Starting Your Day on a Positive Note
How we begin our day can make such a difference to how we feel for the rest of it. Here’re some ways to set a positive tone for even the most challenging of days
The alarm rings. You hit the snooze button, only to jump out of bed 30 minutes later, realising that you’re already running late. You brush your teeth while scanning your phone for any important messages you might have missed, take a quick shower, and rush out of the door, making a mental note to pick up coffee on the way to work.
Life gets busy. Some days, your mornings don’t feel like they belong to you. Perhaps insomnia’s chipping away at your quality of sleep. Maybe you’re feeling overwhelmed by multiple work projects, caring for a child who’s struggling with school, or managing the renovations of a new home.
It is not uncommon to encounter this cocktail of emotions. But you don’t have to let it colour the rest of your day. Right from the moment you slip out of bed, you have the ability to make small changes in your behavior that will allow you to greet the day with optimism and sustain a positive outlook for the rest of it. Here are some quick, easy ways to ease into the light.
A study by researchers at the University of Cambridge revealed that people felt happier when they were moving and not sitting or lying down. And they didn’t have to rev up their heart rates at a HIIT class either. Activities such as gentle walking or cycling were enough to activate feelings of happiness. For yogis, starting your morning with a series of Sun Salutations will not only benefit your major muscle groups, vital organs, and warm up your joints, but also promote a sense of lightness and vitality. Indeed, the darkness cannot abide in the presence of light. Since each round of Sun Salutations will take you no more than two minutes to complete, you can flow through six rounds in 15 minutes, making the practice one that you can easily incorporate into your morning routine.
Grab a hot cuppa
There’s nothing quite like holding onto a warm beverage, inhaling its aroma, sipping it slowly, and allowing it to warm and awaken your body. Moving mindfully through the preparation of your first drink of the day will not only quench your body with the hydration it needs, but also help your mind to settle down instead of kicking into a spinning wheel of worry and anxiety.
Instead of getting your caffeine fix through coffee, why not consider matcha, or Japanese green tea? Made from crushed, whole tea leaves, each cup of matcha contains half the caffeine content of a black cup of coffee. While matcha tea ceremonies – an integral part of Japanese culture – have been performed for centuries with great formality and reverence, you too can recreate your own, simplified ritual by tipping matcha powder into your tea bowl, pouring hot water (let freshly boiled water cool in another cup for a minute so that doesn’t scorch the delicate matcha powder) over it, and whisk the mixture until you get a frothy, earthy tea.
Make time for what energises you
Playing with your pet. Sharing breakfast with your loved ones. Watering the plants. Who or what lifts your spirits first thing in the morning? Take the time to reflect on this and incorporate it into your morning routine. For some, it might be getting the house in order by throwing open the shades and letting the sun in. For others, it might be a quick morning meditation session.
Being able to dedicate time to that one thing that energises you is both grounding and uplifting at the same time. Knowing that you are entirely in control of your first task of the day is incredibly empowering. This sacred time will not only invigorate you, but also right the course for the rest of your day.