“How you start your day is often how you live your life.”
Many of us wake up to an alarm, and our first thought is, “NO!” Then we may feel an ache, a pain, or negativity from a bad dream, watching the news, or about the day ahead.
The cells in your body react to everything your mind says and negativity brings down the immune system. The brain has 5x the neural networks for stress-based thinking, so negative experiences easily get anchored in the nervous system. Not to mention, what we focus on, we manifest.
If a negative thought comes, shift it. Say out loud three things that make grateful. If you’re experiencing physical pain, shift your focus to three things RIGHT with your body, or when you get dressed, don’t focus on flaws… say something nice TO your body.
Grit Tips for a Great Way to Start Your Day!
1. Do not grab your phone as soon as you wake up (other than turning off your alarm), and unless you’re using it for the below-mentioned apps. Avoid scrolling through social media first thing in the morning. And if you haven’t already, turn off app notifications; they are only a distraction and keep you from being present.
2. Make your bed — “If you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another” ~ William H. McRaven, U.S. Navy four-star Admiral
3. Meditate or pray. Either from your bed as you wake up, or during your commute.
• There’s a Bible app that offers individual bible plans to suit any mood! Anxiety, loneliness, love, fear, etc. Plus, you can invite friends to do the plan with you. YouVersion Bible App There’s also an app for kids: Bible App for Kids
• If you’re new to meditation, guided is my fav. I did the Deepak Chopra Guided Meditations for years. They used to be offered free, but if you find one you like, it’ll likely be worth the price.
• I started Give Us This Day on my YouTube channel. I open with applying scripture to real life, add some time to meditate/pray, then a closing prayer.
• Say your own prayer. If this is new to you, just talk to God. Tell him your fears, emotions, what is worrying you. Ask him for wisdom:
“God, forgive me for the sins of yesterday; bless me with your wisdom in this new day. I ask for your wisdom in all the decisions that lie ahead of me today, in how to love my family, friends, and others, and in how to best live out all you’ve called me to be and do in this world. Thank you for all your blessings in my life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
4. Splash cold water on your face 7x, saying a positive affirmation each time.
Example: I am healthy, I am healed, I am happy, I will have a blessed day, etc.
(If the day before was rough, look at it as washing that away, starting fresh!)
5. Do something physical.
• Dance — make a playlist of songs that make you want to dance and play one every morning. How can you NOT feel good while dancing? (This is also good when you need a mood shift!)
• Stretch — reach for the floor (knees slightly bent) then, hang like a rag doll. Roll up slowly, chin tucked. Once up, reach your arms up, then down like a snow angel. With arms parallel to the ground and bent, twist at the waist.
Do shoulder circles; with arms hanging, roll your shoulders back, then forward, to your comfort level. Try any leg stretches that feel good.
• Jumping jacks — to your comfort level. (Also good for a midday energy boost.)
• Organized Exercise — If you don’t like the gym try a scheduled class (you’re more likely to stick to it.) My new fav is Pilates – GREAT for almost any body shape/fitness level!
• Go for a brisk walk.
6. Eat something healthy. Find a go-to smoothie (not too much fruit) with a good protein powder. Your Super is my favorite brand. Ideas: spinach, berries, nut butter, plain yogurt, nut milk, coconut water, or water. If you’re not using frozen berries, add some ice cubes. (Freeze any fruit about to spoil.)
7. Make your coffee at home… you’ll save money (and your health)! I’m gonna be the fun-police here – most conventional coffee has mold toxins and is steeped in pesticides. Then, it’s likely mixed with too much sugar or cream, which actually steals beneficial polyphenols from the coffee. (Univ of Wash.) Bulletproof Coffee has been my fav for years. By adding healthy fats, you feel alert, focused, and satisfied (it’s my breakfast). Here’s the recipe.
8. Do something nice for someone before you get to work. For example, leave a Post-it love note for your partner or kids, hold open a door, smile and say hi to a stranger.