How should you start your day right?
I think that is unique to everyone. Some people like to go for a 5-mile run. Others like meditation or yoga. Some watch TV or listen to music. Some dance. Some people think these people are crazy and would rather hit snooze until the absolute last minute that they know they can still make it to work. I remember when I was younger often sticking my head under the faucet with a little shampoo to take a “half-shower” followed by a French bath in cologne all to save those extra 5 minutes of sleep. (Side note: don’t use snooze alarms as your brain gets confused as to whether or not to wake. Sorry, I didn’t make the rules!)
I think the best way to look at it is to make a little time for self-care no matter what that care is. We have to prioritize starting our days off right. I’ve found one of the simplest approaches to this is to write a little message to myself on a post-it note. Typically it involves a few key pieces of information.
Remember “your” place and energy:
Other people’s energy can directly impact us. I try to remember to stay in a positive place. I can take on other people’s negative energy very easily as I am highly sensitive to this. Therefore, I have to hold a place of support and compassion for those who are struggling. (Remember that I am a therapist. That means most of my day is filled with wonderful people that unfortunately are struggling with energy and balance). I try to remind myself that the problems others face –from patients to coworkers, friends, or family – are not mine to take on unless asked. I have a lengthy history of playing the role of “Rescuer” which I will stress to you does not always work out as intended.
BOTTOM LINE – Be aware of how others can impact us and how we respond.
Remember “my” place and energy:
To balance the point above, if I am not taking care of myself – yes, this happens… much more than I would like to admit – I have to make sure not to transfer this onto others. I have to be mindful of how I can influence others. We are all like a bunch of pinballs spinning around with perpetual energy or inertia. We will alter their path if we are not careful and bump into someone. This also can happen in a positive way. We can choose to bring our best selves to all interactions with others. Often times this can happen by simply being courteous and kind in our interactions. We can smile and wish people well. We can hold the door for someone. We can provide a compliment. Simple actions that can change a path. Sometimes people feel invisible and being noticed or acknowledged may be exactly what they need.
BOTTOM LINE – Be aware of how we can transfer out negative or positive energy onto others by being aware of our own energy in the first place.
Remember my purpose:
We have to be mindful of what our purpose is in life. Many people struggle with this. I have to remind myself at times that my job is to help people with healing. I believe I was called to do this. My mom knew I was going to be a therapist when I was younger because I helped people conflict since I was in early elementary school. Sometimes I don’t like this calling. This typically happens when I am out of balance. Reminding myself has helped me so many times to carry on during those difficult times. These times can be when someone we love is hurt or struggling. It can be when we feel sick or haven’t slept enough. Sometimes we feel anxious or depressed. Bottom line, if we remind ourselves of our purpose – or how whatever we are currently doing is a step towards achieving our position of purpose – we can find the energy to carry on throughout our day ideally with peace and joy.
BOTTOM LINE – As the saying goes, “Today is a gift. That is why it is called the present.” I often remind people that there will never be another today. It only exists once in your life. Make the best of it by pursuing your purpose.
Take a post-it note every morning and write as noted above. I keep mine in a Ziploc bag. Share them with people. If you ever were one of my patients you likely either heard me read one of these or I gifted them to you. It doesn’t take long to do but it can strongly influence how you experience every day.