Rise and shine or rise and whine?

Rise and shine or rise and whine?

coffee mug with the word beginning written on it

Another in the occasional series of posts expanding on the three themes in my next book on Living Softly: mind your mind, be kind and make space for grace…

I’ve been finding it hard to get out of bed lately. I can hear it’s raining again, I didn’t sleep well, and and the To Do list only ever seems to get longer.

While those things are true,  they’re not exactly helpful in inspiring me to spring up and get started. Louise Hay said “How you start you day is how you live your day” and I don’t want to live the next 16 hours miserably, but softly. Which is why I love the idea of adjusting my mindset each morning with a few simple start-me-up questions.

Being kind to my mind shifts the feeling

Thoughts become feelings: so long as I stay focused on telling myself I’m tired and there’s too much to do my energy will remain as absent as a solid night’s sleep. On the other hand, if I choose to start my day with these few questions, my feelings shift to anticipation, a sense of purpose and gratitude. The next time you feel like pulling the pillow over your head rather than beginning your day, try asking yourself the following (hint: if you can’t answer any of them then that in itself is telling you that you need to schedule more good stuff into your days):

  1. What’s one thing I’m looking forward to today?
  2. What’s one way in which I’ll practice self-care today?
  3. What’s one thing I’ll do today to make someone else happy, or to make a difference?
  4. What three things am I grateful for this morning?

And good night

I’ve been using a similar night-time ritual for many years, seeing it as a chance to end my day in a mindset of recognition, gratitude and peace.

My last-thing-at-night questions are a way of noticing and praising myself for achievements, however small. And parking any concerns with a commitment to addressing them in the morning, so they won’t keep me awake through the night. Here they are:

  1. What went well today?
  2. What did I do that made a difference to me or someone else?
  3. Is there one concern I have? What I will do about that in the morning is..? (if there’s nothing practical to be done you can always use a reassuring affirmation such as ‘whatever happens I’ll handle it’.
  4. What three things am I grateful for today?

You can set them down on paper or do them mentally. I find writing them down reinforces the good feelings they bring.

Rise and Shine

One of the quotes that has stayed with me is Robert Holden’s question: “Do you rise and shine or rise and whine?” If you enjoy the questions I’ve shared, but want to put even more oomph into your good morning, do get hold of my  friends’ Toby and Kate Oliver’s book Rise and Shine. It’s packed with ideas for building beautiful starts to every day – your way.