How to Start a New Day

Two Parts:Preparing Your Mind For The DayPreparing Your Body For the Day

Every day can be a fresh, new beginning--this is critically important if you had a difficult day before. By starting off with a positive attitude, you can face the challenges of the day in a good frame of mind. Try some of the following tips to start your day off right.

Part 1
Preparing Your Mind For The Day

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    Give yourself time to start the day. Feeling time-pressured creates an atmosphere in which it is more difficult to feel calm, focused, and positive. Instead, wake up with enough time to feel relaxed. This may not be the same as a leisurely morning, but having even 10 more minutes to do what you need to do can be a real improvement on your mood.
    • Give yourself time to truly do what you have to do in the morning--not what you can do under pressure. Yes, you can get to the bus stop 20 minutes after getting up, but that should be an emergency plan. Instead, give yourself time to do what you need to do with focus and calmness.
    • Start the day by giving yourself a moment to breathe and collect yourself for what the day will hold.[1]
    • One very simple mindfulness exercise is upon awakening, take 10 deep breaths. This simple act gives you time to transition to awakening not with panic, anxiety, or frantic behavior, but simply being where you are now for a moment.
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    Visualize a positive day. Decide each morning to approach the world with optimism and hope.
    • Visualize your day going well. Envision yourself doing well on the math test, asking out that cute co-worker on a date, or finishing your taxes.
    • Optimism does not mean you refuse to acknowledge things do not always go as planned. If you worry about negative outcomes, counteract these thoughts by envisioning yourself overcoming these problems, getting over disappointment, or simply trying again.
    • Instead of saying "I can't," start the day off by saying, "I can."
    • You cannot fully control what happens to you. Sometimes bad things will happen. But you can control how you prepare yourself for what life gives you. Starting the day off with a positive mindset can help you deal with things in a healthy way.[2]
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    Meditate. Before you start your day and focus on responsibilities, take a few moments to meditate. Start by taking deep breaths. Inhale slowly through your nose and exhale through your mouth. Hold each breath for a count of 5.
    • Focusing on your breath and clearing your mind of any outside thoughts can help you start the day feeling balanced and peaceful.[3]
    • If you believe in a higher power, pray. Even if you do not believe in a higher power, focusing on a wish or desire can be powerful.
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    Be thankful. Before you get out of bed, or while you are in the shower or fixing breakfast, take a few moments to focus on what you are thankful for. Starting your day by thinking of the positive things in your life can help get you into the right frame of mind for the rest of the day.[4]
    • You can be grateful for anything in your life. You can reflect on your family or friends, your health, your job, your bed, your house, the food in the cabinets, the sunshine or rain outside, or even for just being alive.
    • Set a "low bar" for happiness. This means that the little things will make you happy, and you will try to stop taking things for granted.[5] Spend the morning focusing on the good things in your life instead of what you lack or what you have to do before the day is over.[6]
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    Read an affirmation. Before you start your day, read some kind of affirmation. This can be a positive quote, a religious verse, or a short story. When you do this, get in touch with your inner strength. Tackle the day by being assured and strong instead of weak and passive.[7]
    • Write down your favorite quote or verse on a slip of paper and keep it by your bedside table. That way you can see it as soon as you wake.
    • Read an entry from a blog, newspaper, or website that is uplifting instead of negative.[8]
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    Anticipate the day. Instead of dreading the day, anticipate your day. Find things to look forward to, even if it's lunch time or seeing a coworker. This helps you get going on a positive note instead of dragging your feet because you dread what's to come.
    • Before you go to bed, make a list or mental list of what you are looking forward to the next day, this week, this month, or in life.[9]
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    Ignore technology. Many people set alarms on their cell phone, and as soon as they turn it off, they check texts, e-mails, and social media. This can make you feel like you're starting your day hectic and chaotic. E-mail, Facebook, Twitter, and other interactive sources bombard our minds with people's electronic voices, photos, news updates, ideas, and opinions. By exposing yourself to this first thing in the morning, you are cluttering up your mind before you have a chance to fully wake and come out of sleep.[10]
    • As soon as you turn off your alarm, back away from the cell phone. Going straight to your cell phone tends to overwhelm you with chatter, rather than useful and pertinent information. This removes focus from what is the here and now. Wait at least 30-60 minutes before checking anything. If you have to check work e-mail, if possible, wait 30 minutes, check your work e-mail, but leave the other stuff for later. Give yourself time to spend with yourself before interacting with the ceaseless stream of internet chatter.[11]
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    Start each day new. Don't dwell on what you did or didn't do yesterday. Instead, start each day fresh. Get organized for the tasks you have to complete today, and face the day as something new without the weight of the past.
    • If you had a bad day the day before, leave that behind you. Focus on a new day instead. How can you make today better? How can you fix any mistakes or avoid situations that made the previous day bad?
    • We all have things from the previous day we have to continue working on or finish. When you pick up the project from the day before, treat it fresh because today is a new day.[12]
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    Wake up early. Make sure to wake up early enough that you give yourself enough time to get ready. You need time to focus your morning and mentally prepare for the day. More than that, you need time to get all your morning tasks done. Rushing around causes stress and makes you forget things and perhaps be unprepared for the day.
    • Waking up early can help you leave for work on time, which can help you get to work on time and avoid a speeding ticket.[13]

Part 2
Preparing Your Body For the Day

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    Go slow. Instead of rushing through the morning, go slow and take your time. Rushing around trying to get your day started can cause unneeded stress.[14]
    • Going slow helps you stay in the moment. Take the time to focus on the water from your shower, taste the flavors of your breakfast, or look at the morning sunshine. This can help you focus on your surroundings instead of getting wrapped up in your head.[15]
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    Eat a Healthy Breakfast. Eating healthy in the morning can help your brain and body work at optimal levels throughout the day. Eat a high fiber diet that includes fruits, whole grains, and low-fat protein food in your breakfast.[16]
    • Avoid bagels and muffins, along with foods with high sugar content. This will slow you down.
    • Eggs are a great protein-rich breakfast food. Scramble them with some low-fat cheese or make a spinach and avocado omelet. Use egg whites if you are concerned about cholesterol.[17]
    • Berries are great to eat with your breakfast. They are high in antioxidants, low in calories, and rich in vitamins and minerals. Add a cup of fresh or unsweetened frozen strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, or raspberries.
    • Eat a nutritious cereal. Many kinds of cereal are full of fiber, whole grains, and protein. Stay away from cereals with high sugar contents and that are full of artificial ingredients. Look for at least 3 grams (0.11 oz) of fiber and less than 6 grams (0.21 oz) of sugar. Also, try oatmeal. Make sure to eat plain oats and not the packets, which are full of sugar and other additives. Add nuts, fresh fruit, spices like cinnamon, or a few dark chocolate morsels to add flavor.
    • Try dairy, such as cottage cheese or yogurt. Just make sure not to get the fruit yogurts with extra added sugar. Add honey to them, mix in fresh fruit like pineapple or strawberries, or place them in a smoothie.[18]
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    Rehydrate. After sleeping for 7-8 hours, your body is dehydrated. It is especially important to drink a lot of water in the morning to replenish the hydration in your body. After waking up, drink 1-2 cups of water to start your body off properly hydrated.[19]
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    Drink lemon water. Instead of starting your day with coffee, drink lemon water. Pour yourself a cup of lukewarm water and squeeze a fresh lemon into it. This helps boost your metabolism for the day, boost your energy, and cleanse your mouth and throat.
    • Wait 30 minutes after drinking the water before you brush your teeth, drink another beverage, or eat breakfast.[20]
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    Replace coffee with tea. Tea has numerous health benefits. Starting your day with tea instead of a coffee can be a positive change to make your day better. Try green tea, which includes catechins, powerful antioxidants and disease fighters. Yerba mate is another tea with tons of antioxidants and healthy benefits.[21]
    • Tea contains caffeine, but in lower doses. An average cup of coffee contains 150-200 mg of caffeine, while black tea contains 60-90 mg and green tea contains 35-70 mg. Green tea, white tea, oolong tea, mate, and black tea all contain caffeine, so you can get your morning caffeine fix, but at a lower dosage.
    • The caffeine in tea gently enters your blood stream, which doesn't give you a jittery feeling.[22]
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    Exercise. Exercising is one of the best methods to start off your day for your mind as well as the body. It keeps you fit as well as freshens up your mind from its state of sleep. Exercising increases brain function, which can help you get a jump-start on the day. Exercise also reduces stress and boosts your metabolism.[23]
    • Go for walk, go for a bike ride, go to the gym, or walk on the treadmill.[24]
    • Do yoga. Yoga is a great way to start off the day by not only getting active but by allowing yourself some time for reflection and meditation.[25]
    • Stretch. Gently wake up your body and mind by stretching your muscles. Elongate your spine and stretch out your arms and legs one at a time.[26] Lift your arms over your head and bend from side to side. Twist your torso. Bend down and touch the floor. Slowly ease your body into the day as you loosen up the muscles for the day.[27]
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    Organize yourself. Write down the tasks for the day. Make a to-do list and make an effort to follow it. It will keep you organized and make your day easier.
    • Make sure your to-do list is manageable. There are only so many things you can do in a day. Prioritize what has to be done on this particular day and put that in the "Things To Do Today" column. Make a separate column for "Things To Do If I Have Time." The tasks in this column should be able to be done at a later date if you run out of time.
    • Get organized the night before. Make your to-do list before you go to bed. Pack your work or gym bag. Prepare your lunch. Lay out your work clothes. These small tasks won't take long before bed and can help make your morning run smoothly.[28]
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    Smile. Starting your day by acting the way you want to feel can help you be more positive. If you feel grumpy or tired, do something physical to make yourself feel happy. The easiest thing to do is smile. Just smile because you are alive and you can. Watch or listen to something humorous so you can laugh. It makes you feel positive and really beautiful about yourself and the world that surrounds you.
    • Try other actions to get yourself to feel happier. Jump up and down. Listen to peppy music. Dance. You may feel stupid, but it can help lift the mood for the day.[29]
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    Start your day with flowers and sunshine. Put flowers in your eye line so they are one of the first things you see when you wake up. If you don't want flowers, try placing a bright, colorful painting instead. Seeing something bright and vibrant instead of dull walls can help you start your day off right.[30] Bright colors are supposed to help stimulate the brain and get you moving.[31]
    • After getting out of bed, open up the curtains or blinds to let the sunlight in. This can help you feel energized and more positive about the day. If you don't want to let outside light in, or it's raining, trying soothing light instead.[32]
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    Wake up with essential oils. Essential oils are aromatic compounds found in parts of plants, such as the seeds, bark, stems, roots, and flowers. They are used in foods, beauty treatments, and some health care practices.[33] Essential oils can be especially helpful in waking you up in the morning, helping to reduce anxiety, and increasing concentration. When choosing essential oils, make sure that you are buying therapeutic-grade oils without additives.[34]
    • Many companies that sell essential oils offer wake up or morning blends that are supposed to help you get your day started.[35]
    • Try mixing Peppermint oil and Wild Orange oil to help wake you up and chase away drowsiness.[36][37] Mix two drops of Peppermint oil with two drops of Wild Orange oil.[38] You can place it in a diffuser while you are eating breakfast, or dab it on the back of your neck or wrists after waking.
    • Lemon oil is known for its ability to help with focus and concentration. You can also put this oil in the diffuser or on your neck and wrist in the morning while you're getting ready.[39]
    • Open up your sinuses and prepare your body for deep, cleansing breaths by using Eucalyptus oil or a Breathing blend. Dab a small drop on the inside of your nose and then take a shower. Take some deep breaths as you wake up.[40]
    • Try patchouli oil for grounding and stability. Lavender oil is good for calming. Frankincense helps with mental clarity and peaceful feelings.[41]
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    Keep important items in the same place. To make mornings less hectic, start a habit where you keep your important items in one easily accessible place. Put your keys, wallet, purse, public transit card, and other important items there. This way, you're never looking for that lost item when you're running behind.[42]

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