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Morning Makeover: 7 Things Every Dog Groomer Should Avoid




Ready to revolutionise your mornings? Wave goodbye to post-wakeup fatigue! Let's transform those early hours into a time of rejuvenation. I'm here to launch your 2024 guiding you through a morning routine makeover that's both scientifically savvy and practically proven. This isn't just any routine; it's a transformation that has rejuvenated my mornings and those of countless other dog groomers. Join me on this exciting journey, and let's energise your mornings together, making every day a vibrant and rewarding experience!



1. Resisting the Urge to Check Your Phone Immediately

   

It's a common habit to flood our brains with cortisol, the stress hormone, by immediately reaching for our phones to scroll through social media or check emails. Engaging with our phones first thing in the morning can be counterproductive, leading to brain drain and loss of energy and potentially causing anxiety and stress. This isn't the ideal start to your day. Before picking up your phone, instead why not begin with activities that focus on you – fostering a healthy body or a stronger mind? This shift can stimulate the production of 'happy hormones' rather than consuming others' agendas or expectations. Embrace your "Morning Muse" or "First Light Focus," with a glass of water then centering on concentration and clarity from the day's onset. Dedicate those initial minutes, usually spent on your phone, to something more enriching like some of the examples below and be sure to change it up each morning to suit how you feel.


Incorporating a Short, Uplifting Meditation: Meditation doesn't always equate to sleepiness or relaxation. In fact, studies show that a short meditation session can enhance cognitive abilities and mood. Opt for meditations that focus on positivity, focus, forgiveness, or love. Popular apps like Mindvalley, Calm by Jay Shetty, or Headspace offer great options. Alternatively, search for free uplifting short meditations online, pop on your headphones, and start your day centered and focused.


Engaging in a Quick Morning Workout: If you're time-constrained or find it hard to dive into a full workout routine, that's understandable. It requires motivation and energy, but the long-term benefits are immense. Even a 5-minute workout, which you can easily find on YouTube, can kickstart your day. These quick, simple routines can make a significant difference. A morning workout boosts your metabolism, releases endorphins, and improves mental sharpness, making it a powerful tool for a productive day.


Journaling for a Positive Mindset: If working out isn't your thing, try journaling. Write down your goals for the week, express gratitude, visualise your perfect day or plan your next holiday. This practice engages your brain in a positive, inspiring way. Better yet, do it in the sunshine for just 5 minutes. The benefits of morning sunlight exposure are scientifically proven. It stimulates the production of Vitamin D, essential for bone health and immune function. It also regulates your circadian rhythm, promoting better sleep, and increases serotonin production, enhancing your mood and combating depression. Just a few minutes in the sun can transform your day.



2. Breaking the Cycle of Inactivity


If you want to do more than a 5 minute workout this is even more beneficial to you. Inactivity, especially in the morning, can have a significant impact on both your physical and mental health. The science behind the importance of exercise is clear: regular physical activity increases blood flow to the brain, which helps to sharpen your mental faculties and improve mood. It also releases endorphins, known as 'feel-good' hormones, which combat stress and pain. Furthermore, exercise has been linked to improved sleep quality, enhanced immune system function, and a reduced risk of several chronic diseases.


If getting to the gym is a challenge, don't worry; there are plenty of no-cost alternatives that can be just as effective. Setting your alarm a bit earlier to make room for exercise after journaling or meditation is a great start. A morning workout, stretching session, or yoga practice can make a world of difference. And if you have loved ones asleep you can still do a work out with your headphones and a yoga mat and keep it to minimal sound.


Consider using a walking machine, going for a walk outdoors, or following a yoga session on YouTube that fits your schedule. These activities don't just benefit your body; they also set a positive tone for your day, boosting your energy levels and mental clarity. This approach to morning exercise is a true game changer, promoting both physical well-being and mental sharpness.


3. Overcoming Decision Fatigue


Decision fatigue can significantly diminish our daily joy. It's the kind of stress that arises from making seemingly simple choices like deciding what to have for breakfast, choosing your outfit for the day, or figuring out what to prepare for dinner. These routine decisions can unexpectedly trigger a cascade of stress. To combat this, it's essential to have a strategy in place. 


Consider planning your week in advance. Organise your work uniforms or daily outfits beforehand to eliminate morning indecisiveness. Streamline your breakfast options by focusing on simplicity and health. Meal planning can be a game-changer, and tools like a Thermo Mix can revolutionise your kitchen experience. It not only assists in decision making on dinners and meals but can also simplify grocery shopping – it can even place orders for delivery if needed. With such a gadget or the like, most of the cooking is guided, sparing you the mental load of deciding what to cook after a big day at work.  


By reducing the number of decisions you need to make before work, you give yourself the gift of a more relaxed and focused morning. This approach not only eases your start but also sets a positive tone for the rest of your day.


4. Avoiding emotions? Understanding and Navigating Morning Emotions


Navigating morning emotions effectively is crucial for setting a positive tone for the day. Ignoring or suppressing emotions can be energetically costly and may lead to fatigue. A helpful mantra in this context is, "You've got to feel it to heal it." Acknowledging and recognising your emotions can significantly reduce their intensity. Whether it's through writing them down or verbalising them out loud - such as saying, "I feel disappointed," or "I feel misunderstood" - this process of recognition is vital. 


When you acknowledge your emotions, you engage your brain's prefrontal cortex. This region is key in managing emotional responses and problem-solving. The prefrontal cortex, when activated, helps us process and respond to emotional experiences more rationally and less reactively. It's involved in decision-making, moderating social behaviour, and integrating thoughts and actions in accordance with internal goals. Scientific studies show that the proper functioning of the prefrontal cortex is linked to improved emotional regulation, better stress management, and enhanced planning and organising abilities. 


By recognising your emotions each morning, you stimulate the prefrontal cortex, thereby breaking the cycle of stress that the amygdala (another brain region involved in emotional processing) can perpetuate. This not only assists in better emotional management throughout the day but also activates cognitive functions that are crucial for tackling daily challenges effectively.



5. Tackling Social Isolation in Solitary Work Environments


Working alone, such as in a mobile business or home salon, often leads to long periods of solitude. While interacting with clients offers some level of engagement, it doesn't replace the broader social interaction that is crucial for our mental well-being. Social isolation, even in busy work environments, has been scientifically linked to increased risks of depression. Depression, in turn, can lead to fatigue and a general decrease in energy levels. This is because social interactions play a vital role in stimulating our brain, releasing neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine, which are essential for mood regulation and energy.


To mitigate the effects of isolation, integrating social connectivity into your morning and workday can be highly beneficial. Using headphones to make calls to friends or family while getting ready for work or when you are working can provide a sense of connection. Engaging in a quick Zoom call with a fellow grooming colleague not only breaks the monotony but also boosts your mood. These interactions provide mental stimulation and emotional support, essential for maintaining good mental health.


Moreover, combining social interaction with physical activity, like taking calls while walking, can amplify the benefits. Walking, a form of mild exercise, releases endorphins and improves blood circulation, enhancing both your physical and mental state. This approach not only addresses social isolation but also contributes to your overall health and well-being, making your workday more enjoyable and productive.



6 The Impact of Negative Media Consumption on Your Mindset


The content we consume, especially in the morning, can significantly influence our mindset throughout the day. Scientific research indicates that exposure to negative media, such as true crime podcasts or distressing news stories, can have a profound impact on our mental state. This kind of media can increase feelings of anxiety, stress, and sadness. It's been found that repeated exposure to negative content can lead to a phenomenon known as 'mean world syndrome', where individuals perceive the world as more dangerous than it actually is. Additionally, a study in the journal "Psychology of Popular Media Culture" found that regular exposure to violent media content can desensitise individuals to violence, potentially leading to increased aggression and fear.


A better alternative to starting your day with negative media is to listen to uplifting podcasts or engage in courses on mindfulness and positivity. Positive media consumption can increase your awareness, boost mood, and inspire motivation. For instance, listening to podcasts that focus on personal growth, positivity, or educational content can stimulate the brain in a constructive way. Engaging in mindfulness practices or learning new skills during your workday can also enhance cognitive functioning and emotional well-being. These activities encourage a positive outlook, reduce stress, and increase feelings of happiness and contentment.


By consciously choosing to consume media that uplifts and educates, you set a positive tone for your day, keeping your thoughts and emotions aligned with a more optimistic and productive perspective. This practice is not just about avoiding negativity; it's about actively nurturing your mental health with content that enriches and empowers you.


7. Steering Clear of Energy-Draining Foods: The Right Fuel for Your Morning


The food we eat plays a crucial role in determining our energy levels and mood throughout the day. Similar to how the quality of fuel affects a car's performance, the quality of food we consume directly impacts our body's functioning. This ties back to the importance of meal planning, as mentioned in Tip No. 2. Consuming foods that are not nutritionally beneficial can lead to decreased energy levels and affect mood, focus, and hormonal balance.


Scientific research supports the idea that certain foods can influence our mental and physical well-being. For example, foods high in refined sugars or simple carbohydrates, like some breads, can cause spikes in blood sugar levels, leading to a short-term energy boost followed by a crash. This crash often results in feelings of fatigue and lethargy. On the other hand, foods that provide a steady stream of energy—such as those rich in complex carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats—can help maintain a more consistent and calm energy level.


In addition to the type of food, the quantity and balance of nutrients are also important. Overconsumption of caffeine, sugar, or alcohol can lead to negative effects on mood and energy. These substances might provide a temporary lift but often result in longer-term energy deficits and mood swings.


A practical approach to understanding how different foods affect you personally is to keep a food diary. Note down how you feel after each meal, observing which foods make you feel energised and which ones lead to feelings of tiredness or bloating. This practice can help you identify patterns and make more informed choices about your diet.


In essence, a balanced diet, tailored to your individual needs, is key to maintaining high energy levels and a positive mood. Moderation and mindfulness in your food choices can significantly impact your overall well-being and productivity.


By steering clear of these seven energy vampires, you're paving the way for a day that's not just brighter, but also happier and more fulfilling. I cherish the golden hour, that serene time in the morning when the world is still asleep, gifting me precious moments of solitude. Consider setting your alarm just 15 minutes earlier than usual to bask in this tranquility and achieve your morning goals. And remember, staying hydrated and maintaining a healthy sleep routine are key to making the most of these early hours. Each morning, begin with a heartfelt 'thank you', sending your gratitude and positive intentions out into the universe. Remember, the quality of your day often reflects the spirit with which you start it. 


Seeking inspiration for 2024? Join us at Groomer Nation and explore our vast grooming library, or enroll in one of our popular Groomer Nation Courses. It's time to elevate your grooming expertise and make this year your most successful yet! And for more insights, tips, new release grooming tutorials, courses and uplifting content tailored specifically for groomers just like you, don't forget to sign up for our newsletters at www.groomernation.com.au. We're here to support you on this journey, sharing knowledge and positivity to make each day as special as the care and dedication you bring to your work. Let's make every morning a stepping stone to a day filled with success, joy, and unparalleled satisfaction!




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