The way we start our days make all the difference in how the rest of our day goes. The old saying “he woke up on the wrong side of the bed” certainly rings true. When we start the day in a bad mood it generally impacts our decisions, that in turn, impact the rest of our day. The good news is that we can make choices that virtually guarantee that we will have a resilient day.
Don’t you mean have a super-fantastic-amazingly-awesome day?
Nope. Although I do hope that is what you have! Unfortunately we can’t guarantee that we will have an awesome day. Life has a way of laughing at those plans. What we can do is set ourselves up to effectively handle whatever the day throws at us. This means that when you get that dreaded email from your boss telling you that you have to work on the project you have been putting off you are able to pick yourself up and get it done without it ruining your day. It may still bum you out, but your world doesn’t crash to a halt. It also means that you can hear some really exciting news, like your family just booked a trip to your favorite place for vacation next month, and not have it completely distract you from the things you have set out to accomplish that day.
I always strive to have a resilient day. I have noticed some trends that help me to actually accomplish this, as well as some trends that generally lead to a day that will take me down every chance it gets.
3 Ways to Start a Resilient Day
- Start your day with some exercise. I would love to sleep in every day if I could, but it just makes me feel awful when I do. I don’t feel any more rested throughout my day. In fact, I usually feel more tired and sluggish! When I start my day off by sleeping in I am also setting the tone that my intentions aren’t important and can be disregarded. So instead, I get up and get moving! My favorite way to start my morning exercise is by doing something that helps me be stronger for the hobbies I love. Right now, I do a weight training class 3 times a week and a spin class 3 times a week. This helps me have the strength and endurance I need for long strenuous hikes or mountain bike rides. Keeping these goals in mind helps make the morning exercise in the gym more enjoyable.
- Get protein and veggies with your breakfast. To have a resilient day, you need to have sustained energy and nutrition. The best way to do this is to get protein and veggies in your first meal. It also sets the stage to be make healthy decisions when it comes to food for the rest of your day – a double win! Three ways I use to get veggies in for breakfast are: add spinach to your smoothie (you won’t even notice it except for the color), make a veggie and egg scramble, or cook up some greens with beans or sausage. (This last one is a personal favorite of my husband.)
- Experience gratitude. It only takes a few minutes at most, and it really sets your day up to be able to see the positive things around you. Having a positive or optimistic viewpoint can really turn even the most challenging of days into a day of wins. If you ask me, this is the very core of resilience!
3 Ways to Have a Day That Drags You Down
- Set a goal for how you want to start your day and then hit the snooze button until the last minute. Not only does this make it harder for you to do all of the things mentioned above, it also sends a message to yourself that this day is going to be awful and that what you say you want doesn’t actually matter.
- Eat something sugary for breakfast (or skip breakfast altogether). If you want to feel overwhelmed and exhausted by 10am, have a donut and coffee for breakfast. Your blood sugar will spike with energy and then crash a few hours later. You will be lucky if you can think clearly, let alone be able to handle the unexpected in your day.
- Tell yourself that you are going to have an awful day. Just like gratitude helps set your mind up to see the positive things that come your way, telling yourself you are going to have an awful day primes your brain to look for evidence to support it. We tend to only look for signs that support what we already believe, so what you tell yourself to expect in the morning makes a difference in how you interpret everything else that happens in your day, even if it is completely benign.
Try these tips out tomorrow and let us know how your day went. (Hopefully you choose to try for a resilient day!)
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