- Journal! I had a prayer/ life journal that I kept for a little while, but like most things in my morning routine it got pushed to the wayside. So when I picked it back up at the beginning of the year and saw that the last post was from the end of 2013 I cringed. Writing down a few thoughts each morning really helps me to set a tone for the day. It clears my mind of some of the fluff and opens it up to make it ready for the new day. Don't journal? No worries, just thinking on something happy!
- List the happy things! This one is huge! I couldn't recommend it more! Take a minute and list (either on paper or in your head) at least 3 things that make you happy in that exact moment. Today mine were:
1.) extra quiet time
2.) doing things despite fears
3.) starting my morning off worshipping JesusThen I jotted down a few more too! The thing is whenever I start with my list of 3 things, I usually end up with a lot more than that. I actually do this a lot, not just in the mornings. I do it a lot in tough moments. It's amazing what listing things you have to be thankful for or happy about can do to uplift your mood. Seriously, try it right now!
- List the you things! While you are getting ready each morning, standing in front of a mirror somewhere putting on makeup or picking out clothes, think of 3 things that you love about yourself! We are so hard on ourselves all the time. I feel like as I approach 30 I have gotten even more critical of my appearance especially. At any moment, at any age and any time, we are beautiful! Life has taught us that we have to look a certain way or act a certain way, but that's all just lies! Be yourself and love yourself. Embrace your You-ness!! So name those three things and at least one has to be appearance based. Most of our time in the mirror is spent picking over the fine details; cover this, smooth that. So while you swipe a brush across your cheek, think of something you love, like your eyes or your smile or even that widows peak you (I) tried to cut off as a child that you have grown to find frames your face well! Tell yourself "I love you!!"
- Pray! I know I talked about this in the first one, but this is huge for me. I am not going to lie, there are many mornings where the other 4 just don't happen the way they should. Seriously, I am NOT a morning person (the Lord knew I needed a job that started mid afternoon). So, if I am up before 7/7:30 I never make it to my cozy blue chair. Literally it is: push the snooze 3 times, stumble to the kitchen, pour cereal, head to the shower (yes, with cereal in hand), sit down on shower floor and just let the water run while eating breakfast. I am sure you are trying to image the scene. Just picture: shower cap on, cereal on the lip of the shower in between the plastic curtain and the cloth curtain, with my head in between the two as well so that I can eat without getting water in my food. This is real life! But I sit there, with eyes closed and mouth chewing and I say a prayer. A lot of early mornings it goes a little something like this, "Lord, please give me the strength and patience to be a morning person today!" Even if it is just short and sweet and half awake, it is so, so good for my soul. Not sure about this whole God guy? Don't believe in Jesus? It's ok. I just say try it. Try praying, even if you don't know what you believe yet. Send up a prayer the way you would talk to a friend, maybe ask about who He is, wonder it out loud, challenge Him with tough questions. He doesn't care how you pray, He just cares about you. Period. Belief or not, you are loved! Just wanted you to know!
I hope these were helpful! For me, they were a good reminder to me more mindful of how important they are for me personally. My days are so much more productive and so much more full of life when I do them. And the funny thing is they are so very simple that I had to laugh at myself for not doing them more often! So I set my alarm a little earlier? Better than dragging myself through the day feasting for coffee! I mean, don't get me wrong, there's still coffee! But it's so much more enjoyable as an added bonus than something that I am yearning for.
Any thing that you do that helps to start your morning off right?