At the beginning of therapy, I always talk with clients about the goals they have for therapy.  One goal is usually to feel less depressed — or anxious.  Did you know that the choices you make in the morning can make a big difference in how you feel all day?

They won’t change the deeper issues that have been creating so much unhappiness.  That’s a process done over time through therapy.  But they can help you create an increased sense of wellness and well-being pretty quickly.

How do you start your day?  I’m always amazed at how many people consistently go off to work or school without taking time to eat breakfast.  They begin their day without nourishment, and then wonder why they don’t have the energy needed to get their tasks done.   I know that often time is short, or you might not feel hungry yet.  You still need to eat, even if it’s only a small meal, or a protein drink.

Besides needing breakfast to provide energy for your day, and to keep you healthy, you also need food to get your blood sugar up to the right level.  Fluctuating blood sugar levels can have a big impact on our emotions!

Something else that can make a big difference is to get moving in the morning.  Choose any activity that you enjoy.  I know it isn’t easy if you tend to be an inactive person by nature.  That describes me pretty well, but I know that I always feel better if I get out for a brisk morning walk.  Moving our bodies is not only good for us physically, but if we’re active enough, it releases our natural “feel good” chemicals (endorphins) too.  This can lift our spirits for a surprisingly long period of time.

As an added bonus, if you do your activity outside, it also will expose you to the sights, sounds, and smells of nature.  (The picture on this post is from a beautiful tree I saw yesterday on my walk.)  If you can spend 30 minutes being active, that’s great, but any amount of time is better than none.  What about starting with 5 minutes, and then gradually increasing to a longer period of activity, within your time limits.

I’m a big believer in small steps!  Start with making small changes, and see if you don’t feel better.  Life is so much about the choices we make, so let’s start giving those choices some careful thought.  Pat yourself on the back for each positive choice you make!  Each one matters!!

Until next time,

Linda

8 Comments

  • The single most difficult thing I do each day is get out of bed. Once I have my feet to the floor I’m OK. But I’m such a SLUG getting to that point. It makes a huge difference to my morning if I’ve prepped properly the night before. You know, clothes picked out and ready to wear, something good for breakfast planned, bag packed … It took some time and commitment to change my routine, but now that I have, mornings are a whole new world. Thanks for posting this. It’s a good reminder about how far I’ve come.

    • Amy, it’s wonderful to hear how you’ve changed your morning routine! Thank you for sharing that. It isn’t easy to make changes, but they can be so worthwhile. By the way, I totally understand being a SLUG about getting out of bed. I tend to use that time for meditating, because it feels like I’m doing something good for myself, while I’m gathering the energy to get up. I love to ease into my day! Although there are days when I don’t have that luxury. Even then, though, I can make time for a healthy breakfast. Thanks for commenting!

      Linda

  • But of COURSE I have to support all your points, as they are so spot on and important if one wants to age actively. Even 5 minutes of activity in the morning (especially if outdoors, though I love and teach group fitness classes indoors), can boost mood and productivity while reducing stress. Exercise is the body’s natural anti-depressant.

    • Thank you, Kymberly! I actually was thinking of you and Alexandra when I was writing this post. I was also thinking of my daughter-in-law, who is a fitness trainer in Portland, OR. I know how much you all 3 believe in the benefits of creating and maintaining an active lifestyle. The clients who do start getting more active always tell me how much better they feel emotionally, as well as physically. I love that!

      Linda

  • Linda,
    Often we forget just how incredibly important breakfast is. It truly is the most important meal of the day. Thank you for reminding me that such small steps can have such a big impact. Not only on a day to day basis but on the way I live my life.

    • Thank you, Patricia! I’m glad that it was a good reminder for you. It’s so easy for most of us to fall into habits that don’t support our wellness and well-being. When we really look at the choices we make daily, we have the power to make profound changes in our lives.

      Linda

  • I will admit that I am sometimes guilty of skipping breakfast, whether it is due to my running late or just not being hungry. But I know it is the most important meal of the day, and now I know it is not just for health reasons- it is also for emotional well-being. Thanks for this reminder!

    • You’re very welcome, Lisa! Yes, breakfast is very important. It gives us the nutritional energy to accomplish the things we need to do in the first half of our day. It also helps level out our blood sugar, so that our emotions are more steady.

      Linda

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