If you are like most people, you wake up, check your phone, rush out of bed, and start the daily slog of getting ready. You grab a cup of coffee as you hurriedly race out the door to embark on whatever mode of transportation gets you to work.
Have you noticed how stressful that is?
And even if you have the benefit of a hybrid schedule, or you work solely from home, it still seems like the rush is on, even to get to your home office.
It feels Harried. Rushed. Stressed.
It does not have to be this way.
One gift you can begin to give yourself is the gift of slowing down, starting your day with more intention to feed your body and brain what it needs for an optimal start to the day.
And what it needs is to be spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically fed.
That might sound shocking and unattainable if you have trouble finding time for breakfast before work, let alone feeding yourself spiritually. It is all possible with a bit of planning and forethought.
For one, you have to know why this matters.
When we are constantly rushed, looking at our phone from our first waking moment, that sets the pace for fast idle all day- we end up looking and feeling like a rat on the proverbial rat wheel.
Starting your day with some spiritual food, whatever that may be for you, is a way of slowing down, connecting to who and what really matters, and can set the tone in a better way for the entire day.
Let’s look at 2 scenarios. Person A ( you) - looks at your phone first thing in the morning. When you realize too much time has gone by and now you are late, you leap out of bed. Flying through the house you get dressed, check on any short people you are responsible for, make a cup of coffee and fly out of the house. After all that you will likely feel stressed, frustrated, and perhaps even a bit irritated with yourself for being late… again.
Now imagine Person B. (could be you)
You’ve moved your phone out of reach. You wake up and while in bed, take several deep breaths in through your nose and out your mouth. You reach for your favorite spiritual or uplifting book- your bible, devotional, book of quotes or other book of choice. You read, then pray or meditate as you continue to deep breathe. Your body and your brain feel calm. You pause to think about three things you are grateful for as you slowly rise out of bed. Your feet dangle momentarily off the side of the bed, as you stretch and feel at peace.
The morning is mapped out. You shower and / or dress mindfully as you continue to chew on thoughts of gratitude. You are organized from your preparations the night before.
You make the moments count by being present with your partner and /or kids, and you go at a comfortable pace- no heart racing, no stress, and no negative self talk.
This sets the tone for the rest of your day.
Only you can decide which pace you want to run at.
Be clear though that if you are person A, you are adding extra stress to your mind, brain and your body putting you at greater risk of premature aging, sickness and disease, as well as creating some extra chaos for those around you. It is hard to feel calm and present when someone close to you is moving at a frenetic pace.
If you are ready to help yourself improve your overall health and wellbeing, as well as enjoy your life more, then here’s a few ideas to get started on a new path and pace.
1. Start a bedtime routine. Include a few things that are all about relaxation, winding down and preparing your mind and body for sleep. Start this routine the same time each night and form a habit around getting into bed the same time as well.
2. Make time to organize the night before. Do you need to load your briefcase with important documents? Organize them the night before. This will allow you to wake up feeling more calm and able to start your day slower since you know you did the heavy lifting the night before.
3. Let your partner in on your new routines and ask for support to keep them. If you are partnered, it is important to let your person know that you are determined to make time to be organized the night before, and to stick to your bedtime routine. This is important as partners can be the first ones to want to keep us up late to watch just one more episode…
4. Wake up same time each morning. This helps your body and brain to get in and keep that circadian rhythm so that soon, you likely won’t even need to set an alarm.
5. Have your book of choice handy on your nightstand. That way in the morning you have your devotional, bible, or spiritual or positive mantra book in front of you. Be sure to keep your phone NOT within reach. Write yourself a reminder to breathe and start out slow, until it becomes a habit to do so.
Lastly, notice what this slower, calmer pace feels like. Ideally, if you start waking up even 15 minutes earlier than usual, you can fit in some spiritual time and a healthy smoothie or breakfast. It can take less than 5 minutes to whip up a delicious nutritious green protein smoothie in the morning,
You and your family are worth taking time to slow down, plan and execute a new way of doing things. While it may have felt like you need to rush and that feeling stressed out was unavoidable, our hope is that this is a reminder that you can seize the day by being a little more intentional and carving out the time you need to feed your mind, body and spirit and start your day right.
Life is short. Live it Well!