5 Mindful Ways to Start Your Day

Updated: Jul 22, 2018

man meditating in the woods

What's the first thing you do when you wake up each day? I’m not psychic, but I’ll bet your childhood Magic 8-Ball says "It is decidedly so" that you do the following:

  1. You check your phone

  2. You mindlessly get out of bed

  3. You catastrophize everything

All three, right? It could be worse, friend. At least you’re not Michael Cohen.

Now, maybe instead of the rise and shine from hell, you give these ideas a whirl:

Lay still and think about five things that you’re grateful for.

This should take about ten seconds. And even if you don't have much, there should be plenty of things you can reasonably be thankful for like family, friends and freedom.

Your answers don't have to be earth-shattering. We can have gratitude for anything no matter how trivial it seems, like socks, dental floss or that $20 Himalayan salt lamp you bought off a convincing gypsy in Vegas who promised you enlightenment and you were pretty sure that it was working until you had to sit in traffic for 15 seconds and started honking and swearing at the car in front of you only to realize it's that girl you always see at Jamba Juice who you told yourself you were going to ask out and now ... awkward.

Also, did you know gratitude increases mental grit? We all need it first thing in the morning to put things in perspective. Instead of grumbling about how you don’t want to get up, you realize, “Wow, I’m grateful that I can get out of bed. And who needs Jamba Juice anyway?"

Visualize better outcomes.

Proactively begin your day by seeing the success you want to achieve, otherwise you end up reacting to everything. That meeting with your client who smells like meatloaf doesn’t have to stink. See a greater outcome and remember that most things are only as bad as we project them to be. Mark Twain put it best, “I have been through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened."

Yoga your way up.

Treat your body like your car in a Michigan winter by warming it up before you get up. Child's pose is a good one, but my favorite is a reclined spinal stretch.

Wanna try? While laying down, squeeze your knees into your chest and drop them to the right as you bring your arms to a T. Keep your shoulders down and turn your head to the left.

Hold for a minute or two and then switch sides. It's a great way to send some love to that spine (we can't take enough care of our backs.)

P.S. – if that special someone is sleeping next to you, hold your arms like a cactus to avoid hitting them.

P.P.S. – if that special someone is Chris Brown, you probably have bigger problems than yoga can address.

Make your bed.

Yes, your mom was actually right all those years when she insisted that making your bed was a good idea (even though she couldn’t tell you why and what she really meant was that it was good for her.)

Here’s a good reason: making your bed means you’ve accomplished something and, thus, have psychologically positioned yourself for success. “What if my special someone / Chris Brown is still in bed” you ask? Just make the bed on your side.

Avoid checking your phone for as long as possible.

This one requires no explanation. You know you look at your phone waaaaay too much (see this previous article to understand just how much it's hurting you.)

So get up, drink some water, do some push ups, pet your cat, pet your neighbor's cat - but resist, damn it, resist that phone. Unless you have my photo on the home screen in which case check the sh*t out of it!


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