Fact: how you start your day determines how the rest of it will play out.

If you #wokeuplikethis: tearing out of your bed like air raid sirens are blaring, already running late, already feeling frazzled, the rest of your day will have that same frantic, chaotic quality leaving you exhausted and depleted by 10 a.m.

Conversely, if you #wokeuplikethis: easing into your day, thoughtfully and with a sense of purpose, you’ll feel calmer and more composed no matter what the rest of the day brings.

My niece Emmi has already stopped reading. Nothing is more precious to her than a few more minutes of sleep. Wearing a wrinkled school uniform and crying on her commute are small prices to pay for an extra REM cycle.

But should there come a day that she wants to start her morning with a more peaceful, easy feeling, I would suggest a few tiny tweaks that can make a huge difference, especially if you deal with anxiety or feel your life is out of control most days.

Even if you just try these on the weekend, you’ll see the benefit.

First and foremost: stay unplugged for the first thirty minutes. No texts, social media or TV. You’re easing into your day, remember? The world will still be there when you log back on.

But I use my phone as my alarm clock, you’re thinking. Get an actual alarm clock. They still make those.

Secondly: I believe wholeheartedly in the power of rituals, the little things you do daily to bring order and sanity to your life. And getting up just a little earlier is the perfect time to start some lovely life-affirming rituals that take almost no effort to incorporate into your day.

If you get up 15-30 minutes earlier:

Write in a journal – Record your dreams, plan your day, recap yesterday. Put pen to paper instead of a typing on a computer and let your thoughts flow.

Work out – Take a walk, do a little yoga or try a quick circuit to get your blood flowing.

Meditate or pray – Focus your thoughts and center yourself.

Read – Open a book and disappear into someone else’s life for a little while.

Daydream – Do nothing but lounge in bed and think your thoughts. Heaven. (But be sure to set a second alarm.)

Do this no matter what time you get up:

Stretch – Throw your arms out wide, arch your back, take up some space.

List the 5 things you’re thankful for – Start out on a positive note and you’re more likely to stay that way.

Make your bed – Just do it. You’ll feel accomplished first thing and come home to neater room. You don’t realize how much stress this tiny act can alleviate till you try it.

Drink 16 oz or more of water – Refresh and hydrate. Truly the best way to wake up.

Listen to music – Turn on something relaxing and different from your usual playlist.

Everyone has their own taste in music, but in the 80’s we relied on Cocteau Twins “Victorialand” to start our day on a happy note. Check it out. Need something a little more modern? Say bonjour to Carla Bruni’s “Little French Songs.”

From Auntie Venom’s Eighties Audio Files: 

What about you? What are your #wokeuplikethis rituals? Any music you like to wake up to or rituals you try to stick to? Tell me everything. 


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