Five Ways to Start Off Your Day

With finals in vision now, it's been easy for me to lose sight of everything else. I wake up stressed and then stress all day about all the things I need to do. I end up doing like 1/16th of those things, considering the day only holds so much time - and a girl's gotta eat and breathe and stuff. Then I ultimately end up going to bed more stressed than the day before because I've discovered a whole new list of things I need to do.

This has got to change.

It dawned on me that how I started my day was often the mold for the rest of it. If I gave myself 5 minutes to do something relaxing, it made my day a little more bearable. It wouldn't matter if everything ended up going wrong, as long as I started it with a happy, thankful heart, full of some of my favorite things.

I've come up with five practical ways to start your day with, that I think universally apply to everyone.

  1. Coffee. If your morning doesn't already start with coffee, maybe that's where you're going wrong. (Okay, I know there are some people out there in the world who don't like coffee, so tea will suffice.) Maybe you like coffee for the taste, or because it wakes you up, or maybe even because it makes for a nice instagram picture. Regardless, I think it's one solid step forward in conquering your day right. Invest in a cute coffee machine that makes your favorite kind and have fun with it!

  2. Music. This is a game changer for me. Just simply getting ready, cleaning house or doing homework is not the same in silence. Take it to a new level and blast your favorite song on repeat and add a few dance moves in-between your normal morning routine. (It will be okay, no one will be able to see your moves!)

  3. Doodling. This could be lots of things, depending on your forte. Drawing, lettering, blogging, playing an instrument, etc. Spend 5-10 minutes doing something you love that relaxes you. For me, it's doodling - a combination of drawing and lettering. Some mornings all it takes is a 5 minutes simple sketch up and it gets me through the rest of the day. It doesn't have to be much, but that small amount of time devoted to you and exploring your creative side will do a lot for you!

  4. Fresh air. It could be just opening up the back door for the air to flow through your home. Or maybe it's a walk to the coffee shop down the road. Possibly even a super quick walk to the mailbox and back! Again, it doesn't have to be long. You don't need to take an hour out of your day to accomplish this. The air is right there! Stop for a minute and take a deep breath.

  5. Jesus. I'll be the first to say that I don't wake up every morning and pray or do my devotions. But I'll also say that on the days that I do spend a few minutes with Jesus, they're significantly better. People (*cough, me*) will say it's hard to make time for this in the morning when you already have work or class so early in the morning; but again, let's be practical. You don't need to read the whole new testament and say an hour long prayer to have a successful time spent with Jesus. Take five minutes and read a section of a chapter, and say a quick prayer that goes something like this, "Jesus, thank you for this day. I pray that you would stick with me through whatever this day brings me and keep my eyes on you. Thank you for your never ending grace and unfailing love! Amen." Seriously. That simple. I promise he won't roll his eyes at your simple, "basic" prayer.

You might be confused at how obvious or simple these five ideas are. I would agree. I don't think it's rocket science! We can easily forget these simple things when we're stressed about 108 other things we need to accomplish that day. I just don't have time! -- my all time favorite saying. When in reality, all of those things I listed will take you 15-20 minutes - tops! For it to completely change how the rest of your day will go, I would say 100% worth it.

Here's to ending those mornings where I just want to stay in my bed forever, and instead starting my day right!

This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
— Psalms 118:24