The ingredients to create a calm start to the day.
A calm morning will get your day off to a great start. There will always be days when life doesn’t go to plan but by organising a few things in advance we can better prepare for the things that life throws at us – like a spilt coffee (the horror!) or a delayed train.
Even though each of us has different priorities and commitments, the basics to create a calm morning are very much the same. These ideas can be tailored to suit and, of course, additional things can be implemented to help things run smoothly. The secret is to put aside roughly 15 minutes of planning time the night before. Organising a few things in advance will mean you’re ahead before you’ve even opened your eyes.
Having everything in order helps us to glide through the early part of the day. It also frees up time to enjoy precious moments, like conversations around the breakfast table or the beauty of the sunrise.
Go to bed tidy
Having a quick tidy before you go to bed is a great habit to adopt. This may include putting away your clothes and anything else you’ve used. Not only is it nice to sleep in a serene and tranquil room. It also means you’ll wake up in a tidy space rather than surrounded by yesterday’s mess. Taking a few minutes to do this each evening will enable you to keep on top of things, and feel calmer when you wake up the following day.
To end on a positive note, why not think about how the day went? A little gentle reflection enables us to learn from mistakes and move forward. Some people find it valuable to write a journal or gratitude diary, to focus on the joyful moments. By concentrating on the positives, no matter how simple, we can feel happy and content as we drift off to sleep. Filling our minds with positivity and gratitude is a lovely way to live.
It’s good to take a moment to consider what you’ll be doing the following day. This may involve thinking about your goals, writing a list or simply reminding yourself that you have a free day to relax and recharge. Having a clear focus enables us to better avoid distractions or procrastination. It feels like we’ve already made a promise to ourselves and gives us somewhere to head. Even if it’s simply occupying an armchair with a cuppa and a good book.
If you need to be up early, you could select your clothes and pack your bag in advance. By doing as much as you can to prepare, you will help things run smoothly. Making quick decisions, like choosing what to wear, is so much easier the evening before. Additional tasks may include planning breakfast, packing gym gear, making lunches or laying out your to-do list. There’s nothing to stop you getting ahead of yourself.
It’s beneficial to switch off your technology and unwind before going to bed. Looking at a screen late at night can make it difficult to fall asleep. And scrolling through social media at bedtime can make us feel busy and restless. It’s lovely to save magazines, books, craft projects and relaxing pastimes for the evenings. Getting creative is a good way to slow down.
If you’ve had a particularly busy day, it’s nice to have a warm bath to ease away the stress. You could also include your hot drink – ideally without caffeine – and scented oils or candles. There are many ways to relax yourself, including listening to music or guided meditation. Find out what works best for you.
A good night’s sleep can help you wake up feeling energised and refreshed. If you have difficulty falling asleep consider your bed and what you wear to ensure everything is comfortable. Other things to look at are room blackout, noise, temperature and ventilation. Create a routine that works for you. Regular sleeping hours will support your internal body clock and enable you to get to sleep more easily.
Some of us may find we wake up in the night and worry about things. If this is you, it’s wise to keep a pencil and notebook by your bed. That way if you have any concerns you can jot them down. More often than not problems are magnified in the middle of the night. Once written down you can gently let them go and return to more relaxing thoughts.
Rise and shine!
If you’ve followed the previous steps you should wake up in a tidy room, knowing exactly what you’d like from the day. This will give you a little extra head space to relax and enjoy spending time with the people around you. If things don’t go as you plan, at least you will have organised yourself sufficiently to buy yourself some time, giving you an extra moment or two to breathe.
This article was originally published under the title ‘The ingredients for a calm morning’ in Issue 3 – Restore serenity