In an effort to gain a more positive mindset, I have been altering my morning routine to put myself in a calm state of mind. So far, here are some little things that I have found to be effective.
- Dream Journal. This can take between 5-15 minutes depending on how much I remember. Once I finish, I try to figure out what could have caused a particular dream. Usually, my dreams are influenced by whatever I had done the day before. If I was rock-climbing, then my dreams might include me doing some kind of physical activity. If I have the time, I try to use a dream dictionary to find the meaning of specific objects that had no clear correlation to the previous day. Its quite interesting to discover an item that signifies some kind of event, but I have rarely seen these predictions come true.
- Refilling my water stone humidifiers. I recently acquired these to bring a little humidity into the air. I live in a dry environment and that makes me feel like a sun-dried tomato. I did not want an electronic humidifier because they can be large, noisy, or the power cords clutter my desk. It only takes a minute to fill these stones with distilled water, but its a minute of complete silence. Every other week, a sticky pink film accumulates on them and I spend an additional two quiet minutes lightly scrubbing them clean with a towel.
- Listen to music. While making breakfast and lunch, I usually go to YouTube or Pandora, select a song, and then let auto-play do its work. I find the music is a good way to help me ignore the fact that my cooking talent only allows me to create delicious, but simple, meals.
- Light exercise. I am using this term loosely because one push-up, sit-up, and pull-up is all I can accomplish in my current physical state. I spend more time just stretching to get out all the joint pops. After finishing this “routine,” I usually feel more awake and ready to start the day.
- A warm drink. It could be anything – tea, cappuccino, even plain water. I usually make this about two hours after I wake up. By that time, I have finished my immediate tasks and am ready to sit down to actually work. Holding a warm drink is soothing since my fingers are the first of my extremities that get cold.
- Regular news channels. Lately there is so much about corrupt politicians, terrorism, people getting arrested, etc. About one out of ten articles are about good deeds. I wish there could be more coverage on things that people do to help others. I see multiple article comments that say people are acting out because there is a greater chance of getting media attention. If reports could focus on more uplifting stories, then maybe society would be more motivated to help rather than hurt.
- Watch videos. Its a bit counter-intuitive since watching shows, music videos, etc. is very entertaining and a fun way to wake up. The negative aspect comes from the fact that I have limited time in the morning. At most, I can watch 20 minutes worth of videos before I need to get out the door. This can put me in a foul mood if I am in the middle of something particularly interesting and have to hit the pause button.
- Hitting the “snooze” button. As much as I enjoy my comfortable bed and more sleep, using the “snooze” button means I have less time to get ready. To get out the door on time, I need to rush and often skip non-essential tasks. In other words: extra sleep = hectic morning.