Do you feel additional anxiety in your life this time of year in the wake of post-holiday stress? Having a routine can help create focus and a positive outlook, especially in the new year, giving us a sense of control and helping turn a new leaf on an aspirational goal.

Start simple by considering your morning routine. Select definitive actions to help you feel positive, recharged, and energized. Incorporating them into your early morning routine can help you find a rhythm and see the world with more optimism and energy.

What does this look like? Plan to focus on the things that will work best for you. Remember it’s about not feeling overwhelmed, frustrated, or exhausted. Pick one or two things to incorporate and feel optimistic about those choices.

Rise and Shine
What about waking up 1-2 hours before you are obligated to something? Rather than getting up 10 minutes before and stumbling through your morning as a way to start the day, put a slower spin to it. Take the time for yourself to sit and sip, exercise, meditate or just soak up the fresh morning air on the patio. If you need to start work at 8 a.m., consider waking 30 to 60 minutes earlier.

Not a morning person? Gradually try to build in a buffer of time so you can glide into your workday with an easier start.

Roll Out to a New Day
Open the blinds, make your bed and welcome the day. When you expose your eyes to sunlight as soon as possible in the morning, it plays a role in setting your body’s circadian rhythm to create optimal wake/sleep cycles.

Making the bed as part of your wake-up routine can have a powerful effect. It lends a sense of productivity because you begin the day already with one small accomplishment.

Scrub-a-Dub Dub
Bathe and get dressed. There is something about the routine of showering and putting on different clothes.

For those of us who work at home, this allows for a more productive day. It puts you in a “let’s get some stuff done” mood.

Move It
Aim for 5 - 10 minutes of effort. The idea is to get your blood flowing to get your mind going. This can be as simple as five minutes of stretching, dancing to the beat of a good song, or a 10-minute walk outside in nature. Consider doing a morning yoga flow while waiting for the coffee to brew or the tea kettle to heat up.

Think About It
Set your intention. Take five minutes to write what’s on your mind. Start with one to two things you are grateful for or take to paper one key project you want to prioritize for the day. Maybe jot down what is on your mind that is bothering you.

It’s so easy to lose sight of the bigger picture during our busy days. You’ll enjoy life so much more if you clear the brain clutter.

Final Thoughts 
Above all, remember that out of routine comes inspiration. We all have that within us. Start your day by finding a consistent flow, by finding the rhythm. Like a strong heartbeat, set the pace, and you will be better able to stick to it.

Visit the Employee Wellness Programs website to learn more about programs for emotional, financial, physical, and nutritional wellness.