … they aren’t dust-collecting decorations. Use these photos to mentally anchor just how important these people are to you. Make sure that each time you glance at your pictures, you remind yourself what (who) matters most to you. 

Other examples: if you’re living in an apartment and hope to buy a house one day, buy yourself an inexpensive lawn tool you don’t need now but will need for your new house.  If you dream of marrying a loving soul mate, buy a 25th  (or go for 50th!) wedding anniversary picture frame and place it on your bedside table. If your goal is to one day live near the ocean, place some sand and a few shells in a container you’ll see often. You get the idea. Just find a symbol for what you want and make sure you see it often.  

Create a Collection of Favorite Inspirational Quotes

Words are powerful motivators.  If certain quotes speak to you and what you want or how you want to live your life, write them down and post them around your world (on mirrors, in the car, at work, etc.).  Keep your thoughts focused on anything that will continue to lift you up. If you’d like to keep a steady stream of inspirational quotes flowing into your life, be sure to join the Believe and Create Facebook community at www.Facebook.com/believeandcreatecommunity where you’ll be treated to uplifting messages each day.

Start Journaling  

There are several benefits to starting a joyful journaling practice:  it facilitates stress relief, boosts mindfulness,  increases self-awareness and self-confidence, and can help you be happier and more positive.    

Believe and Create offers a free Happiness Journal that you can use to jumpstart your journal practice.

Practice Affirmations that Affirm What You Want

 If you’ve never heard of Louise Hay, go out right now and get her book You Can Heal Your Life. She’ll teach you all about the power of affirmations.

Simply put, affirmations are a tool you can use to help you keep “positive” thoughts in your mind. They’re “seeds” you plant that have great power to create your reality.

You’re actually already doing affirmations, but the affirmations you might be doing now could be affirming what you DON’T want in your life rather than what you do want.  [See:  99 Life-Changing Self-Love & Self-Esteem Affirmations]

For example, saying, “There’s never enough money to do what I want to do” could keep your mind focused on lack instead of abundance. Replace that statement with, “The money I need to do what I want is flowing into my life. I live in a constant state of blessing and abundance.”

Another example: replace “I’m so tired all the time” with “I have all the energy I need to do whatever I want.” Can you see how the first statement leaves you feeling drained while the second statement helps you feel invigorated? 

We tend to attract into our lives what we think about. Affirmations are a way to replace undesirable, worrisome thoughts with desirable, uplifting ones.

 

template fo affirmations to start your day off right

Affirmations are not magic incantations. Words alone will not be enough to change your life. If you say “I am a multi-millionaire” and you never do anything to create that wealth, then you better hold off on spending that dough as it probably won’t ever arrive. Still, imagining something for your life is the first step to achieving it. It’s not the only step – you’ll have to put in some action – but it is a great start. One that you simply can’t afford to skip.

 

“Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” ~ Napoleon Hill

4. Super-Charge Your Energy

Won’t it feel great to have more energy?  No discussion about self-care would be complete without mentioning how you choose your nourish your body through movement and food.

To get your day off to a super-great start, you must give your body the nutritious fuel it needs and the physical movement it craves.

Exercise in the Morning

There’s simply no better way to get your energy up in the morning than by moving your body. It doesn’t matter what you do: stretching, yoga, running, walking, pilates, dancing, lifting weights, Zumba, home exercise DVDs, etc.  What matters is that you get your physical energy flowing through exercising in the morning.

Even if you’re only willing to give it 5 minutes … then by all means, give it 5 minutes. Once you get started, you’ll often find momentum will help you do even more.

Hey, if you’re not a morning person, again, I can relate! I still don’t consider myself a morning person, either. I used to say, “I can’t exercise in the morning,” but that was a lie.

The truth was I was not willing to exercise in the morning.  When I opened myself to saying, “I’m willing to try to exercise a little in the morning,” it changed my life. 

Moving your body is a phenomenal way to generate the energy you’ll need for your day. You may not feel like doing it at first, but once you get going, you’ll be glad you did. 

Nutrition – Watch What You’re Eating for Breakfast

Throughout my teens and twenties, I skipped breakfast.  And you know what that set me up for? Nothing good, I can assure you that. When your body wakes up, it needs food. Not just any food, but nutrient-rich food. Otherwise, you’re setting yourself up for a day packed with lethargy, poor focus, and weak energy.

Know what I’d like to eat for breakfast? Donuts. Or a giant plate of bacon. Do you know what the worst thing to eat for breakfast is?  High sugar, high-fat crap … aka, donuts and bacon (to list but a few of the not-so-healthy things out there to eat). 

There comes a time in your life when you need to decide whether you’re going to give into the “want” of the moment or act according to what you want most in life. Starting your day with a nutritious breakfast of lean protein and complex carbs plus some good fat is a way to give yourself the fuel you’ll need all day long.  

5. Choose Your Focus for the Day

Your new morning self-care routine will help increase your energy, reduce stress, and make you more productive and happier. But to stay on track, it’s important to remain focused on the things that matter most to you each day. Just as each day holds different challenges, your focus for the day will vary.

That’s why you need to establish what matters most to each day and commit to where you’ll focus your attention.

If you don’t get clear on what matters most, the challenges of the day will throw you off track if … perhaps WAY off track. The image below offers a template for setting your day’s intentions so your focus remains where it will do the most good.

Image for pinterst - start your day right

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