Isn't it true that sometimes we are our own worst enemy?
We seek long-lasting energy and mental clarity but have habits that sabotage our goals. If you're reading this blog, you're on the right path: You recognize the problem and are curious about finding a solution.
These three habits could be sabotaging your wellness goals, without you even realizing it!
1. You Check Email Too Early
Once upon a time, there were no cell phones, no Blackberries, no smartphones, and only doctors carried pagers. Back then, perhaps, life was simpler. Or at least work stress didn't infuse our home life the way that it does today. The work/family divide has now blended into one great big "always online" cybersphere existence. Among other things, that blended boundary brought with it, increases in stress and anxiety. If your workday begins at 9 am, there's no reason to check email before then. Doing so can start your day with angst. Start your day with prayer or meditation, some uplifting reading, or light conversation with your partner. You'll have plenty of time to start stressing about work once you get there.
Challenge #1: Don't check email before 8:30 am each day. I've tried this, and it's not easy!
2. You Drink Java Before Aqua
Coffee is the thing that lures me out of bed most mornings. I Sleepwalk to the kitchen to brew a fresh pot, with eyes still closed. It's a ritual I have honed over many, many years—which is why it hasn't been easy adding this new twist to an old habit: drink water. When we wake up, our bodies are dehydrated after hours without water. So, when we have that first cup of coffee, it can feel as though we've quenched our thirst. But caffeinated drinks are not the same as good old-fashioned water. Have you ever watched a limp and "dying" plant come to life only minutes after being watered? That's your brain on water. Many people who complain of fatigue are simply dehydrated!
Challenge #2: I would never suggest going coffee-free (unless you really want to!); instead, have a large glass of water with lemon when you get up, and THEN pour yourself a morning brew. You won't receive the same caffeinated jolt that you're used to, but plummeting energy levels will balance out, too.
3. You Nurture Negative Self-Talk
As soon as you wake up, become conscious of your thoughts. Do heart-pounding deadlines inject anxiety into your morning? Does colleague drama or communication breakdowns plague you the moment your eyes blink open? Refuse to engage in the conversation, yet. Instead, write down two things that make you smile. Continue purchasing a gratitude journal, even. So much research now shows the impact of gratitude on both mental and physical health. No matter what your situation or circumstance, you can find something to be grateful for, and when you do, your outlook on and experiences of the day will change for the better. Research shows that gratitude not only reduces stress but also boosts energy.
Challenge #3: One of the happiest people I know shared her top positivity tip: When her feet hit the floor first thing in the morning, with every step, she says "Thank You." I know: it sounds cheezie, right? But it works. It just does. Try it.
If you want long-lasting energy and optimal mind-body health, consider fine-tuning one (or all) of the habits that might be starting your day on a flat note. Don't turn electronics on before 9:00 am, drink water before coffee, and discipline your morning mind to feel gratitude.
Let me know how it goes! I'd love to hear from you!