The choices you make at the beginning of the day set the tone for the rest of your day. This is the most important time of your day to practice mindful awareness. First consider the initial thoughts as the day begins. Then consider the time you prioritize for getting ready, as well as transportation to work or school.
Is your attention focused on what you have to do or are you enjoying the first moments of your day? Do you stretch out your body or jump out of bed and into your routine? Are you allowing enough time between your alarm and the moment you need to arrive somewhere? At any point have you expressed gratitude for simply waking up and having the opportunity to begin again?
Notice if your thoughts are focused on what needs to be done next and bring them back to right now. Your thoughts live in the future, taking you away from the present. If you find these thoughts are negative tell yourself “Today will be a great day because” and name three reasons.
Check in with how you are feeling today. Notice the sensations in your body, any tightness or tension you’re holding. Take a deep breath and on the exhale relax your body. Bring attention to all five senses and practice gratitude for being able to use them all for another day.
When looking ahead into your day do so with an attitude of gratitude. Instead of viewing your responsibilities as chores or burdens, appreciate all of the amenities these responsibilities have brought you. Give thanks for your job, for your ability to go to school, to drive or find transportation to anywhere you need to be.
Setting Intentions for The Day
Overwhelm is experienced when you lack preparation. Plan the day out first thing in the morning with an intention. An intention is an attitude or way of being that you aim for throughout the day. The most fitting intention is to become aware, starting with your thoughts.
A few other intentions that would help you optimize your day:
If you’re reading this in the middle of the day you can still set an intention for the remainder of your day. Change doesn’t happen when you get a fresh start. It happens when you become aware of your choices and make a conscious effort to choose something better for your mental and physical health. Start by setting an intention, by checking in with your thoughts, by being grateful for this very moment. Just start.