Micro Mondays Over 50s Lifestyle WOTY 2022 - BE

‘Book-ending’ your day to Be who you want to Be

January 31, 2022

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 day

Kristine 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?

Mornings

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?

Evenings

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.

This morning or this evening, (whenever you are reading this post), take time to do this exercise and tell me how you felt.

Women Living Well After 50

Living Life Your Way

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21 Comments

  • Reply Vanessa January 31, 2022 at 09:06

    Going through some change right now and the big question that keeps coming up for me is what do I want to choose/where I have the ability to direct things/make a choice, what do I really want it to look like? No answers yet, but it’s marinating in the back of my head somewhere.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 4, 2022 at 11:24

      Hi Vanessa, change can be difficult can’t it? I’m sure you will come up with what is right for you and I love the term ‘marinating in the back of my yead somewhere’. Take care x

  • Reply Lydia C. Lee January 31, 2022 at 10:08

    What a nice post. A psyche freind was talking about book ending – I’d never heard of it before. Seems like a very worthwhile investment into the day. (& yourself)

  • Reply leannelc January 31, 2022 at 10:32

    Hi Sue – I guess that’s what prayer is for me – kind of giving the day to God in the morning and then handing all the stuff that happened back to him at the end of the day. I guess we’re all spiritual beings in some way or another and we need to process our internal stuff in a positive way or we end up overwhelmed by it all. Bookending is a great way to do that.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 4, 2022 at 11:39

      Hi Leanne, yes I agree prayer for you is a perfect start and finish to your day. x

  • Reply Retirement Reflections January 31, 2022 at 10:50

    Hi, Sue – This post and podcast brillliantly align with the book that I just finished reading (The Little Book of Inner Peace by Angela Davis Bush). One of the practices that she recommends is ‘Morning Thanks.’ Like you, she reminds us that first thing in the morning is a key time to shapre our mood for the day. We have the power to set the tone that could lead to our day becoming a blessing…or a burden. It’s remarkable how so often we unconsciously choose the latter.
    Thank you for introducing us to bookendings and for your very wise words.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 4, 2022 at 11:39

      Thank you lovely Donna for your kind words. I’m loving your WOTY Peace and also enjoying your sharing the books you have been reading around the topic. x

  • Reply Min from Write of the Middle January 31, 2022 at 11:15

    I love the concept of bookending your day in an intentional way. I think I’m kinda doing that! Every morning I get up and have my coffee and then I do my exercise before showering, dressing and getting on with my day. I’ve joined up with MerryBody Online Studio and do that every morning. It’s a mixture of pilates and yoga and some classes are a fusion of both. They also have master classes and meditations. I end my day with a meditation. Sometimes I also do exercise from another app (free) called FitOn in the mornings – depends how much time I have. I’m feeling so much better now with my new routine. Have a great week Sue! xo

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 6, 2022 at 08:32

      Hi Min, you certainly are starting your day well and doesn’t moving your body help to get you going. MerryBody sounds great and I know you enjoy pilates and yoga so it is a perfect combination for you. I’m so pleased to hear you are feeling so much better. Take care and thanks for stopping by. xx

  • Reply Debbie January 31, 2022 at 14:27

    I love the idea of book ending Sue and you explain it all so well, it all makes complete sense to me.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 4, 2022 at 11:38

      Thanks Deb, it is a good habit to get into and trying to ‘habit stack’ certainly saves time on a busy day. x

  • Reply Deborah January 31, 2022 at 16:16

    I really need to make some health-related changes at the moment Sue but struggling with them. I’m completely on-board with the bookending though. As I live alone I feel like there’s a whole thing about going into my bedroom to bed and getting up in the morning. Before working FT again I used to flop on my bed during the day but my neighbours are building a pool so if I have a lie down I do it in my spare room. It means my bed is only the place I go to at night to sleep again, which is a bit of a surreal feeling. But also kinda healthy.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 4, 2022 at 11:42

      It can be difficult to make any change can’t it Deb? You just have to make small changes each day or week and they soon add up. That’s a great idea having the spare room to lay down and read and leave your bedroom for sleeping at night. Do you think it has changed your sleeping patterns? x

      • Reply Deborah February 4, 2022 at 15:41

        I think so Sue, though take sleeping tablets so it’s a bit hard to know…. but I do feel more settled at night – having not flopped on my bed endlessly during the day (and wallowing).

        • Reply Sue Loncaric February 5, 2022 at 08:56

          That’s good Deb. I admit to having to have some help to sleep on some nights. WE do what we do, don’t we? xx

  • Reply Susanne February 1, 2022 at 23:17

    I love these ideas of starting a brand new day and to close it in the evening… especially that of letting go of your disappointments and frustrations as you wash your face in the evening. This is a very simple but probably very powerful form of self-care! Thanks for another very inspiring post.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 4, 2022 at 11:35

      Hi Susanne, it is a lovely idea isn’t it? You set yourself up for the day and then calmly close out your day in preparation for rest. I’ve been consciously trying to use my beauty routine to focus on my gratitude and also letting go of the frustrations of the day. x

  • Reply Denyse Whelan Blogs February 2, 2022 at 15:19

    I started book ending my days about 8 months ago I guess. I have been a continuous meditator via the Calm app since 2018 and from the end of 2019 do the Daily Calm upon waking. I now also reflect via the prompt and have added using the gratitude list. Now, before I am ready to sleep, I listen to another meditation teacher whose approach is completely the opposite and gives me more perspective on learning, and life. It’s something I cannot miss ever. The sign of something good when it’s like that. Many thanks to you for linking up for Life This Week with a blog post. I look forward, I hope, to seeing you back on Mondays whenever that works for you! Denyse.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 4, 2022 at 11:33

      Hi Denyse, I see you mentioning the apps you use on your blog and social media. It’s great that you have found something to help you with meditation and to bring calm to your morning and evening x

  • Reply OnceUponaTimeHappilyEverAfter.com February 9, 2022 at 01:50

    On my best days, I have begun with quiet time and a few minutes of journaling and end with listing 3 or more things I am grateful for particular to that day. But sadly, there are more days than not that my feet hit the ground running and I don’t take time for this important book ending. Hoping to do better this year. Trying hard!!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric February 10, 2022 at 08:53

      Don’t be too hard on yourself, Leslie. You’ve had a tough year but 2022 has started well with a beautiful grandson. xx

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