What you do when you wake up sets the tone for the rest of your day. If you’re like me right now, all you want to do is stay in your sweats, scroll aimlessly through social media, binge on Netflix, or obsessively watch the news – all while eating to your heart’s content!

Finding ourselves in this time of imposed isolation is no excuse to be idle. This forced downtime is not only essential for our physical wellbeing, but also a precious gift that we cannot waste. These coming weeks are an opportunity to work on ourselves, our goals, and personal relationships. A gentle, reflective, and thoughtful morning will prepare you to have a healthier, happier, and more productive day.

Here are five simple steps to set yourself up for success:

1. Breathe Life Into Your Day

Instead of hopping out of bed abruptly or reaching for your phone, try allowing yourself time to wake up gradually. This will enhance feelings of tranquility for both mind and body and reduce the chances of you going on auto-pilot.

Take five deep long breaths in and out. Deep breathing is one of the best ways to lower stress and reduce tension. When you breathe deeply, it sends a message to your brain to calm down and relax. This will help you start your day feeling peaceful and in control. You can return to deep breaths as you move throughout your day if you start to feel overwhelmed.

2. Make Gratitude Your Main Attitude

Approaching life from a thankful state of mind may seem hard right now, but this is precisely the time to be garnering gratitude. It is one of the absolute best things you can do for your mental wellbeing.

Before getting out of bed, take a few moments to list those things that you are grateful for: the sunshine, your safe home, your loving family, your pet, your health, etc. Now more than ever, we need to appreciate the things that we may have been taking for granted due to our usually chaotic lives.

3. Plan with Purpose

Start your day by deciding what you want to accomplish before your feet hit the floor.

Spending a few moments setting your intentions is a key way to practice purpose and mindfully manifest your desires.

  • I will work out for 20-30 minutes
  • I will spend at least 10 minutes outside
  • I will meditate for 10-15 minutes
  • I will read a book or watch a TED Talk
  • I will write a letter to a loved one
  • I will finally clean out that junk drawer

Your objectives can be anything you want, but make sure you check-in with how you are progressing throughout the day to determine success.

4. Wear a Smile

The most important accessory you need every day, not just when you are working from home in your casual clothes, is a smile!

Simply smiling can change your mood and your outlook. This action alone boosts feel-good endorphins, pain-relieving neurotransmitters, feelings of self-esteem, and wellbeing.

So, put that smile on before you start your day!       

5. Only Optimism Allowed

“You are not your feelings. You are the one who is experiencing your feelings and deciding what to do about them.” -Mallika Chopra

With the current events in the world right now, it is easy to give in to catastrophic thoughts. When we enter a state of panic our brain loses the ability to differentiate between how we think and feel and the reality of what is actually happening. This results in us suffering unnecessarily.  

Before starting your day, ask yourself: am I ok right here, right now? The answer will most likely be, yes!

Revisit this question whenever you feel yourself slipping into a state of anxiety. STOP, bring yourself back to the present moment, and recognize that worry is just a thought. Doing this can ease festering feelings of panic, and return you to a state of calm.

Yes, those things you worry about could happen, but letting your mind spin in expectation of a possible future is neither productive nor healthy.

By implementing these few easy adjustments to your waking routine, you can elevate your mood, boost your energy, and start your day off happy, present, confident, and motivated.

“Your Dreams have not been canceled. Your Focus has not been banned. Your Habits need not be postponed. Your daily Discipline need not be shutdown. Don’t stop working towards your dreams and striving to be your best” – Brendon Burchard

These are unprecedented times, so it’s understandable to feel stressed, scared, and preoccupied with what is happening in the world due to COVID-19. Just remember, you are in control of your mood, which means you are in control of your day. It’s your choice if you use this time wisely, and you make that choice every single morning when you wake up.