How do you start your day?  I'm talking about the first moments you wake up....what do you do? 

How you start your day off is super important! Why? Because your sleep at night is like hitting a reset button. The energy of whatever happened the day before has dissipated, you've given your body some rest, every single morning that you wake is like a fresh start, and how you start your day sets the tone for your day. 

Yes, the first things you do, think, and consume in the morning set the tone for your day! 

I know a lot of people that spend the first moments of their day picking up their phone & checking email, facebook, or Instagram.
I know people that groggily hit snooze multiple times wishing they did not have to get up.
I know people that wait until the very last minute to get up leaving just enough time to throw on clothes, brush their teeth and hurry out the door. 
(ahem....I've been one of those people, and I admit, on occasion, I still am)

If you could spend as little as 10-15 minutes once a day that you know would affect your WHOLE day in a hugely positive way, wouldn't you want to make the 10-15 minutes a priority? And if it felt really good, you are likely to extend that time! 

Most things we do throughout our day are habits. Habits really aren't as hard to create as we sometimes give them credit for. The secret to creating new habits with ease and making them stick is starting small. If you can start by spending just the first 5 minutes of your day doing something that sets a positive vibe for your day, you are going to feel it. It's going to make a difference in how you feel throughout your day, and you are likely to stick with it and increase that 5 minutes to more.

So, if you don't already have a morning routine that sets you off on the right foot, here are some suggestions: 

Meditate. If you are not a meditator, know that this is not a complicated thing. There are many forms of meditation, and it really can be just simply sitting quietly with yourself. You can download a guided meditation app or find a morning meditation on Youtube. You can sit silently and envision your day going perfectly. You can even just lay in bed for 10 minutes and envision this. 

Listen to something inspirational. Maybe you have an inspirational person that really speaks to you, and they have a whole lot of videos online. Put one on as you are waking and listen as you are getting ready for your day. 

Put some music on that makes you happy! Music is soul therapy! I often have the alarm set on my phone to a James Brown song so that I wake up to James singing "AHHH I FEEL GOOD!". 

Exercise or stretch. This can be simply moving to the floor right next to your bed and stretching your body after it's been still for a period of time. It can be as little as 10-15 minutes of exercise. 

Get outside. Having a dog, one of the first things I do when I wake is let her outside, and I often step out with her. There's something about connecting with fresh air, trees, and hearing the birds sing first thing in the morning. Taking a few minutes to stroll around outside, take some deep breathes, and just take in the nature around you can set an amazing tone for the day. 

Read something inspirational. Have a book going that inspires you! Take a little time when you wake to read a chapter. 

Don't look at your phone right away. Here's my thought on this. When we pick up our phone first thing and open our email, messages, or facebook - it's like taking a gamble. We are giving up the power of setting our OWN tone for the day to email & social media. What if the first thing you see is something that is sad or upsetting to you? Is that the fresh start to your day that you want? Make the choice of what your mind consumes first thing. Don't give that power to your smartphone and the web. There's likely nothing that can't wait a 1/2 hour. Get your morning vibe set first!  My iphone now has a "downtime" setting so that I can set times that I'm blocked from screentime. This could be a good way to limit yourself as you are developing a new habit. 

Nourish your physical self. When you wake, drink a tall glass of water. Make breakfast be a way of setting the tone for how you want to eat for the day. If you have something sweet first thing, you are likely to crave more sweets throughout the day. If you focus on something healthy, you are likely to follow that track for the day. (also have much better energy if you start your day off right here)

If you use an alarm to wake, try to adjust your sleep schedule to go without. If you are a snooze alarm fan, work to eliminate that habit. We sleep in cycles. When we wake naturally on our own time, we are waking out of a natural sleep cycle. When you wake to an alarm, you could be startling yourself out of REM sleep....and you are bound to wake up in more of a haze. If you are a snoozer, then you know that it can be kind of agony continually hitting the snooze, falling back asleep and being woken several times. Maybe this means 'setting a screen time curfew' for yourself so you get yourself to sleep earlier. (this is exactly what I've been working on lately, and I can't tell you what a difference it makes to not wake to an alarm most mornings!) If you get yourself to sleep earlier, naturally you wake earlier. 

Please - don't make watching or listening to the news the first thing you do in the morning. I can't think of much else that could set a shittier tone for your day than digesting the problems of the world first thing. Set your own mood first. 

Little changes can make a big difference. When you feel that difference, you are encouraged to stick with it, and add more!

What does your morning routine look like? Are you starting your day off in a way that serves you? 
If you are, maybe there is someway you can build on that? 
If you are not, where would you like to start? 

I'd love to know what your morning routines are! Or if you are making changes, what are they? 

Wishing you a beautiful week full of nourishing rest and bright happy mornings! 

Shelly