How to Wake Up on the Right Side of the Bed
How to Wake Up on the Right Side of the Bed
5 Ideas to Foster a Renewed Mindset Each Morning
Our days are full of situations that catch us off-guard and spring us into uncontrolled chaos. The circumstances we face may feel daunting each time we go to set our feet on the floor. We feel a sense of dread and worry just anticipating what we might experience.
But what if our mornings were different? What if we traded dreadful anticipation for renewed stillness?
“Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.” - Lamentations 3: 21-23
I love this verse from Lamentations because it is raw, offering us a window into the human experience that often seems forgotten. If you read all of Chapter 3, you will see that the author is crying out in despair and frustration. He gets it. He isn’t blind to the turmoil and trials in life. At the start of verse 21, he turns to something different. He says “Yet I still dare to hope…”
In the midst of the trials, I still dare to hope that there is goodness and beauty offered to me each morning.
The morning brings a new start. It is a refresh button that allows reflection on God’s goodness.
If mornings truly are a time to reflect and look forward, how then are we starting these sacred moments? I don’t know about you, but mine often start with the snooze button, followed by a mindless scroll through Instagram.
I want you to take this moment and pause. How do you start every day? Is it filled with stillness and reflection? Or is it filled with hurry and worry? If you are sitting there desiring a change, here are some ideas to foster a renewed mindset in the morning.
#1: Resist the temptation to look directly at your phone. This tip is so often thrown out there by gurus and self-help authors alike, that you are probably sick of hearing it. But I had to include it! Did you know that 80% of smartphone users check their phones before brushing their teeth? How is this affecting us? Personally, I have noticed that the days I check my phone right away are the days that my brain feels like it is on overload. I often feel like I can’t keep my thoughts straight and am constantly wanting to reach for my phone even more throughout the day. How is it affecting you? What would it look like the change that habit? I have found that keeping a small devotional or book where my phone normally goes has caused me to reach for that instead. It allows me to start my day by filling my brain with knowledge and goodness.
#2: Fill yourself with natural light. Morning sunlight triggers your brain to respond to the day starting. I’ve also found that natural light helps me to see the bigger picture. It wakes up my heart and mind to the goodness of God’s mercies that Jeremiah talks about in Lamentations. The earth is waking up alongside of me and there is a bigger picture happening all around me. For you, maybe this looks like simply opening your windows or sitting outside with a book first thing in the morning. As you do so, reflect on the goodness and beauty that is all around you.
#3: Hydrate before you caffeinate. When we sleep, our bodies naturally become dehydrated. There are countless studies that show that caffeine is dehydrating. However, many of us reach for the cup of coffee before the cup of water. I don’t know about you, but sometimes after the second cup of coffee and a lack of water, I start to wonder why my heart is beating so fast and why I can’t stop worrying about my to-do list. Trust me when I say that I am not telling you to stop drinking coffee…if you knew me you know that I would never say that. Rather, what would it look like to drink one glass of water for every cup of coffee you have? Just try it and see!
#4: Move your body. Our bodies have just stayed stagnant for at least 6-8 hours throughout the night. Then we wake up, and often go to work where we sit for another 8+ hours. But waking up our bodies with movement is essential to aligning our minds with our bodies. So often I will wonder why I have a headache, only to realize my shoulders have been up to my ears with tension all day. Releasing the tension from the body allows a renewed alignment with the mind. Perhaps this looks like walking, yoga, running, dancing, or jumping. Whatever it looks like for you, move your body and remind yourself of the connection it has with your mind. Care for your body because it was created to move and breathe!
#5: Stretch your mind muscles. Learn something new and get your mind moving. For me, I can easily get overwhelmed with my mind; letting it feel like it is in control and that I don’t have power over my thoughts. But learning something new in the mornings reminds me that I am in control. It reminds me that my mind is actually good and that I can use it powerfully. You can listen to a podcast, read a book, research something you have always been curious about, or have a thought-provoking discussion with your roommate/spouse/family. Exercise the mind muscles and remind yourself that they are on your side!
Mornings are powerful. They are sacred and divine. Yet we run through them like they are just a stepping stone into the day. What if we slowed down and recognized the opportunity to step into our day differently? I am on this journey with you! Always changing and tweaking my morning routine to help me set up my day for what I need. Let's become the type of people that don’t take mornings lightly and never compromise on setting our day up well. And may we seek the goodness and beauty that God provides for us anew each day!
Want more ideas for creating a healthy lifestyle and address issues like sleep, relaxation, managing stressors, etc.? Check out Thrive, a workbook filled with helpful insights, guidance for self-evaluation and practical tools to help refresh and renew your physical, mental, spiritual and relational health.
Elyssa is a writer, communicator, and learner. She loves to adventure and explore beaches in San Clemente with her husband Jeremy. She is continually learning more about her ongoing journey with anxiety and writes it all down at elyssafaith.org.