I used to wake up feeling overwhelmed, stressed, and unrested. It did not make for a positive start to my day at all! I would start my day feeling frantic and rushed. That’s when I realized that the trick to having a more peaceful, calm start to the day started the night before.
These are a few things I’ve been trying and they’ve been working quite well:
- Don’t eat anything heavy after 8 pm. I would ideally like to not eat anything at all; however, on many nights I come back from training after 9 pm (and sometimes close to 11 pm). On those days I usually don’t get a chance to eat after 2 pm so I’m quite hungry when I get home. There are nights when I don’t eat at all, but usually I have a little something. The later it gets, the lighter the food option.
- Cut down on TV time. I love unwinding in front of the TV at the end of the day. However, I have found that it’s easy to get wrapped into watching 1 too many episodes of whatever it is I’m watching. Watching too much TV means getting to bed later than I should … which means waking up feeling unrested. The time you save from skipping that extra episode can be put towards setting yourself for a great start the next day.
- Prepare your things for the next day. Get your bag ready. Lay out your clothes. Have your food prepped. Know what you want to have for breakfast. Put everything you need for the day by the door so that you save a last minute frenzy of looking for your keys or wallet. [Pictured above — my gym outfit and bag ready for a morning workout; my clothes ready for work.]
- Do a 10 minute room sweep. This is not a time for a deep clean of the house. Rather, quickly go from room to room and make sure the basics are in place — kitchen sink is empty; papers are stacked on the desk instead of spread out; clutter is picked up off the floor; sofa cushions and throws are fluffed and folded. Even though things may not be completely organized, the more you are able to tidy up (even if it’s just on the surface), the more likely you’ll feel calmer and relaxed in the morning. Imagine the difference between waking up in the morning and walking into the kitchen seeing dishes piled in the sink, a bunch of recycling that hasn’t been put away, and mail/papers scattered on the counter. Now imagine walking into that kitchen with everything put away – the sink is empty, the recycling has already been put in the appropriate bins, and your mail/papers have been put away where they should be. It takes a few minutes, but it makes a huge difference.
- Don’t go to bed stressed. Don’t go to bed with stressful thoughts and start to overwhelm yourself with things you have to do the next day. Do something that calms you. Journal. Meditate. Read. Listen to music. Try to find a calming activity that will leave you feeling centered and calm instead of something that will rile you up or stress you out. The bottom line – try to go to bed in a calm state of mind.
As with anything, habits take time to put into practice. You’ve got to start with a commitment to try. Once you start implementing a few habits, you’ll see that it will soon be part of your routine. It’s important not to try to do too much — you don’t want to spend the last hour of your day exhausting yourself. Instead, choose 5 things that you will absolutely do each night and get them done. You will end the day feeling productive, and you will wake up ready to start your day.