We’ve all heard it said that the way to have a peaceful, joyful day is to start the morning off right.
But, when you’re a doctor teetering on the edge of exhaustion, mornings usually begin with a ticker tape of your to-dos for the day scrolling through your mind.
It’s enough to make you want to play hooky and stay in bed.
Yet, studies show exercising, meditating, or doing something such as journal writing in the morning helps you continue that mindfulness and efficiency throughout the day.
Think about your morning routine. What’s the first thought that pops into your mind when your eyes open?
The very first thing.
Yes, even before that.
Do you think:
- “Ugh, is it Monday again already?”
- “Crap! My alarm didn’t go off and I’m going to be late!”
- “Hurray, it’s Saturday and I get to sleep another twenty minutes.”
For most doctors, mornings start with a mental litany of all the things that need to get done at the office that day. Often, it includes the laundry list of things that didn’t get done yesterday, too.
Here’s what I know for sure: How you start your day sets the tone for the rest of your day.
This is not a new concept. It’s not original. But neither is sliced bread and look how great that worked out.
Starting your day out right usually works best if your day ended well the night before.
Oprah starts her day by mentally saying, “Thank you.”
My mom wakes up and whispers, “This is the day the Lord hath made. Let us rejoice and be glad.”
When I wake up, before my feet even touch the floor, I set an intention and say to myself, “Something wonderful is going to happen to me today.” Seriously. Every day. Rain or shine. Surgery day or vacation. Every day.
And you know what?
I’m always right.
It may be something easy like finding a parking space close to the door of the grocery store when it was pouring down rain. Or, it may be something super neat like getting a wonderful email from a doctor who was helped by our recent chat.
The important thing for me is that my ritual starts my day with an expectation of hope. Anticipation. Amazement. Awe.
Isn’t that how every day should start for us all?
Try it for yourself.
Change one thing about your morning ritual. Have a little faith. You can borrow my intention setting ritual if you like.