How do you start and finish your day?
We know that our first thoughts and actions set us up for the day. If we start the day on a negative note then it can be difficult for it to improve without a lot of effort. A negative text, email, thought or conversation at the start of our day means we start with reaction rather than with an intention. So we are already behind the 8 ball.
If we finish our day stressed and anxious we definitely won’t sleep well.
How you start your day, is how you live your dayKristine Carlson
This week’s episode of Micro Mondays is all about “Book-ending your day to be who you want to be“. I hadn’t heard this term before but basically it is akin to having a morning and evening ritual.
Listen to the Podcast
So how do you Book-end your day to be who you want to be?
During the week I watched a video presented by Lime Life by Alcone Australia, a skincare and makeup company which is not just about their cruelty-free products but focuses on encouraging and inspiring women to live their best life and be who they want to be.
The topic of the video presentation that drew me to continue listening was a novel approach to starting and finishing the day.
For many a morning ritual can be rising early, setting an intention for the day, perhaps meditation or exercise or both. It might include journaling.
Similarly, a nighttime ritual might include turning off all electronic devices an hour before bed, meditation, journaling, writing 3 things you are grateful for or what you achieved that day. It is a way of winding down to help us relax and improve the quality of our sleep.
These rituals are an excellent way to start and finish our day mindfully but they can take time and if you are busy or stressed can be easily pushed aside.
When that happens do you have a back up plan?
Have you ever thought of using your daily habits routine to pause and be mindful at the start and end of your day?
Have you ever thought about using the morning and evening when you are cleansing, moisturising, brushing your teeth or showering to be an opportunity for mindfulness and a way to focus on appreciation?
I hadn’t but it makes perfect sense really to use this time for setting up and closing out your day. It’s also not bad for your skin either to have a regular skincare routine and encourage you to do this especially at night when we are tired and it is so easy to just fall into bed. But skincare routines is another subject for another day.
This method is a form of ‘habit stacking’ – adding something to a habit you are already doing. It is about changing the neural pathways in your brain is through habits.
So what does Book-ending your day look like?
When cleansing your face or when you are in the shower take time to look at you – the inner you. Be mindful of what you are doing and be appreciative of the beautiful woman you are. Look past the lines, the wrinkles and accept them as part of your story – the story of your life.
Firstly, look at your inner beauty, perhaps even be BOLD and BRAVE enough to select a physical feature to celebrate. Look at the beauty without and within and verbally acknowledge it.
Say to yourself as you at moisturise to your face and eyes:
With these eyes I see beauty in myself and the world around me
Then take a moment to look for the beauty surrounding you.
When you are applying your Lipstick say to yourself:
with these lips I speak kindness about myself and others.
We are our own worst critic – look at your thoughts and words that you use to speak to yourself or others. How many negative thoughts or words do you use during the day. How many times do you pull yourself down and forget to show kindness to yourself and others?
When you remove your makeup off or you are in the shower, think about things that frustrated you during the day and consciously let them go. Wash away your mistakes and disappointments before you go to bed. Feel the frustration dissolve as you close out your day.
Remember each day is a new day, so close out today, sleep and wake to new beginnings.
Make a Highlight reel of what happened during your day. Reflect on your highlights and they don’t have to be big. It could be that you walked outside and stood in the sunshine and felt good. Hold onto those moments as you go to bed. Small moments matter because we don’t have great expectations. The more you focus on the highlights the more you will look for them.
Book-ending your day with these small actions and habits is a form of self care and helps you appreciate life.