Whether we are looking for a job or working a job, there are many things that are outside of our control that can cause us to feel stressed, anxious, and disconnected from our purpose. When we are disconnected from our purpose, life loses its meaning, and the daily difficulties that we endure start to overwhelm us. This is why developing a morning practice is probably the single greatest gift you can give yourself.
The idea of a morning routine is that it is the one part of the day that is entirely yours—30 to 90 minutes of time at the start of the day to do the things that prepare you physically and mentally for the opportunities and challenges of life. While it can be difficult to take this time as it often means sacrificing some sleep; the energy, stability, and emotional resilience you will gain from this practice will more than makeup for it. How do you get that? Here are 3 steps to start!
- Get grateful. Starting your morning with gratitude puts you in a positive mindset for the rest of the day. Find 3 things that you are thankful for each morning. When you are developing this habit, it can sometimes be difficult to come up with 3 things that you are grateful for, so start small and start simple. You can be thankful for the bed you slept in, the people you love, that the sun is shining, or whatever comes to mind that brings you joy or serves you. As gratitude grows in your life, so also will grow the number of things for which you are thankful. Take this a step further by keeping a gratitude journal where you write down what you are thankful for each day. Having a visual reminder of the blessings in your life can inspire more gratitude in you and provide a boost on days when you are not feeling your best.
- Get moving! Start your day with a physical activity that gets your heart pumping and blood flowing. Numerous studies have shown that just 15 to 30 minutes of physical exertion daily can relieve stress, boost energy and mood, reduce the risk of heart disease, improve sleep and lengthen your life. Exercise does not have to be strenuous. You can walk, stretch or even march in place bringing as much movement and flow into all areas of your body. If your movements are restricted due to physical disability or temporary illness, you can always practice heart-centered breathing, a HeartMath technique that aligns your breathing patterns and mental state to the beat of your heart. Mindful breathing can have many of the same mental and emotional benefits as exercise and its effects over time are cumulative. Those who practiced this technique daily saw anxiety reduced by 46%, fatigue by 48%, and depression dropped by 56%!
- Get brain food. Your mind is the freshest and most impressionable first thing in the morning, which is why it is so important to make sure its input is positive. Instead of scrolling through social media which can trigger negative comparisons to others or listening to the news which can trigger anxiety, empower your mind by giving it a positive word. Maybe read a page or chapter of your favorite book; listen to a podcast or music that uplifts you; meditate or practice breathing. Just as food is your body’s fuel, what you read, watch and listen to becomes your spiritual fuel. Your mind is a high-performance engine, so give it the premium octane it needs to run optimally. Having a daily dose of intentional upliftment will build your resilience to take on whatever challenge your job or life may throw at you.
Remember, your work is your service to the world and you are essential! For you to provide your best service, you must be your best self and that is the result of taking the time to value, appreciate and care for the essence of your life: YOU!
Set a 7-day challenge for yourself this week and see how you feel! Set a 30-day challenge to really get into the habit. Set a New Year’s Challenge to take ownership of your day, gain mastery over yourself, and build a routine for your life that will energize you from the inside out.