Most likely you’ve come across lots of advice around the importance of starting the day ‘as you mean to go on’ and mentally ending it with ‘a sense of purpose’. But what about when you are no 5 am’er, often wake to kids jumping on your bed, the nights when you have a few wines and when, well you just can’t be bothered?
Here I’ll show you a couple of examples of how you can take the essence of some key practices and schools of thought that are proven to improve your sense of wellbeing and foster self-nourishment, to create tiny actions and practices that you can easily fit into your lifestyle to help you frame your day in a mindful way.
1) Gratitude in 3 seconds
AM – It doesn’t matter when, where or how you wake up you can take 3 seconds every morning to close your eyes (or not) and mentally say to yourself, ‘thank you for the day ahead’.
PM – It doesn’t matter when, where, how or how much you’ve had, you can take 3 seconds every night to close your eyes (or not) and mentally say to yourself, ‘thank you for the day I’ve had’.
2) Rituals with no added time
AM – You know that morning drink you make yourself, the moment you open the door and cross the threshold to leave the house when you do your make-up or wait in line for that bus, coffee, elevator door? Mark it, be conscious of it. Consciously recognise that moment and notice it. What’s the date? This is you, starting your day, showing up. If you have a bit longer why not take a moment to ponder and reflect, do you remember what you were doing this day last year? What do you think this day next year might look like? Choose your activity and make it into a ritual.
PM – There is nothing better than consciously marking a night-time activity and making it into a ‘cleansing’ ritual. That hot flannel or wipe on your face whilst removing your make-up, the evening bath, the hot drink or glass of water, lavender spray on the pillows, a big hug with a cohabitor (pets included) or simply just the removal of our clothes for bed… this is you, ending your day. Shedding the things that don’t matter and mentally clearing the energy you’ve picked up. Choose your activity and make it into a ritual.
3) Reflection in 2 minutes
AM – Whether you are inspired to make your own set of affirmation / mantra cards or to buy some starting your day with a set of empowering or intention driving words can do wonders. You could even just have a quick scroll on Instagram using #affirmation or #mantra and choose one that jumps out at you. Mark this as your intention for the day, the lesson or the idea to explore.
PM – It doesn’t matter where you are or what time it is, but at the end of each day take a moment and ask yourself, ‘if I was to give today a film title, what would it be?’
4) Finish each day and be done with it
In the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.”