Get Smart Success for Students

#4:  Morning Five!

Some of you might have arrived at school with high hopes and great expectations only to re-enter the drama and “the overwhelm”.  You might be feeling the anxiety creeping back into your chest or belly.  You might already be finding out that you have to find a new circle of friends or new strategies to deal with the stress of school.

We’ll get to how to deal with that stuff in a bit.  But FIRST, I want to give you five quick morning hacksto feel strong, be prepared and strong each day. It’s not magic.  It’s going to take a little effort, but I do know these are five important ways to change your day the moment you wake up.

Let’s start!

#1:  Wake up 10 minutes earlier than usual.

Hold on! Don’t yell or roll your eyes.  I know this sounds ridiculous, ludicrous, even stupid.  BUT IT WORKS!  When you roll out of bed, stumble to dress and run out the door, you set yourself up for higher anxiety, higher stress, and a disorganized day. Adrenaline and cortisol racing through your body leads to the anxious, stressed, burned out feeling you get by 11:00 or 1:00.

10 minutes won’t fix everything, but it gives you time to…

  • Stretch before you leave the bed (which is great for blood flow, relaxation and a grounding into the new day)

  • Set your thinking straight for the day. Check your pack for materials, assignments, etc. you need.

  • Avoids tension and arguments with parents who are worried you aren’t getting up or are going to make them late…again.

  • Actually grab breakfast (more on that) and a snack. If you eat lunch at school, you can make that too. (although it’s way better to have it done the night before)

  • Check your clothes for toothpaste dribble, your hair for stick ups, and your eyes for sleep goobers

#2:  Eat something…or drink something

I know…you hate eating in the morning.  I get that. So adjust this info accordingly, and at least plan on a mid morning snack.  The fact is that your brain needs fuel.  You can’t think straight or clearly if you are starving or if your stuffed with sugar and starches only.  You need protein, a carb, some water (especially Colorado kids!).  If you deal with anxiety or depression, YOU REALLY NEED TO FEED YOUR BRAIN!  There are tons of google searches for foods that help anxiety and depression and help focus (or visit me on Pinterest @encouragecounseling!).  A great hack for morning food is to have it on hand, ready to go, no thinking…so that you can either eat at home or take it to school for later.

Here are a few high-help foods:


#3:  “Good morning!”  

OK…you’re a night owl. You’re scary and silent in the morning. School is too early and you can’t talk in the morning.  Again. Do this later in the morning, but DO IT!

Say good morning– face to face, text, snap chat – to someone in your life each day.  Take the time to connect with someone you trust, you love and you want to have as a support person for your day.

And for my Late Owls…take time to say Good Morning to a teacher or friend around brunch time.  If you deal with anxiety, this is a great practice to connect and feel safe at school.  If you deal with depression, you NEED connection in every form possible – written, spoken, face to face, touch.


#4: Daily intention

Remember that “word for the year”?  The goal you have in mind to succeed in a way that means something important to YOU? It’s a great practice to:

  1. Remind yourself of your intention or small goal (like “listen” or “peace” or “breathe”).WRITE IT WITH WHITEBOARD PENS ON YOUR BATHROOM MIRROR
  2. Remind yourself of 1 – 3 gratitudes you have for this day. People dealing with overwhelm, stress and depression NEED to look beyond the cloud and overwhelm to SEE 1 – 3 good things every single day.  WRITE THE QUESTION “WHAT ARE YOU GRATEFUL FOR?” on your mirror too!
  3. If you’re a morning person…I said IF…tell someone your intention for the day. It makes a difference when we speak our intentions out loud.


#5: Get inspired!

If you love music…make yourself listen to something with a positive message.  If you’re overwhelmed, stressed or anxious, avoid heavy, dark, screamy music.  Hear me out: your body is already overwhelmed with static, tension and stress.  Don’t add to that!  Go upbeat, fun, positive messages.  If you’re depressed…kinda the same thing.  Music DOES calm our hearts and minds.  Wanna learn better?  Go for music that has 60beats/minute.  It syncs your brainwaves with the right level of rhythm for learning.  Not sure what has 60 beats/minute?  Start with something like Pachelbel’s Canon (it’s classical WARNING!).


I’m adding a soundtrack for a Get Smart Get Inspired Day.  It’s on the website and on Facebeook (enCOURAGE Counseling…follow me!).  but hey…if you’re reading this, you deserve a treat.  So here’s the playlist of Get Smart Get Inspired music!



Listen, summer is over, and that makes for some stress and old drama to return.  It’s not always hard to be in school, but for a lot of kids, it feels impossible.  If you are experiencing anxiety – overall, social anxiety (if you’re hiding out and not being with people because you’re overwhelmed, you may have some social anxiety!), or school anxiety, you need to talk to someone.  Don’t let it overwhelm you and take you to a place where you can’t get out of the house and get to school.  And if you’re experiencing depression, you need to talk to someone. There are people at school, people at home, your friends.  And if you aren’t sure who to talk to, here are a few suggestions:

  • Suicide Hotline:                     Text CONNECT to 741741
  • Denver Support:                   Suicide / Depression Hotline
                                                        (303) 860-1200                                                       Youth Support Line
                                                          (303) 894-9000 
  • Douglas County Helpline:   (715) 392-8216


And if you are looking for a safe place to talk and figure out ways to enjoy life, relationships and even school again, please call enCOURAGE Counseling for a FREE 15-minute consultation.  We can talk on the phone or text (720-230-3076), or you can come over to my office and you can ask questions so we can find a consistent way to support you and begin creating small changes that will help you live a full and exciting life!


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