Does the day get away without you feeling like you have achieved anything that is personally important? Do you wonder where the time goes? Would you like more energy? Do you wish you had more of the things that bring joy to your life? Perhaps you wake up early after a good night’s sleep with enthusiasm, but after a hard day at work, you feel too tired to focus on your creative pursuits, so you waste another night watching television instead of doing your “thing”. Planning a daily routine that focuses on activities that are important for our well-being helps to reduce stress. Discipline does not undermine spontaneity when it allows us to focus on our highest priorities with sharp intention. When our goals clearly state, for example, that we want to spend quality time with our family, we can schedule it into our day without interruption. If we aren’t careful to protect our time, we can become sidetracked. Then we get discouraged and resentful because we neglect our own needs at the expense of others. It is unproductive to sell ourselves short, wasting our time being consumed by chores and endless distractions from other people’s demands. If life wasn’t so finite, this wouldn’t be a problem. However, when you notice that time is speeding by, racing towards the inevitable conclusion, it is important to look at where you are and decide if your current lifestyle is really satisfying. None of us want to die with our proverbial song still in us! Here are 7 daily routines that help to reduce stress by focusing on your commitment to self-care in your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual being. It is worth getting up an hour earlier in the morning to exercise and meditate when the long term benefits offer the reward of a long healthy successful life. 1. Exercise Regular exercise is great to do first thing in the morning when we are at our energetic. By keeping our body supple we take care of our physical feelings of wellness, and the activity is great for processing our thoughts and emotions. We need to keep the body in top physical shape for a long healthy life. An early morning walk can be a wonderful way to plan our day ahead as we enjoy feeling connected with our environment whilst breathing in the fresh air. 2. Meditation Half an hour of meditation each day, whether done all at once or broken into several segments, provides cognitive and psychological benefits that continue throughout the day. Taking the time to meditate daily has been shown in a study by Harvard University to have significant advantages for our well-being and quality of life. More than simply a chance to relax, meditation has an active impact on the way the brain works by helping to alleviate fear. That frees us up to be more productive. 3. Goal Setting Writing down your goals is a powerful method for giving life to your passions. Focus on what you want, where you see yourself and what you would like to achieve. The process of reading through your written goals each day keeps them centred in your mind and you will find that opportunities that align with them become your focal point. If you prefer a visual display, cut out pictures to represent your goals and create a vision board that you enjoy looking at regularly throughout the day. When you are focused on your goals, your actions will bring them into reality. 4. Turn off the Television The “box” is a dream stealer. It is a passive entertainer that subdues your zest for life, feeding you a steady diet of imagery and sound that does little to inspire you. I am not against TV, just its intoxicating ability to keep us glued to its content at the expense of our dreams. Protect your mind from the fear that is produced from the endless images of violence and terror that feed into the subconscious mind by doing something more creative and enjoyable, such as a painting class, catching up with friends or planning a holiday. 5. Daydream Contrary to what we were taught as children, daydreaming is nourishing for our soul. We fuel our passions and find creative solutions to challenges when we allow our brain to have a rest. We can have our best ideas when we encourage our playful side to run joyfully free. Allow yourself to be frivolous with your thoughts between tasks throughout the day as a way to rejuvenate your enthusiasm. 6. Gratitude Every experience in life gives us information and a fresh opportunity to learn something that is of benefit to our soul’s personal journey. When we are grateful for all that we are, have and do, we find spiritual contentment and acceptance for all that life has to offer. This energetically connects our heart to the world and gives us a sense of peace. 7. Tap out your Cortices Tapping out your Cortices gives you a profound sense of relaxation, whilst coordinating the two hemispheres of the brain so that we can be both logical and intuitive. Doing this on a daily basis, and any time throughout the day when you wish to feel centred, is a great way to help the bodymind to stay calm.