Goals Health and Wellness Self-care Stress Relief

Start Your Day Off Well

Whether you consider yourself a morning person or a night person, how you start your day often determines the outcome of it. From health to mindset to productivity, here are some tips to start your day off well.

  1. Get up! As soon as that alarm goes off, get out of bed! Don’t hit the snooze alarm. By training yourself to get up with the first alarm, you will actually be more rested and ready to go. You’ll also feel better about yourself and start the day with a positive mindset.
  2. Open the blinds and make your bed! As soon as you are up, let in the morning light! (If it’s winter and still dark out, you can wait — no need to flash your neighbors in the early morning.) Then make your bed. Why make your bed? Multiple reasons:
    • You have already accomplished one thing for the day!
    • This leads to a better self-perception, lowers your stress, and increases a positive mood.
    • It helps you keep the rest of your room tidy…
    • As well as your life — it increases productivity!
    • It will help you fall asleep at night. Getting into a bed that has been made actually helps your to relax better and get to sleep faster.
    • It’ll also keep you from crawling back into bed when you need to be up and going. 😉
  3. Drink a glass of warm lemon water. Squeeze half a lemon into 8oz of warm (not hot) water. Benefits of lemon water in the morning:
    • Boosts your immune system
    • Aids in digestion
    • Helps with weight loss
    • Balances pH
    • Clears skin
    • Freshens breath
    • Relieves respiratory problems
    • Helps you kick the coffee habit
  4. Spend 15 minutes in prayer and/or meditation. You can also spend the time reading an inspirational or motivational book. This allows you to prepare your heart and put your head in the right mindset for the day.
  5. Move your body. Spend 30 minutes doing some sort of movement. It doesn’t have to been an intense workout. A brisk walk is fine. Moving your body helps wake you up and gets the blood flowing to your brain, making you more productive and ready to conquer the day. Moving your body can be fun! Need ideas, let me know. 🙂
  6. Shower. Other than the fact that it’s good hygiene (especially after you workout), with so many people still working remotely, it’s important to mention. Take your shower, do your hair, put on makeup, and put on real clothes. Why? You will both feel better about yourself and be in the mindset that you are working and need to get things done.

Start with one thing above and add it to your morning routine until you are doing all of them! You will see a change in your mindset and outlook for the day. And remember…one bad thing doesn’t set the tone for the day. You can turn a bad day into a good one with a positive mindset!

Health and Wellness Stress Relief

Fight, Flight, or Freeze

When the COVID-19 pandemic first hit the U.S. in March and we went into shelter-in-place, I remember feeling an overwhelming tiredness that didn’t make sense to me. I felt I was getting more sleep, we had nowhere to rush to, and I was grateful for the extra time with my family. Why the fatigue? As I talked to my friends, I learned that we were all experiencing similar feelings of tiredness and fatigue.

About a month later, I read an article that talked about how we are experiencing a “fight or flight” response to the pandemic. The “fight or flight” response causes our cortisol levels to rise which can be helpful when needing to escape a situation, however, with no way to do anything during COVID, those responses continue to rise and can cause restlessness, trouble sleeping, GI issues, etc. 

Obviously, we are unable to fight or flee the pandemic, so for some people, the body goes into a freeze response – low energy, difficulty concentrating, avoidance of all news, and feeling exhausted are some of the symptoms.

I realized that my body was falling into the freeze response and that I needed to find strategies to cope with the stress. For me, creating a schedule and continuing to accomplish things while at home was important. I woke up to my alarm, set aside time for my business and workouts, made schedules for my children, and spent time walking, praying, and singing. And it worked!

We’ve started to find our new normal. My kids are fortunate to be in school all day, five days a week and I teach at their school two days per week. We have slowly brought some activities back into our schedule too. Things have been feeling good.

Fast forward to last week…the cases are rising in my state and someone I was in close contact with (although always more than six feet away) tested positive for COVID. I was late in finding out about the person’s symptoms and worried that I might have passed it unknowingly to someone else. I had a COVID test done on Friday, just to be safe and it took multiple days to get the results (negative). While I waited I found myself shutting down as I thought of all the ramifications if I was positive (kids e-learning, not working, canceling kids’ birthday events, etc.). When I finally got the results back, I could feel my energy increase, however, I was still feeling unrested in the morning…and then I remembered the “fight or flight” response. My body is still responding to the stress even as I get back to normal. And it’s not over — things are starting to shut down in our state again. So how will I cope with it? Same as last time — movement, prayer, schedules, and natural supplements to keep me calm and at peace.

How about you? How has COVID effected you? What strategies have you put in place to conquer the stress and anxiety? If you haven’t created any, now would be a good time. Figure out where you are struggling — write it down — and make a plan. Don’t let the stress overtake you again like it did when it first started last March. 

And if you’re looking for some great natural stress relief, these products have worked amazingly for me:

Finally, I leave you with this encouragement from Philippians 4:5b-7: “The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” 

Praying for you to stay safe and have a peace that exceeds anything you can understand!