Overhauling, or even just changing your habits can feel overwhelming. Habits are our regular tendencies or practices, and we often do them on autopilot. Adding new ones or changing the ones we have can seem daunting. But it doesn’t have to be! These three morning habits are completely manageable and a great way to start your day right.
Make Your Bed
If you’ve read The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin, you’ll remember that this was one of the key habits she built. In a blog post, she says that when asking people which habit had the biggest impact on their happiness, “make your bed” rose to the top.
Gretchen points to two key reasons for this. First, making your bed doesn’t take long and isn’t complicated, and contributes to a more peaceful environment, from making our bedrooms easier to navigate to simply creating a sense of order around us. Second, sticking to a resolution brings satisfaction, so starting the day on a positive foot is more likely to lead to a productive balance of the day.
This second reason resonates with me. Since starting to work from home, I’ve begun making our bed every morning. I love it! Every day starts with a little accomplishment – from messy sheets to tidyness – and that small win makes me feel like I’ve already made progress. Since I’m motivated by feeling successful, having already accomplished something before 8AM works well for my psyche.
Don’t Check Your Phone Right Away
As I mentioned in last week’s email newsletter (you can sign up here!), checking our phone first thing in the morning isn’t great for our mindset. But I used to do it all the time! I would open my eyes, turn to the side of the bed, pick up my phone, and immediately get sucked into all the updates.
One day, I realized that this was making me start each day by default: my neutral mind was being filled by whatever happened to be on my phone that day. I wasn’t taking control of the messages I was feeding my brain or the energy I was bringing in. (For ideas on boosting your energy, check out this post!)
Instead, I’ve started to do something different: instead of turning out to grab my phone first thing in the morning, I turn in. I say a few affirmations in my head, including “I am happy, thankful, and grateful” and express gratitude for waking up to another beautiful day with a roof over my head, food in the fridge, and supportive family and friends.
This has also encouraged me to spend less time on my phone during other parts of the day. I’ll either put my phone on silent or leave it in another room. This way, it’s more work for me to check it and I’m more inclined to stay focused.
Take a Few Deep Breaths
While I may not be the most high strung person, I definitely get anxious at times. The gremlins in my head seem to have a field day with “what ifs” and worries when something isn’t going according to plan. Because I’m a natural worrier, these voices are loud and hard to tame. And they sometimes seem to pop into my head the moment I wake up.
I’ve started to combat this differently. Every time I get worked up or frustrated or annoyed, I pause and take a few deep breaths. This resets my thinking and puts things into perspective. I don’t pressure myself to come up with reasons not to be upset or to begin problem solving. All I do is tell myself to take a step back, take a few breaths, and reset. Because it’s a small habit that doesn’t take long to do, it’s manageable. And because there are no additional expectations, I don’t feel overwhelmed.
Employing these habits on a daily basis can have a big impact on the rest of your day. And getting in the habit of making positive changes can help you build even more of them! Leave me a comment below and let me know what habits you’ve found to be most powerful!