What's the first thing you do in the morning? Check your blood sugar? Check your email? Turn on the TV? Check the news?
I almost always test my blood sugar first thing. Those five seconds between the drop of blood upon the strip and the cold digital number generated as a result are nerve-wracking. I've been using it as a gauge for my day. High? I'm already behind and battling right out of the gates. Low? The roller-coaster ride begins. Lows make me sad. On-target? Today's gonna be a good good day.
The problem? Well, those "perfect" days are few and far between. I've got no problem admitting my imperfections (of which there are an abundance), but beginning the day feeling like I've already done something wrong is no way to wake up. Might be part of the reason some days I don't want to get out of bed.
So what to do?
What's the solution?
Might I suggest my newly adopted Habitual [morning] Ritual?
Here's the deal:
I do things a little differently now. I'm not big on huge resolutions because I think they set us up for failure, but you might try creating a habitual ritual to start your day off right--especially if you're anything like me and have lived a lesser life (and felt like a lesser person) as a result of your unchecked habits and frequent reactivity (to numbers, outcomes beyond your control, etc.). Those habits include habits of mind, including, for example, the habitual thoughts I tell myself over and over ad infinitum about what the numbers say about me as a person. A1C. Glucose. Blood pressure. Poundage. $$'s I'm overdrawn. # of grays. # of new blemishes appearing overnight. You get the picture...
As I write this, I checked my bloodsugar and felt a surge of happiness and self-confidence because my first bloodsugar of the day was 100! (100!) then you might try this, too. It doesn't have to be anything fancy. It doesn't have to take much time. 5 minutes. 10 minutes. A half-hour. Whatever you've got. Even changing the first minute of your day has the power to change your energy and outlook on the day.
Rumor has it takes about three weeks to create or break a habit. I'm not talking clinical addiction here, but our plain ol' everyday habits. It is said that our habits create our destinies. I say habits also create (or deflate) our confidence, courage and even our productivity and creativity. In other words, our daily choices, routines, and seemingly insignificant moments make all the difference--not always in our bloodsugar results, but the results we continue to see (or not see) in our lives--both in and outside of the realm of diabetes.
Introducing the Habitual Ritual
One of the best ways to generate great results is to create a morning ritual. A powerful morning ritual sets the tone for your entire day - and your entire life. Honestly!
A ritual is personal. We're not talking sacrificial cows or hours on your knees in prayer. A ritual is creative. While engaging in ritual is a proactive step toward creating the feelings and life you want, a ritual is not reactive. Waking up and basing your mood and productivity for the day on the results your glucometer spits out at you (like I've been doing) is reactive. As diabetics, we need to be proactive about our health and our numbers, but they don't have to set the tone for our days. Trouble is, we can' ignore those numbers. We can't not test. Well, we can, but that's not what I'm advocating for here. Here's what I've been doing for three weeks now-long enough for me to consider it a habitual ritual (I am poet, after all). Here's some advice and suggestions for habitual morning rituals which can officially replace that tired ol' habitual mourning ritual of fretting over numbers: