Scripps Ranch and Bankers Hill Therapist Sara Cole.
By Sara Cole MFT
I am starting this off with a little self disclosure, because it feels easier to trust someone who has had the same struggles as yourself. Believe me. I have struggled with mornings. I have never felt like a " morning person" and then when I became a mom, there was even less time to think about me when my daughter started springing out of bad at 6 AM. I have been known to forget about taking care of myself. It takes practice to stay on track and staying on track is what brings the positive changes to your life. Starting the day off right is about self care, mindfulness and intention. It's also about understanding that you won't always get it right. No one can do all the right things all the time, but maybe try to start doing a couple of these things and I promise you will notice a difference in how your day unfolds. I know I do.
So without further ado, here are some of my favorite ideas for how to start the day out right....
Make Your Bed
I know, I know. What am I your mom or something? But seriously, this small thing can improve your day. Gretchen Rubin, author of “The Happiness Project”, explains that a simple way to be happier is to make your bed as soon as you get up, every morning. By taking this small step to create outer order, you create inner calm. It’s something small and totally doable which gets your day off to a great start.
Let the Tech Wait
Let it wait until you have at least made your bed and had breakfast or coffee. You have plenty of time to check emails and facebook and tweets and texts and calendars, etc. Give yourself a chance to wake up and get off to a positive and mindful start. Starting the day thinking about the here and now helps you get in the habit of mindful thinking for the whole day ahead. All that we know for sure is that we have this moment to live our lives and be present. Staying in the here and now allows you to appreciate, focus and fully live the life you have.
Make a Mini Game Plan.
Start each morning with a mini-planning session. Because our mind and body are fresh, take advantage of your “clean slate.” Resist the urge to replay yesterday's soundtrack, or get sucked into worrying about tomorrow. Stay in the here-and-now, and think steps, not lofty goals. Set two tasks that are attainable and then if you get more done, great but no pressure. Don't overthink this. You don't need highlighters or a minute by minute planner. Mini is the key word here. For example you could say to yourself or write down "lets see, the two most important things I want to get done today are take the cat to the vet and finish that report." That's it, that's the whole process. I know you can do that.
Meditate (only 3 minutes required)
Meditation does not have to be overwhelming and long. You don't have to travel to India or study for years. You can do those things, but you can also keep it simple and start like this:
Ease Your Body Into the Day With a Few Stretches.
Not much explanation is needed for this one. Do each of these movements slowly like you are moving through thick honey and take nice deep breaths.
Take even a few minutes to groom.
Grooming is a way we show care. Mommies groom their babies. Animals groom each other. Grooming yourself is a way of showing self love. Take the time to brush your teeth and hair and put on clothes you feel good in. This makes a difference because it is a way of caring for yourself and reminding yourself that you are important and deserve special attention. If you feel good in your clothes, you carry yourself differently and your self esteem improves.
Let me know how you start your day out right. I am always looking for new ideas to share and try myself.
Sara Cole MFT is a therapist in San Diego with offices in Scripps Ranch and Bankers Hill. She has been practicing in San Diego for over 10 years. To find more ideas about self care or how she may be able to help you with her therapy services, visit www.saracolemft.com or call (619)316-3171.
Sara Cole has been providing mental health services in San Diego for 15 years. Sara specializes in working with women and teen girls to overcome trauma and major life changes, including postpartum depression and anxiety. She is also passionate about providing treatment to those whose lives are affected by the addiction of a loved one.