As I’ve got to know myself more over the years, I have come to realise what really works for my mind, body and soul. Through much trial and error, I have discovered the side effects to not starting my day right.
It’s such a simplistic concept, yet how often do you find yourself caught up in morning chaos?
Starting your day on a high note can hugely impact the quality of your day. Here are two actions that you can take to immediately transform the quality of your mental well-being, your physical health and your disposition toward life.
1. Make your bed.
Growing up in my household, making the bed was mandatory practice. Making the bed was the first thing I had to do each morning prior to getting dressed for school. I’d say from the age of 4 or 5 years old, I was making my bed. If the bed wasn’t made, I’d be reminded to go and do it then and there. It didn’t matter if I were to be late for school or not. As I got a little older, I got my own room and I would be allowed to have my room on the condition it was always tidy and without saying, the bed would always be made. And it was.
I have made my bed without thought throughout my entire adult life. To be honest, I think there may have only been 5 days where I have not made the bed. And that was probably because I was on holiday and they were going to strip the sheets. I cannot and will not leave it unmade. Regardless of where I am staying, the bed will be made.
There is an amazing Commencement Address that Admiral William McRaven gave at the University of Texas at Austin, 2014. He said,
“If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed. If you make your bed, you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride…Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that the little things in life matter. If you can’t do the little things right, you’ll never be able to do the big things right.”
So, if you’re not making your bed, try it for one week and see what happens.
2. A morning walk or workout.
I love movement. It’s very rare for me to not engage in some form of exercise each day. I know some people will grunt and groan at the thought of exercising, however, my gosh it can change the trajectory of your morning if you’re feeling off.
Aside from the endorphin rush that you’ll be left with, a walk or exercise of some kind has the power to take you out of your mind and into your body. Often, if we feel depressed, anxious, sad, grumpy or just plain not good — a short walk can break you out of the repetitive thought cycle.
And, you don’t have to be feeling down in the dumps to take a walk. If I’m not doing CrossFit or hitting the gym, I’ll always go for a 20-40min walk. I love seeing the ocean, the sky and having those random and often uplifting interactions with a dog on its walk or someone in the neighbourhood.
A walk is a way of saying thank you to mother nature and appreciating you’re alive.
Exercising also means breathing. Breathing connects you more deeply with your body and less with the incessant commentary of your mind.
Once you return home with endorphins raging, you’ll be focused and approach your day with an open mindset. You’ll be more at peace with all that is, which means the way you interact and communicate with those in your life will come from a kinder space.
So if you want to change the world (or at least your world) start your day with these two proactive decisions.