Stress Management Morning Rituals
Good morning Sunshine! Or, if you’re in my neck of the woods, it may be good morning gray skies and blowing snow flakes!
If you’re like me, you don’t necessarily jump for joy when your alarm clock goes off and you feel like you could sleep for at least 3 more hours.
But what if you had a morning ritual that you looked forward to? What if your morning routine was something that your mind and body eventually craved (like a good piece of dark chocolate)? How would that affect the rest of your day? How could it impact your mood, your energy, your productivity? Who would it allow you to show up as?
– A more patient mom?
– A more loving wife?
– A more supportive friend?
I’ve been doing a bit of an experiment lately with my own morning routines and the results are dramatic.
On the days that I follow my routine, I feel so much better mentally, physically, and spiritually. On the days when I linger in bed and don’t follow any routine (Fridays/Saturdays), I feel anxious, scattered, and cranky.
According to Aristotle, “We are the sum of our actions, and therefore our habits make all the difference.”
So, what habits seem to make all the difference for me? Here’s a few that seem to keep me feeling more in control of my day:
Not hitting the Snooze Button
Although lingering in bed after you wake up is so tempting, I’ve found that it actually makes me feel worse, especially if I stay too long which puts me behind schedule. Nothing worse than starting your day feeling rushed. It sets the tone for the rest of the day and makes everything feel 10 times harder than it needs to be.
Getting Up Before My Family
I choose to get up an hour before my family because I need to start the day with peace and quiet. There’s something so soothing about a quiet home early in the morning. It helps me ease into my day without any interruptions, even from our sweet puppy. It’s also an opportunity to hear, see, or perceive things that the normal hustle and bustle of life can cause you to miss. Sometimes on these cold winter days, I’ll light a candle and just look out the window appreciating all the natural beauty surrounding us. Today, I was blessed with the sight of a bright red cardinal peeking through snow-covered branches. Simply beautiful.
I know that since the pandemic hit, you may not feel the desire to wear anything but comfy pull-on pants. I get it. You may also not be inclined to put on make-up (if you did in the past) or do your hair.
You may be thinking, “I don’t really go anywhere so why should I go through all that trouble?”
Well, I’d like to challenge you with a thought: How do you feel when you don’t get dressed, have no make-up on, and pull your hair into some type of ponytail/bun concoction? If you feel great, great! I celebrate you! But if you’re like me, you don’t feel your best when you’re not pulled together.
Now I’m not talking about donning a silk shirt, jewelry, heels, spending 20 minutes perfecting a cat’s eye with your eyeliner, and straightening your hair for 30 minutes.
I’m talking about picking out an outfit (preferably the night before to save time) that makes you feel good (a cute top and your favorite jeans will do), putting on a little eyeshadow or lipstick (if that’s your look), maybe putting on a pair of earrings, and taking 10 minutes to style (or 2 minutes to comb) your hair.
I really believe that taking the time for this self-care routine can boost your mood. Before you leave the bathroom, don’t forget to look at yourself in the mirror and state out loud (even if quietly so as not to wake anyone else), “Girl, you’re going to rock this day!”
Hydrating and Taking Supplements
After sleeping all night, you need to rehydrate. Drinking a tall (16 oz.) glass of warm lemon water is a great way to start off the day. If you don’t like lemons, try pieces of sliced cucumbers. Morning hydration helps you go the bathroom and flush out toxins, lubricate stiff joints, and rev up your metabolism (who doesn’t want that?!).
After drinking some water, I also take my thyroid medication and all the supplements that work best when on an empty stomach. Always check with your doctor to ensure you are taking your supplements correctly. My husband was erroneously taking vitamin D on an empty stomach until I informed him that it needs to be taken with food in order to be adequately absorbed.
Spending Time with God
After I take my supplements and make myself a cup of tea, I settle onto the couch with my Bible, a Devotional, and occasionally a journal.
I’m going to admit, that I talk to God a lot. I mean I picture Him saying, does she ever stop chatting? 😉
My struggle is being quiet long enough to hear what He has to say. So, I will typically read some passages and then ask the Holy Spirit for insight. It’s definitely an area I need more practice in, but at least I’m aware of it.
If I have time, I’ll often jot down my gratitude list, or pour out my heart to Him in a letter. If I’m running short on time, I’ll just dive into the devotional and soak up as much as I can.
Spending time with God doesn’t have to look a certain way. I think sometimes we feel like if we can’t go to a special room, light a candle, and spend 30 minutes on our knees then it’s worthless. I’m here to share that some of my most powerful moments with God have been while I’m brushing my teeth. Proves He just wants us, all of us, anytime, anywhere.
Exercising While Listening to Something Inspirational
This is a two for one habit.
Once my devotional time is finished, I pop downstairs and hop on the elliptical and then the treadmill. I try to get in a 20-minute workout but if that doesn’t happen, I do what I can. I always tell myself that something is better than nothing.
This is when I listen to podcasts I enjoy. Although I enjoy exercising, I quickly get bored staring at a wall, but if I’m listening to something engaging, it makes it a cinch to achieve my goal.
So, there’s a sneak peek into my morning ritual that helps keep stress at bay. I’d love to know what your morning looks like and I’d love for you to share your unique routines with me. Sharing inspiration with each other makes life so much better.
If your mornings feel rushed and make you want to climb back into bed and pull the covers over your head, ask yourself this question:
What could be possible if I committed to begin my day in a way that fostered joy and positivity?
Leave me a comment and let me know your thoughts!
P.S. If you’d like support around developing healthy habits that will help you feel more in control of your life, I invite you to schedule a Healthy Habits Clarity Call. I’m on a mission to help women create the habits that will help them manage their stress and regain their confidence.