How to Start the Day
Sometimes a day feels like it's never going to end. Sometimes a week feels like it's never going to end. And sometimes... like this past year... It feels like nothing is ever going to end! Of course, these are all just perceptions that we create for ourselves. Everything changes, even within a day, and if we take the time to pay attention, we can almost always see small steps of progress.
A challenge that many people that I've been speaking with recently are experiencing is how to keep up hope and optimism and resilience and positivity, when so much seems so challenging.
It's true that there are a number of things that we simply cannot control. But happily, there are many things in our day-to-day lives that we can control, that end up having a measurable impact on our experience of the day. This is not new knowledge - philosophers and writers have been expressing these thoughts for literally thousands of years. The ancient Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius who was born 2000 years ago wrote this:
“Today I escaped from the crush of circumstances, or better put, I threw them out, for the crush wasn't from outside me but in my own assumptions.”
It's as true now as it was back then and it reminds us that if we take just a few moments, we can make an impact on what we think, how we think it and what we feel.
He's a simple daily routine that can help to get you back in the cycle of feeling hopeful, optimistic and resilient. If you're already doing something like this - kudos to you (and keep doing it!). If you're not yet doing something like this or perhaps you used to but it slipped by the wayside, he's a chance to get back in the groove.
Before you start work every day, make sure you:
- Express gratitude for something that you experienced, either silently or out loud
- Appreciate something of beauty in your environment
- Smile at somebody
- Tell someone about something good that you experienced in the last 24 hours
- Decide on one thing that will satisfy you when you achieve it today
- Plan a lunch break
None of this will change any of the things that are going to happen during your work day - you will likely still be dealing with patients, computers, phones, doctors, reps, irritations, frustrations and everything else that makes up a day.
But what you will have established is a base of gratitude, appreciation and kindness on which to start your day!