Are we already halfway through the summer? You could be thinking..."Who knows what day it is, they all feel the same." Or possibly..."Are we done with this pandemic yet? When will it just
Pick an option, or share your own thoughts. In any case, I certainly feel you. Because most of us at this point have had many moments of feeling all of these feelings. Your routines have been disrupted, likely changed more than you'd prefer. And remember that old headwrecker uncertainty? Yup, she's still with us. When you can't figure things out, make a plan, come from a space of knowing, your brain does not like it...Not. At. All.
As I have written before, staying centered within yourself through times of uncertainty is very challenging for your brain. Research suggests that the prospect of dealing with uncertainty produces more stress to your brain than when it's preparing to deal with an actual negative event. If early man's brain had created a more optimistic feeling when uncertainty struck, he'd likely sit back, relax, and be totally unprepared to deal with a problematic situation. And back then, a 'problematic situation' was truly a matter of survival. So the brain's ability to find problems and be on the lookout for potential dangers actually kept mankind alive and well.
In modern times however...not so much. Today, that survival mechanism and the brain's need for certainty keeps modern man in a continuous state of high alert, which is way more often than is currently beneficial to us. These days, particularly during this pandemic, people are commonly in stress overload, and therefore need to intentionally create some inner calm to counter the constant flood of stress hormones in the body.
There are ways your brain can be taught to stay calm, and in previous newsletters I have written about many of them. Eating well, exercise and movement, getting enough sleep, slow breathing, and meditation are all very effective. So is connecting with others (even if it's virtual), doing activities that bring you joy, and taking breaks (a lot of them) from social media scrolling and watching the news. Today I want to add another way to set yourself up for a good day, and that is by starting your day with a consistent morning routine.
Setting up a Morning Routine
While your brain hates uncertainty, it truly loves routine. Predictability, familiarity and structure all make your brain very happy. Morning routines often help form good habits, and make life more predictable and easier for your brain and body. Once established, habits allow the 'fight or flight' part of your brain to stay calm. Especially during times like these, when you are spending more time in one place, establishing a morning routine has key benefits:
Types of Activities To Include In Your Morning Routine
Specific activities to include in your morning routine will vary by individual preference. When I first became a coach, the morning routine I put together for myself was so long that I actually felt like the day was over by the time I completed it! Definitely not good. My suggestion in putting your own routine together is to do what feels good to you, and also what is actually doable in the hours you have available. If you are not a morning person, keep the routine shorter. Be selective in the activities you choose. Include only what feels like a "good start" to the day, and importantly, things that help you feel calm, centered, and in control of your morning. As I always suggest, be experimental! I've listed some suggestions backed by research, but it is by no means an all-inclusive list. Please feel free to add your own activities if they work for you.
The Options Most Experts Agree On
Other Beneficial Additions To Your Morning Routine
The Need For Flexibility
Morning routines are of great value because they help you begin the day feeling calm yet energized, ready to seize the day with vigor, a sense of control and a belief in your ability to accomplish what you need to do that day. Sometimes, however, even the best systems and routines can get sidelined by a crazy morning, or when unexpected things pop up. And at those times, it's okay to forgo some or all of what you usually do in your morning routine. When your routine takes on a more compulsive quality, it no longer has the same positive effect. Remember that it is okay to let go of your routine occasionally without consequence! Try not to let it fall into the category of things that go on your 'to do' list and creates overwhelm or stops feeling good to you. To that end, it's a good idea to periodically look at your routine and change it up as your needs and desires change.
Let Me Know How It Feels!
Feel free to reach out to me and let me know what you've decided to include in your morning routine. I always love to know what's working for you! And if there is any way I can help you get through this challenging time, to meet some goals, big or small, while we are living life a little differently, click the link below and schedule a free discovery call. I can provide the system, stretch and accountability you need to get over some of the hurdles you are experiencing with respect to your health and life goals. Together, we can take one step at a time so you experience life in a way that truly reflects the person you want to be.
I wish you good health, happiness and a fresh start every day!
As always, if you want to learn more about the impact of the everyday choices you make on your life goals, and how you can feel great in your body (without losing your mind), hit reply and send me an email, or call me at (201) 803-3257.
I'm also offering a free Discovery Call to discuss your goals and how I can help you. Click here to schedule your free half-hour phone session with no obligation.
In Good Health,