12-04-2014 by 
We all have those days, when we over sleep or it is dreary, we didn’t sleep well, and or any number of things happen and we just feel like we are having a rotten day.
With my kids, if we are having a rough morning, I tell them to go back to bed for a few minutes, and try again; sometimes a simple do-over is all that is needed.  However, there are times when a do-over is not possible.  Also, a do-over is reactionary, it is far more effective to prevent a rough start than fix it.  Like the saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”.
It is harder for many of us to get moving when it is winter, and when getting up, it is often still dark. The bed is nice and cozy and the weather outside is less than ideal.  So how can we at least improve the chances of getting a good start?

Tip 1. Meditate

One of my friends suggested this to me. I thought she had lost her mind, but she is always so happy and a joy to be around, so I gave it a try. Meditating does not have to be long, it does not have to be the stereotypical meditation.  Try and state your intentions for the day; maybe by saying today I will be joyful.  Today, I will look for the good even when frustrated.  I also use affirmations extensively.  It really has helped me set a positive tone for my days. I also have post it notes around reminding me of positive things. 

Tip 2. Be Prepared

Parents often encourage children to set out their next day’s clothes, get their backpacks ready, make their lunches so in the morning they will not be pressured and rushing around.  Adults can do something similar, get whatever you can ready they night before.  “Haste makes waste,” the stress and pressure of getting things together makes it more likely that something will be overlooked. 

Tip 3. Slow Down and Remember to Breathe

Continuing on the “haste makes waste” saying, rushing around induces a stress response in our bodies, stress is stressful and can lower our mood and set us up to have an off day.  When you feel yourself starting to rush or becoming overwhelmed, take a deep breath, count to 10, and slow down.

Tip 4. Eat!

There is a reason breakfast is said to be the most important meal of the day! When blood sugar drops, we don’t feel well.  It is hard to be positive when blood sugar is low.  Eating something with protein and complex carbs is a great way to have long lasting energy and stable blood sugar. Not every day will be a banner day, nothing can change that, but we can change how we respond.

Tip 5. Set Reasonable Expectations

We can give ourselves the best chance possible to have a good day.  One final tip- set reasonable expectations,  I have 5 children, there will be chaos, its expected, but I count a day as a good day when I end the day with the same number of kids I started with and everyone is safe and fed (this is tongue in cheek, but I do not expect perfection).
Mood Keywords: children, fatigue, socialization, sleep, irritation
1. Edberg, Henrik. "How to Get a Great Start to Your Day: 7 Simple Tips" http://www.positivityblog.com/index.php/2013/12/18/great-start-to-your-day/ No Date.
2. Paul, Sheryl. "5 Life-Changing Ways To Start Your Day"  http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-11639/5-life-changing-ways-to-start-your-day.html November 21, 2013.
Image Credit: Anna Omelchenko © 123RF.com (used under license)
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