“Breakfast is the most important meal of the day” “Waking up early is good for you” “Exercise in the morning helps you be more alert for the rest of the day.”
But are these tips for starting your day enough? Even if you have a great morning routine, an example of that here, as the day goes on, wouldn’t one stressful thing after another pile up until we forget all about the mantras for gratefulness and mindfulness and we fall into a pit of draining and unhelpful emotions? (Whew, even that sentence is long and stressful). So, certain “routines” or simple tasks you can set up during the day and all the way until you drift off into dreamland can help you make the day better and when you look back, you don’t feel a lot of “I should have’s and I shouldn’t have’s.
Here are some simple tasks that I do during the day and before I fall asleep that have helped me out of my depression and anxiety.
After going about your day with one task after another, your body might get tired and your mind irritated. To relax and refocus, I use my mindfulness app to set a reminder to read a few mindfulness quotes, take a few deep breaths. Mindfulness helps us from drowning in a hole of endless details and perfection. A quiet moment might even help us to unconsciously solve the problems at hand in a new, unexpected way.
Closing Your Day
A busy day has finally drawn to a close and your mind and body are drained. To distract myself from the overworked side of the brain, I read or listen to audio book. Or, I do some creative activities, watch the news with my family or play mind stimulating games. Doing so works out different areas of my brain and move away from any distressing, stressful thoughts and emotions. Find some apps that stimulate other parts of your brain —>here. In addition, I prep and go through the tasks and clothing for the next day while doing these activities.
The Last Planned Plan
We have now come full circle: the last planned activity to end your day with gratefulness, mindfulness and the possibilities for tomorrow. I listen to some meditative music or reflective audio to calm my spirit, mind and body and to be thankful for all the experiences of the day. This activity is done about half an hour before bed. I set a reminder to stop whatever I was doing and, just like my wake up time, keep my bedtime consistent. I find that listening to calming sounds or reflective words helps me to let go of any misgivings or negativity and let love, hope and joy take its place.
Your Last Thought
The last thought of the day can affect your sleep quality and the attitude in which you wake up tomorrow. After listening to the meditative music or reflective audio, I take at least 10 deep breaths and with each intake and exhale I think of at least one thing I am grateful for, one thing I did well or one thing I will do better tomorrow. By turning your thoughts to self constructive criticism (like two stars and a wish in school), you are less likely to be get discouraged or defeated by life’s curve balls and remember that you are capable and deserving of love, health, redemption and second chances.
Take a moment now to look back to how far you’ve come, what you have achieved and what you want to accomplish. Time doesn’t wait for anyone and would we want to look back with regret? Or do we look back with pride and joy because even if we didn’t achieve our “ideal” success, we can say with conviction that we tried our best. As we grow up, we must remember that achieving any goal that we really have control over is that “we tried our best” and whatever the outcome, we should still feel proud of our accomplishments. My strongest mantra for facing life’s challenges is you must always be truthful to yourself. This is how we can grow and fill life with real meaning.
Basically, life is just one long day, and we shouldn’t just make the beginning of that long day wonderful, we need to make the middle and the end amazing too. That then, is what truly makes a successful you, because you tried your best, you are honest with yourself and you made the best of what you have.