Tuesday, September 12, 2017

a gentler way to start your day

I haven't posted since last week because I've had a lot on my mind. Between my own busyness and happenings and then all the tragedy going on in the world at once ~ Hurricane Harvey, the earthquake in Mexico, and now Hurricane Irma ~ I've felt unsettled. As an introvert and someone who also has anxiety, I tend to ruminate and over-think things. So when I'm feeling like the world is simply too much, I purposely try and create more calmness and peace in my life.

 During this time I was scrolling through Instagram and Jennifer at The Cottage Nest wrote that she was making time to start her day off on a positive, technology free note. She said, "there's stretching, gratitude journaling, encouraging reading and aromatherapy all before I even roll out of bed - a much gentler way to begin my days."

Interestingly enough, I had been thinking along the same lines for awhile now - but not taking action. Seeing Jennifer's post gave me the little push that I needed. While I do have to get out of bed right away when I wake up as I'm the one who feeds the cats, I've first been taking a minute to at least stretch my body before I start opening the blinds around the house and heading to the kitchen.

My morning routine after feeding the cats and making coffee was that I opened the front door to let the sun in (a good thing!), but then opened my laptop and read my email and looked through social media. (By the way, that's a cat toy in the sunbeam, not a dead mouse. đŸ˜‰)

The past few days instead of turning on my laptop, I've been reading something light and positive. Whether you choose to read poetry, an uplifting book, your Bible, etc., it sure beats starting out your day being bombarded by email and social media. Sometimes I light a grapefruit-scented candle that I have on my coffee table.

I then roll out my yoga mat in the sunbeam (the cats get miffed - they love the morning sunbeam, too!) and do gentle stretches for my back and knee and a few rounds of sun salutations. 

Of course, I'm not able to do this slow, gentle routine every morning. Sometimes there's appointments where I need to rush and get out the door. Maybe you work outside the home and are also rushed with your morning routine. However, anyone (even me - who hates getting up any earlier than I have to) can get up just a mere five minutes earlier and at least stretch a little and then maybe sit and be still and set some positive affirmations for the day.

I have found that this slower paced, gentle way of starting the day has already made a difference in my mood and starts my day off on a positive note. 


Once you've gently started your day and are ready for breakfast, it's important to fuel your body with something healthy. Your body has fasted 10-12+ hours, so breakfast is a must. Most mornings, my breakfast is a nutritious smoothie, which only takes a couple of minutes to make. Simply layer in the blender: water or milk (I use Silk Almond-Coconut milk), frozen fruit (I like a berry blend), a banana (or 1/2 avocado), a few fresh strawberries or small handful of blueberries or raspberries, a sprinkling of turmeric, 1 T. of hemp hearts, a big spoon of plain Greek yogurt (don't use the flavored yogurts which are loaded with sugar or artificial sweeteners), and a big handful of baby spinach. Use organic ingredients with the fruits, veggies and cow's milk, if that's what you're using for liquid.

Drink up! 

I'd love to hear your thoughts...

How do you start your day? 
Do you need to be kinder and gentler with yourself? 
What ideas would work for you?


  1. I'm with you, Melanie! I've been immersed in the news and it caused a lot of anxiety. Then I wouldn't think about it for awhile, and then my mind would go back to all those news photos I'd recently seen. Great ideas here!

  2. I have the opposite of anxiety Melanie...very little bothers me. It's not that I don't feel for the people and poor animals affected by natural disasters, but I don't worry about things that are beyond my control. I watch very little news and read even less and I find that helps. As for mornings, I HAVE to stretch or I just don't feel right, but after that I do look at emails and oftentimes social media, but I find that relaxing. I guess I'm weird lol.

    I sometimes make a smoothie for lunch but it wouldn't be something I'd want for breakfast, for some reason I need something chewy early in the day, but I actually am not at all hungry when I wake up. It usually takes close to two hours before I feel like eating, but since I rarely sleep more than six hours and usually have a snack at night I'm not going ten hours or more without some kind of sustenance.


  3. I tend to take too much in, too, and I keep my mornings quiet. I have come to really appreciate a peaceful morning. And I love to have a nice breakfast, too!

  4. I have been doing that for the last few months. Last year was hard and I needed a way to relax when I could. When I wake in the morning I do gentle stretching exercises and than I fix Hubby breakfast and lunch and see him off to work. I than fix me a cup of tea and say a prayer and if the weather is good I go and sit on our porch. I love to read and I will have to put that book you have, Joy in every moment on my to buy list. It seems very interesting.

  5. This is such a great idea that I really need to follow. Here it is 6:36 and I have been up for two hours! What have I done, besides make the coffee, lunches, etc.? On my iPad and now my laptop. I have the entire day to do that, why start it out that way?
    I was meant to read this today. :)

  6. I to have been overwhelmed with anxiety. I love your gentle approach to the day. I've been thinking of adding some stretches to my morning and with your post I think I'll do it!! hugs!

  7. Great words to live by. Im like you when it comes to being overwhelmed with world news. My mind goes blank. I like to post happy thoughts and sometimes the news sets a different tone.

  8. Melanie, you're playing my song and I have learned that the mornings when I don't open my computer and only glance at my phone to see if family has texted, those mornings go best and most creatively. And I also am learning that I just cannot be online in any way after 8 p.m. When I do, I just do not sleep.

    As soon as I feed our dachshunds and have breakfast, I take an hour and sit with a notebook and a #2 Ticonderoga, the way I learned from Ray Bradbury, and write by longhand. Then it's up and at them around the house. I try to find an hour or so in the afternoon with my laptop.

    This is not what I'd rather do because I'd rather start right in on housework after breakfast and save the computer for when my working day is over. It's been a hard habit to break but I think I've learned my lesson.

    From one introvert to another, a good week to you,

  9. I've been feeling overwhelmed too, and just plain annoyed at some things lately. I try to manage it with some of the same kinds of things you discuss here. For the past few weeks, I've been making time for walking in the park most days. I can go early in the morning before it's too warm out and spend half an hour or so walking on the paved path. It's good exercise, but it also helps me think about what I need to do in the day and I feel more ready to deal with things later on. I hope life settles down and you're feeling more like yourself soon.

  10. I am so stressed lately. Too much on my plate and there's nothing I can put down right now. I guess there are times like that. Your morning routine sounds blissful. I have unplugged lately out of necessity and it's been kind of a blessing. I should try it more...

  11. Hi Melanie, this post was very refreshing and so positive . . . I do need to take better care of myself. I do stretch my back each morning before I get started, but that is about where it starts and ends. After that it is go, go, go, and lately I have been feeling very fatigued and fall asleep in my chair every night after dinner. I've never tried drinking smoothie, but after reading this I am thinking about giving them a try. I think that I will copy and paste your ingredients and use them when I go shopping again.
    Here's to better health, peace of mind and more energy!
    Connie :)

  12. I been changing the way I wake up too! I've even changed my bedtime routine. In the morning I stretch a little in bed, play with Bubba for a bit, start the coffee, I got ready the night before and sit at the breakfast nook for about a half an hour just enjoying the morning quiet. Then I start the mad rush ;) Bedtime is mostly me just turning off the computer about a half hour before bed and reading, when I'm alone. It's so much more relaxing and it has helped me sleep better. I actually plan on talking about this in a post soon ;)


  13. Some days I am just sooo rushed it isn't funny. On Tuesdays I am up at 5am to be at the VA to open at 6...other mornings I get up, pour myself a cup of coffee and watch the local, then the national, news. I like all of your ideas, though. They all make sense to me. Have a wonderful weekend, Melanie! xo Diana

  14. This resonates with me :) About 2 or 3 weeks ago I decided that while I DO need to keep up with politics that what has gone on in the last 8 months is POISON to my soul...and I need to go back to BEFORE that. I simply cannot focus on it anymore.

    I need to go back to my life / mornings / thoughts / intentions prior to that and what has been going on :)

  15. My mornings are relatively quiet. I open curtains, make coffee, then read some devotionals and write in journal. Then comes checking email and catching up on blogland.

    Anxiety over anticipating where Harvey and Irma were going to go, then dealing with Irma, then seeing Maria coming right along behind has worn me out. I'm still mostly shuttered up, fencing needs to be fixed and more raking up of tree debris needs doing, but after a much needed full massage yesterday, I'm not doing much of anything today. I was even feeling ill for a couple of days starting Sat. Not good. The massage was just what I needed. She even gave me an extra half an hour which was a blessing.

    A nice scented candle would make a lovely addition to my morning ritual. :-)

    Have a nice Wednesday dear Melanie ~ FlowerLady

  16. You have a good morning routine. In addition, I want to add something important, at least it is to me. When getting out of bed, ALWAYS roll out, (rather than just sitting up) - this helps your back more than one can ever imagine. It's a lesson straight from a male hospital nurse, who was teaching it to my husband in the hospital many years ago after a back operation. The nurse said that's the ONLY way HE gets out of bed, ever!


Thank you for taking the time to leave a kind comment - I read and appreciate each one!