Over the last year or so, mornings have been very different for many of us. I don’t know about you, but there have been some mornings where I haven’t been sure of how far into the week we were. However, fingers crossed, we are on our way to a place that will look more like our old normal. And that will likely mean more adjustments to our routines. Note I used the word adjustment, not something like disruption—that’s a little bit of foreshadowing for you.
Regardless of much your mornings have or will change, to get the best from them—and to best set you up for a fabulous day—you need to manage your mornings. And the best way to do that is by embracing the ‘micro-moment’ – tiny little manageable interventions that can make a huge difference.
Here are 5 micro-moment ideas to help you start your morning off right:
1. Perspective fine-tuning
First thing in the morning, what does your day feel like? An opportunity or an obligation? Likely, it is both. We all have stuff we have to do and not all of it is pleasurable, but we can make our days much more enjoyable if we shift and/or expand our perspective. Take a minute at the start of each day to map out what you need to do and what you want to do and get stuck in with equal vigour for both. And remember, each day is a fresh opportunity to reset if you need to.
2. Kindness Conundrum
We share things all the time—anything from pizza to money—and when we share something, that act of sharing diminishes what we have. But this is not true of kindness. Kindness is the only thing in the world that increases when we share it. And that is not just a lovely thought, it has been borne out by research. If we perform just one act of random kindness a day, we will experience less anxiety, stress and depression.
Additionally, our body is flooded with the same hormones that make both parties calmer, healthier and happier – a double whammy win. These hormones include: serotonin, the feel-good hormone; endorphins—they reduce pain; and oxytocin, which is the bonding hormone and helps to reduce blood pressure. But there is also a third winner in this kindness scenario – those who witness kindness are also more likely to pay if forward. Take a moment each morning to commit to a random act of kindness.
Even just a quick 10-minute power walk around the block to kick start your day can make a huge difference to the way you feel. If you are lucky enough to live near green space and nature, even better—who doesn’t love trees?
If you are unable to get outside, then there are loads of apps and many online videos that offer quick 7-minute HIT programmes or 10-minute yoga stretching. Take a minute to consider what you could do in the morning and incorporate it into your daily routine.
4. Rubbish in/Rubbish Out
Most of us don’t realise that we can change the way we feel by either changing what is going on in our mind or changing what is going on in our body. Of course, the two are intertwined. This is why moving first thing in the morning is so beneficial – it changes what is happening in the body, which influences the hormone levels that can impact mood. The food we eat also impacts how we feel, so pay attention to your breakfast choices.
But it is not just about activity and nutrition. What else are you consuming that might negatively impact your mind? Do you sit at the breakfast table and watch or listen to the news? Do you read a newspaper or scroll through your social media feed? Take a moment to consider how your current morning ritual makes you feel. Is a diet of doom and gloom, conspiracy theories, fake news and alternative facts good for you? Give something else a try and see if you feel better. Listen to music or talk with your family about the day ahead. Or you could just plan your day.
5. You are where you need to be
These are challenging times. Don’t add to how tough it is by beating yourself up about possible poor choices or worrying about the stuff you can’t change or control. Take a minute to think about your life right now. Perhaps you find yourself in a situation you didn’t want or expect. What have you learned about yourself as a result? Always remember, you have the power to turn a negative into a positive. Even if all you do is use the word adjustment rather than disruption—do you see what I did there?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Sid Madge
Sid Madge is founder of Meee (My Education Employment Enterprise) which draws on the best creativity and thinking from the worlds of branding, psychology, neuroscience, education and sociology, to help people achieve extraordinary lives.
To date, Meee has transformed the lives of over 20,000 people, from leaders of PLC’s and SME’s to parents, teachers, students, carers, the unemployed and prison inmates.
Sid Madge is also author of the ‘Meee in Minute’ series of books which each offer 60 ways to change your life, work-, or family-life in 60 seconds.