By Michelle Wilson, wellness program manager
How do you start your morning?
When we wake up and start a new day, we aren’t sure what that day will bring. Will we hear news that brings us joy or stories that cause concern or sadness? Will the day go smoothly, allowing us to do what we have planned and enjoy times of rest, or will something arise that throws things off schedule?
Part of taking care of our emotional well-being is creating daily rituals or practices to offer us the best chance of feeling balanced, healthy, and positive. One of the best times of day to create these habits is in the morning, as soon as we wake up. Some of us have others to care for, including children, aging family members, or pets. Some of us are able to focus on our own well-being as soon as we open our eyes, intentionally planning the day to meet our goals and needs. No matter how your day starts, you can create simple routines to support you in beginning each day with focus and balance.
Habits to start your day with a focus on well-being
Create quiet time – One of the best ways to start the day with a focused mind and calm emotions is to spend some time being quiet. This could be over a cup of coffee or tea as you look out the window, or you could do a mindfulness practice. Spend time noticing if you have feelings or thoughts that need attention, then think about what you can do to take care of whatever is rising in your mind and heart. Give yourself a few minutes to simply listen to the quiet around you and rest in that. You may find that your body and emotions relax naturally.
Walk and connect with nature – Walking or exercising in the morning gets the blood flowing through our bodies. It helps release natural hormones that can create feelings of calm and peacefulness. When we walk outside and connect with nature, we benefit from the sights, smells, and textures of the living world around us.
Create a gratitude practice – When we focus on things we appreciate, our minds relax and we are better able to handle whatever we are facing in our lives. Noticing even small things, such as flowers blooming outside our windows or the security we feel getting a hug from our child, can shift our thinking and lighten our mood. Write in a journal each morning or just take a few minutes and think about what you appreciate. Start breakfast with everyone sharing one thing they feel grateful for before you eat together.
Connect with someone who brings you joy – Call a friend or family member, spend a few minutes with your children before everyone leaves for school or work, or say hello to a neighbor. Connecting with others reminds us that we are not alone. It also sparks natural hormones in our bodies that support us in feeling balanced and at peace.
Tip: Our wellness coaches can guide you through mindfulness exercises to start your day in these recordings offered in English and Spanish. Audio Library | La Clinica (laclinicahealth.org)