Patricia Yarberry Allen, M.D. is a Gynecologist, Director of the New York Menopause Center, Clinical Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Weill Cornell Medical College, and Assistant Attending Obstetrician and Gynecologist at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. She is a board certified fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Dr. Allen is also a member of the Faculty Advisory Board and the Women’s Health Director of The Weill Cornell Community Clinic (WCCC). Dr. Allen was the recipient of the 2014 American Medical Women’s Association Presidential Award.

Some lucky women are born with such optimism and have been given the gift of an always positive mood.  I must admit to envying these ebullient people.  Over the years I have struggled to be a morning person, feeling that the fates had married my natural night-time bio-rhythms with a job that was always early morning.  Even today, the meetings at the hospital for the Gynecology Department begin at 7 a.m.!

My mood is generally quite good after 10 a.m. but I have been collecting ideas for making the hours before this more joyful.  Do send us your suggestions for how you begin your day with a happy heart and better mood.

  1. Write a note to yourself before you go to bed.  Write it to “Dear Sweetie Pie” or “To my BFF.”  Choose hot pink sticky notes and write with a bright blue magic marker.  Tell yourself how great you are and what you did right that day.  Then write: “When you read this in the morning, get out of bed and smile.  You can choose to make this a happy day.”  Draw a ridiculous heart above your signature.
  2. Forgive yourself for one blunder that day, unconditionally with no ruminating.  Forgive one other person for some slight, real or imagined.
  3. Next, think of the blessings that are in your life.  Everyone has something to be grateful for.
  4. Sex is great for the mood.  Morning noon or night!
  5. Then go to sleep with the optimism that you will be able to fall asleep and if you wake up, you will have the tools to fall back asleep.  Eight hours of reasonable sleep improves more than mood.
  6. Wake up in the morning, immediately read your Good Morning Sweetie Pie note and head off to the closest mirror to smile at your very best friend, yourself!  Go to the mirror and make silly faces.  Limber up those lips and smile some more. Studies show that when we smile we increase endorphins, serotonin and natural pain killers that make us want to smile some more. A recent study by the British Dental Health Foundation found that smiling gives the same level of stimulation as eating 2,000 chocolate bars.
  7. Put on your favorite good mood music and dance while making the coffee, exercising, taking a shower, and getting dressed.
  8. Spend 10 minutes doing stretching and light weight work. You don’t need a gym, you don’t need a trainer, and you don’t need an hour. Do what you can and we can all do 10 minutes of focused exercise and feel good about ourselves.
  9. Sit down for breakfast in your favorite morning spot. Don’t eat standing up. Make the first meal of the day special.  Use a cloth napkin and a tray if you don’t want to sit at a table. But find routine and special foods that will give you energy, not deplete your energy.  Avoid fruit juice unless you dilute it with sparkling water: too much sugar in that juice will cause your energy to plummet in 30 minutes, taking your mood with it. Eat a boiled organic egg. Have a glass of V-8. All protein and fiber and you will be starting your day out just right for managing your weight and your calories. Another reason to be in a good mood
  10. Check in to your favorite bookmarked sites on the Internet. Choose at least one site that generally gives you something to look forward to; read a quick review of a new book or film; read about women just like you who have transformed their lives by making a difference in the lives of others; read about health and lifestyle change that you can make easily as you work on transforming your life.

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