Having a morning routine of your own creation will reduce your anxiety and set you up for success. It will not only help you stick to your weight loss or maintenance program, it will make you more productive and energetic. I practice all of the techniques listed below, and they not only work – they are life-changing!
Wake Up Early
When you wake up early, you have plenty of time to set the tone for your day. You have more time to focus on things like self-care and reading that you would otherwise miss out on if you are rushing out the door. Stay off of screens for a good 2 hours. Don’t clutter your mind. Stay on course.
Make Your Bed
Making your bed is a powerful practice because it allows you to successfully complete a task first thing in the morning. This simple act then builds momentum so that you continue to successfully complete tasks throughout the rest of the day.
Pray/Make Time for Faith
The time you spend in God’s presence will never be in vain. When you give God your morning, He will take care of the rest of your day. When you place yourself in the Lord’s presence, you will discover the whole day improves with that small offering. Talk to Him; He waits for you in the stillness, in the silence of your heart.
Consider and Affirm
Sit with your day. Where do you anticipate issues? Consider what your challenge(s) will be and rehearse in your mind what you will do. This way, when the time comes, you will be prepared. State three positive affirmations to take with you during your day. Plan what you will enjoy, as doing so will put your mind into a positive mode and trigger your brain to see the day’s upside.
Start out each day with a daily intention. It could be as simple as “I will be present today” or “I will choose to see the beauty in everything that happens to me today.” The practice of being intentional about what you want your day’s purpose to be will soothe your anxious thoughts.
Exercise is a must for long-term physical and emotional health. Plus, it is a great mood enhancer! Start your day off with a walk or another physical activity you enjoy.
Write the three things you are most grateful for each morning. The key here is not to repeat that you are grateful for your family, life, and God, but instead focus on being aware of the smaller things in life: a smell that stirs a fond memory, a song that reminds you of a time or person, the five minutes you have had to just do nothing, just to be. Mental health studies have unequivocally shown that practicing gratitude reduces both anxiety and depression.
- What task, if completed successfully, would make all the other tasks unnecessary?
- What task do I have the most anxiety about?
- What task will move me closer to accomplishing my goals?
Even a basic plan of attack for your day can drastically reduce your anxiety.
Those who plan succeed! Spend 20 minutes preparing the night before, so your morning will go smoothly. Get lunches made, lay out clothes and organize breakfast foods. When you plan the night before, you are less stressed and thus ready to begin your day peacefully and with intention.
The most important strategy of all is to remember that however you choose to consciously create your morning, your practice needs to be sustainable for YOU: the best routine is the one you actually stick to.
Give it a go!