When I shared my 2017 goals back in January there was a huge emphasis on all things positivity and minimalism. I’ve certainly kept up with the minimalism side and if you watch my Youtube channel you’ll see a heap of content on there but in terms of positivity I’ve not really shared much.
Don’t get me wrong, this has been my year of positivity; I feel, or at least hope, that it shines through on my channel, blog and social media channels however as part of my plan for 2017 was to provide useful content, I feel like I really should be spreading the positivity in the form of tips and ideas!
The phrase ‘ woke up on the right side of the bed this morning’ really is so true; if you wake up in a bad mood you’ll likely have a bad start to your day and the rest of your day will continue accordingly. A grumpy morning spirals into an awful day and has a domino effect to a bad week. Once you’re set in a negative state of mind it’s harder and harder to be positive so starting your day in a positive way is the best way to keep a positive mental attitude! So, starting at the beginning, here are 10 tips for a more positive morning.
I’m a firm believer in planning ahead and making things easier for myself so a lot of the things that I do to make my morning easier are actually done the night before.
1 – Make lists – You guys know that lists are my life. I write lists for just about everything so there was no doubt I’d include them in this post. Starting your day knowing what you need to do that day is a great way to feel not only organised but in control. Every night before bed I not only write a to do list for the next day but tick off my ‘dones’ – this makes me feel so relieved and I go to bed knowing exactly what I’ve done and need to do. I write my list on a little notepad on my desk; if I’m out running errands then the list comes with me and if not it stays at my desk and let me tell you there is nothing more satisfying than ticking off those to-do’s and *oh my* ripping out that ‘done’ list and throwing it in the bin! Of course for the environment savvy of you, notes on your phone are just as satisfying and effective!
2 -Start with a clean slate – Waking up to a messy house, full laundry basket and un-emptied dishwasher effects me probably more than it should. Starting your day by finishing off yesterdays jobs will only set you back and bring added stress to your day so get everything done before you go to bed and wake up with a clean slate. Tidying away breakfast is so much easier when you’re not adding to last nights dinner plates and washing last nights bedding is much easier to do when you don’t have to quickly spin wash and hang up yesterdays wash load first. Knowing that you’re going to bed with a clean and tidy house is so satisfying and waking up to that is even more so! Equally so, finishing off those emails, replying to forgotten text messages and ordering that last minute birthday card will give you a clean ‘to-do’ slate and adds to that relaxing morning vibe!
3 – Drink plenty of water – This may sound like an odd one but there is nothing like a bit of dehydration to lower your mood. During the night we loose a lot of fluids by sweating and if you’re like me, having to go for a wee every time I wake with the baby (which isn’t actually that often); so it’s really important to make sure you’re drinking plenty of water. I always have a glass of water on my bedside table and if I do wake to a noise or for the baby I make sure to have a few sips to ensure I don’t wake up with a dry mouth and a groggy head.
The nights that I drink plenty of water before going to bed and during the night lead to the mornings when I feel most fresh. I also always make a point of finishing my glass of water before I get out of bed in the morning; it’s become a little challenge especially if I haven’t woken up during the night and have a full glass to go. Using my hydrate m8 bottle is great for this as I can already be on midday before 9am (if you know what I mean you’ll know how satisfying this is).
4 – Remove that make up – Another random one maybe but this is so important for so many reasons ladies. Of course removing your make up helps you to avoid clogged pores and allows your skin to breathe but do you ever wake up with last nights make up on and look in the mirror thinking ‘oh wow I look great!’? No, me neither! Waking up with last nights make up on makes me feel horrible and like I’ve had a heavy night out even if I’ve just been in bed watching TOWIE; it makes my skin feel tight and far from fresh and most apparently it makes me feel guilty. I know that last one sounds odd but I know how fresh and positive I feel when I do take it off so when I don’t I just feel annoyed at myself … and my now mascara covered pillow!
Spending five minutes cleansing, toning and moisturising at night not only does wonders for my skin but allows me to wake up feeling fresh faced and with a clean slate for a new face of make up! It also means one less job to do and more time to spend being relaxed (as relaxed as can be with a toddler and a baby to get ready!).
5 – No media – I read this one a lot but I’m so terrible at keeping up with it; I do however feel so much better when I have no media after a certain time. The nights that I switch off my computer and set my phone on the side at a reasonable time (not when I’m exhausted at midnight and about to fall asleep) are the nights that lead to a great sleep. I’m the worst for working on my computer until 11pm and then laying in bed scrolling on instagram until 1am and then feeling wired and unable to switch off. Those nights I have a terrible sleep and wake up feeling tense and uptight. I now set myself the challenge of stopping work at 10pm which could be earlier I know but the evenings are when I work and not picking up my phone once I’m in bed. I can read if I have a good book or even talk to my husband – shocker it rarely happens, but it gives my body time to relax and switch off and I always fall asleep better and wake up feeling so much more zen. It’s probably also because I don’t have emails and edits whizzing around in my head; instead I have Pete’s work stories and whatever thriller I’m reading!
6 – Get up when you wake up – This is a tricky one especially if like me you love to lay in but I feel so much more productive when I get up as soon as I wake up rather than snoozing until I’m practically dragged out of bed by my toddler. I work from home and Jasper doesn’t start preschool until 9am so it’s so tempting to laze about but I find taking that window of opportunity when I first wake up and have that mini burst of freshness to just jump out of bed and get a head start on my morning is so so good! Otherwise I drift back off to sleep and always end up feeling more tired when I eventually get out of bed later. I think it may also be a control thing as I’m choosing to get out of bed not being made to and I love that I can have my morning cuppa and get some emails on the go before the rest of the house stirs.
7 – Stretch, breathe and be mindful – It’s easy to wake up and instantly get caught up in the days tasks at hand but it’s so important to stop and centre yourself before you get started. I often wake up so unbalanced after a night feed, early wake up call from the toddler and just general life stresses so doing a few simple things every morning to rebalance really makes a difference. There are loads of things to do, lots of people love yoga and if I got up early enough I would do it but I prefer to take deep breaths in through my nose and out through my mouth. I stretch my arms above my head to reach the wall and stretch my toes as far as I can and then relax and repeat. I clear my mind which takes a lot of practise and can be so tricky but first thing in the morning is probably the easiest time; and then I tell myself some positive affirmations. These vary every day and I don’t say them out loud but things like ‘today is going to be a good day’, ‘I’m a calm parent’, ‘today I will do something kind’, ‘I understand my toddler and can handle his threenager ways’ … that kind of thing. It may sound cheesey but those affirmations are so effective!
8 – Prepare – This is probably my most useful tip; preparation is key to a stress-free and smooth morning. Before I go to bed I always make sure that whatever we need for the next day is ready to go whether it be preschool bag, shoes and coat by the front door or Gym Tots t-shirt ironed and hung up in Jasper’s wardrobe. I usually try to do this when we get in from our day as it’s fresh in my mind and leaves me with less rushing around later on. I replenish snacks, wash out bottles and replace spare clothes and it means that in the morning I simply need to grab and go with little thought or effort – perfect for those toddler tantrums and baby poop explosions five minutes before leaving the house!
9 – Open those windows and curtains – I mentioned this one in my Morning Cleaning Routine video and it is great for an instant hit of freshness and gives a real boost of positivity. Once we’re all up I go around and pull back the curtains/ open the blinds to let that sunlight in. I also open the windows in the bedrooms to let some cool air in and let me tell you there is nothing quite like a hit of fresh air in a boys bedroom!
10 – Freshen up those beds – I also pull back the bed sheets to let them breathe and change them all once a week except for Jenson’s which need changing every couple of days thanks to milk and dribble!
11 – Tidy as you go – Starting your day with a clean house is wonderful but the mess can easily mount up with morning showers and breakfast so try to tidy as you go. I don’t go downstairs in the morning until the beds are made, glasses, bottles, dirty nappies and dirty clothes are taken downstairs and any mess the boys have made is tidied away. I also don’t eat breakfast until I’ve put the milk back in the fridge, butter knife in the dishwasher etc and I don’t leave the house until the morning’s toys are put away and breakfast is washed up. Being so productive first thing in the morning helps me to stay productive for the rest of the day and coming back from a morning toddler group to a clean and tidy house keeps me positive and more likely to keep on top of it all.
12 – Learn something new – This is something that I really try to do every day and always make a conscious effort to stop and take a couple of minutes to do so. I’m not talking a new language or anything too strenuous but popping online and reading a news article or listening to a Ted talk whilst getting ready gets my brain active and helps me to get motivated for my day!
13 – Play some music – I’m a huge music fan and it can instantly change my mood. Mellow chill out music can be great for a peaceful morning but I personally love a bit of RnB to get my adrenaline pumping and to get me and the boys dancing happily around the house. It drowns out any whinging toddler noises and stops me from overthinking my day.
14 – Have a healthy breakfast – This is such an obvious one and I feel silly putting it in here but always have a good breakfast to kick start your day. I usually have toast or cereal but whichever I go for I always add some kind of fruit whether it be chopped up banana on my Weetabix or avocado on my toast. If I have time I also try to make a smoothie every day with spinach, coconut water and whatever fruits I have in the bowl. I love starting my day knowing that I’ve already had at least one of my five a day and that my body is fuelled by goodness.
15 – Last but certainly not least – Make an effort. I’m not talking high heels, full face of make up and perfectly preened hair and I know that there are days where a mum bun and joggers are necessary but making a little bit of an effort every morning can really do wonders for your mood. It’s not vain or self obsessed at all and of course it’s the inside that counts but I personally feel so much better when I’ve brushed my hair before popping it in a mum bun and put on a little bit of mascara and lip gloss. For everyone this is different, if you’re not into make up your thing may be using your favourite hand cream, it may be taking an extra couple of minutes to exfoliate in the shower; whatever it is take the time to do it and make yourself feel good. It’s also important to always remember that nothing should be saved for best; don’t put a top back into the wardrobe because your only have a mum day; wear that top, looks great and feel great!
Well those are the ways that I try to ensure a positive morning and therefore a positive day. I hope your found these useful, please do pop any other ideas in the comments below and let me know if you try any of these!
Thanks for reading,