Let’s face it - most of us dread the sound of the alarm waking us up each morning. On a good day, we’ve probably hit snooze, at least, twice. Lord knows we need each minute of rest to face whatever it is we have going on that day. From endless meetings to co-workers we just don’t feel like dealing with and project deadlines we’re just not ready to tackle. As soon as we slide from under our blanketed oasis, we step right into the running game of our daily routine, which involves stumbling out the door, grabbing breakfast on the go, and hoping there’s not a minute of traffic on our way to work.
But what about being intentional in the way you start your day and making sure you’re in the right mindset to tackle it?
Now, I can imagine the visceral eyerolls when you hear about all of those successful people (cue Oprah) who get up religiously every morning to practice their self-care regimen. I, for one, was undeniably in the peanut gallery of, “Where they do that at?”. But I’m also in the middle of a huge life transition, so I decided to give some self-care in the morning a try. I’m proud to say, implementing it HAS changed my life. Not only am I more prepared to seize the day - I’m more aware, less stressed, and increasingly in sync with my inner self (Namaste).
Since I am no longer employed by the man, I set my own schedule and make sure I buffer as much time in the morning as possible to get my mind right for the day ahead. I probably spend an hour and a half in my morning routine on reflections, devotions and setting intentions. However, you don’t need to be a self-employed fool individual or spend 90 minutes each morning to start your day on a ridiculously high note. The following 3 tools and 30 minutes can prepare you to tackle your day like a boss.
I used to think the art of meditation was somewhat of a mystery and only celebrities and hippies were privy to its secrets. But when I was stressed out about work, and my therapist recommended I try it, I quickly learned how wrong I had been. Meditation doesn’t require you to be some sort of Zen master (who would have thought?!) nor does it require you to mentally transport yourself to some otherworldly place to escape your every thought. At its base, you just need to attempt to be present in the moment, be open to self-awareness, and try to observe your thoughts and feelings without judgment.
And living in the digital age has its massive perks. There are TONS of apps and YouTube videos that can guide you through the practice of meditation. My personal favorite and holy grail has been the Headspace app. Andy, my best friend in my head, but also the founder of Headspace, personally guides you through the meditation sessions with his ridiculously svelte voice. Y’all, when I tell you this man’s voice makes me feel like I can walk through a burning building unscathed – I. Mean. It. Just hearing him speak puts me at ease. Andy meets you where you are; he doesn’t put a ton of pressure on you to be perfect in your practice, which he outlines from the very first session. Whether you’re at the basics and have only three minutes or the more advanced and can dedicate up to 20 – Andy is there guiding you every step of the way. You can be confident you will finish your session feeling like the champ you are on top of your little mountain.
Headspace – Compatible with iOS/Android; Free; Recommended Time Spent: 10 minutes
In the spirit of being more present and grounded in the moment, one of my favorite resources has been The Mindfulness Journal. This journal consists of 52 weekly themes, such as, ‘noticing thoughts’, ‘body awareness’, and ‘daily gratitude’. Each day of the week, you are given a writing prompt related to that weekly theme which allows you to reflect and develop your self-awareness. With The Mindfulness Journal, you can build a stress-reducing habit that makes you appreciate every single day.
The Mindfulness Journal; $16.19; Recommended Time Spent: 10 minutes
I, like many millennials, am highly digital. I barely do anything in hardcopy except for the occasional journaling. As an extremely organized person, I make sure I program all my important meetings and appointments on my phone. However, I wasn’t scheduling tasks or planning out my day. I began to feel overwhelmed with all the things I needed to do and felt like there weren’t enough hours in the day (I swear Beyoncé has a different set of 24 hours than the rest of us). Enters the Law of Attraction Life Planner sent from Gawd (hallelujah!). It literally goes above and beyond my needs. Not only can I spend 10-15 minutes planning out each hour of my day, but the planner doubles as a life-enhancement journal with things like gratitude exercises, tools to write life and vision statements, habit trackers, yearly/monthly/weekly/daily goal setting, and reflections focused on getting you to where you want to be. At the end of each month, you are given activities and questions to reflect on that month and how you can utilize what you’ve learned to be a better you in the month ahead. The planner comes in various colors and ways to customize it to fit your needs. I must say, going back to the pre-historic standard of pen and paper has never been so productive for me!
Deluxe Law of Attraction Life Planner; $35.95; Recommended Time Spent: 10 minutes
Implementing any of these three into your daily routine can undoubtedly make a noticeable enhancement in your day-to-day life! Have you tried any of these methods to start your day, or do you have others you’ve found useful? Feel free to leave a comment, below!
As an Amazon Associate, I do receive a tiny fee if you purchase any of these products; however, all opinions are that of my honest self.