How to start the day off right

Good Morning Sammy!Another Monday. (I know, “Hooray!”…right?)

I’ve had the idea for this post for a while, but I figured this might be a good day to post it, since Mondays are particularly hard to start off right. And starting the day off right is so important.

How you begin your day sets the tone for the whole rest of the day. If you wake up in a rush, grumpy, and skip breakfast, you’re probably gonna be in a bad mood the rest of the day. If you walk into the office after a start like that and the boss starts yelling at you about some project, you’re totally gonna crumble.

But, if you start the day off relaxed, eating something that will give you energy while reading the newspaper or chatting with your s.o., you’re gonna be able to deal with whatever happens throughout the day better. Bad commute? You’ll be annoyed, but you won’t flip out. Boss yells at you? We all hate that, but you (hopefully) won’t crumple up into a heap.

So, here are some super-simple changes you can make to your schedule so you start each day off on the best foot possible:

Give yourself plenty of time. I used to be horrible about this. I was constantly running late because I never thought I’d need as much time as I really did. So (thanks to The Hubby’s smart suggestion), I started allowing myself 15 minutes more than I thought I’d need. (Same goes for getting ready to go places, running errands, etc.)

Getting up just an extra 15 minutes each day lets me feel not so rushed. On days when something goes wrong (like one of the dogs getting sick), I can deal with it and still be on time. On days when everything goes according to schedule, I have an extra 15 minutes to relax.

Eat a (healthy!) breakfast. Study after study has shown that eating a good breakfast helps your energy and concentration throughout the day. So I’m not saying pour yourself a bowl of super-sugar cereal (although I love that stuff as a guilty pleasure snack, shh!)…But try something that will give you that energy throughout the day, like granola with fruit and nuts, an omelet with veggies, etc.

I know some people just aren’t “breakfast people,” but if you can’t stomach a whole meal in the morning, maybe you could have a healthy smoothie, or at least bring a good snack to work that you can eat later in the morning when you start to feel hungry and lunch time is far away.

Start on a positive note. I’m a huge fan of gratitude exercises. Even something as simple as listing three things you’re thankful for, right after you first wake up, can put you in a positive and open mindset as you go into your day. (Instead of thinking “Argggh it’s Monday again!” which I’m sure lots of you can relate to.) 🙂

Move around a bit. I personally can’t do early morning exercise. I have plenty of friends who swear that an early morning run or bike ride is the best thing ever, but I am just not that much of a morning person. I can, though, do a few yoga stretches just to get myself moving and get my blood flowing. Whatever works for you, moving your body in the morning can help with your energy level the rest of the day. (And help shake you out of any early morning funk.)

How do you start your days off right? Share your tips in the comments!





photo credit: cgc76


  • I feel so fortunate that I don’t have to be at work at the same time every day. My start time is 8:30 but I can come in up until an hour later without notifying anyone. That was a life-changer!

  • I keep meaning to work on your last point of moving around a bit but haven’t been able to do it so far. I set my alarm about 10 minutes earlier thinking I would meditate. I have only meditated twice in the morning since I set my alarm earlier. So then I thought since I am able to meditate most nights maybe in the morning I could use the time to do some stretches, but that hasn’t happened yet. I’m just so cold and tired in the morning that all I do is sit on the couch with my breakfast and the computer.
    The time I give myself in the mornings is fine for the summer but in the winter I definitely don’t move as fast because I’m cold. Even getting up 10 minutes earlier hasn’t seemed to help this. I just need to force myself I guess.
    I could definitely improve on the breakfast part. I usually go for something quick like cereal. Now that it’s winter I would like to make oatmeal more, which goes back to giving myself more time in the mornings. Must work on this.
    I am not a morning person (and never will be) but there are things I could do to make my mornings more pleasant. Such as the above as well as getting my lunch ready and my clothes out the night before.
    The gratitude list is a good idea, I’ll try and remember to try that! 🙂

    • I’m not a huge morning person either, but one thing I can tell you is that making something a habit goes a LONG way to making it easier (or at least more automatic, even when it isn’t really easy). Getting up early took me a while to adjust to, but every time I slipped up, I just tried to get back on track the next day. Letting a slipup or two ruin your progress is so easy, but the more you do something, the more it starts to become second nature. Even though I love working out and feel fantastic afterwards, there are still days I really really don’t feel like doing it…but I’ve gotten so used to it as part of my routine that I feel weird not doing it.

      You CAN build these things into a habit! Don’t give up! 🙂

  • Em – really fabulous posting. Very true about not feeling rushed in the morning. Things have been going a lot better for me since I’ve been getting up earlier in the mornings.

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