5 ways to start your day off right
You’ll never wake up on the wrong side of bed again
By Sid Madge
Whether you prefer getting up and about early or you’re an out-and-out night owl, we all still have a start to our day. We still have a ‘morning’ – even if that morning just happens to start after Philip and Holly have clocked off for the day. And that first part of our day is important to how the rest of it will turn out, so managing it is a good idea.
The best way to do that is by embracing the ‘micro-moment’ – tiny, manageable interventions that can make a huge difference.
I’ve written three books on ‘micro-moments’ for life, work and family. Each Meee in a Minute book, offers 60 one-minute micro-ideas and insights that offer us quick, practical ways to recalibrate how we feel and nudge ourselves into a more helpful and constructive mindsets.
Here are 5 micro-moment ideas to help you start your morning off right – so you set yourself up for a fantastic day ahead, whatever you have planned:
First thing in the morning, what does your day feel like? An opportunity or an obligation? Likely, it’s both. We all have stuff we have to do and not all of it is pleasurable, but we can make our days much more enjoyable if we shift and/or expand our perspective. Take a minute at the start of each day to map out what you need to do and what you want to do, and get stuck in with equal vigour for both. And remember: each day is a fresh opportunity to reset if you need to.
2. Kindness Conundrum
We share things all the time – anything from pizza to money – and when we share something, that act of sharing diminishes what we have. But this isn’t true of kindness. Kindness is the only thing in the world that increases when we share it. And that’s not just a lovely thought – it’s been borne out by research. If we perform just one act of random kindness a day, we will experience less anxiety, stress and depression.
Additionally, our body is flooded with the same hormones that make both parties calmer, healthier and happier – a double-whammy win. These hormones include: serotonin, the feel-good hormone; endorphins, which reduce pain; and oxytocin, the bonding hormone which helps to reduce blood pressure. But there is also a third winner in this kindness scenario; those who witness kindness are also more likely to pay it forward. So take a moment each morning to commit to a random act of kindness – you never know where it may lead.
One of the best ways to start your morning is to move. Even just a quick 10-minute power walk around the block to kickstart your day can make a huge difference to the way you feel. If you’re lucky enough to live near green space and nature, even better – who doesn’t love trees?
If you are unable to get outside, there are loads of apps and online videos (YouTube is your friend) that offer 7-minute HIT programmes or 10-minute yoga stretches. Take a minute to consider what you could do in the morning and incorporate it into your daily routine.
4. Rubbish in/Rubbish Out
Most of us don’t realise that we can change the way we feel by either changing what’s going on in our mind or changing what’s going on in our body. Of course, the two are intertwined. This is why moving first thing in the morning is so beneficial – it changes what’s happening in the body, which influences the hormone levels that can impact mood. The food we eat also impacts how we feel, so pay attention to your breakfast choices.
But it’s not just about activity and nutrition. What else are you consuming that might negatively impact your mind? Do you sit at the breakfast table and watch or listen to the news, or read a newspaper or scroll through your social media feed? Is a diet of doom and gloom, conspiracy theories, fake news and alternative facts good for you? Take a moment to choose something else: listen to music, talk with your family about the day ahead, or simply take a few moments to plan your own day.
5. You are where you need to be
Don’t beat yourself up about poor choices or worry about the stuff you can’t change or control. Take a minute to think about your life right now. Perhaps you find yourself in a situation you didn’t want or expect. What have you learned about yourself as a result? Always remember, you have the power to turn a negative into a positive.
Constructive morning habits – not only around obvious things like physical activity and breakfast choices, but also what we listen to or think about in the morning – can have a real impact on the rest of our day.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sid Madge is founder of Meee (My Education Employment Enterprise), which draws on the best creativity and thinking from the worlds of branding, psychology, neuroscience, education and sociology, to help people achieve extraordinary lives.
Sid is also author of the Meee in Minute series of books, which each offer 60 ways to change your life, work, or family-life in 60 seconds.