6 Ways to Start Your Morning Stress-Free
We can’t all be morning people. For some, mornings can be filled with lightening-speed showers, frantic searches for that missing shoe and taking the dog for more of a sprint than a walk. But a stress-filled start often sets you up for a whole day filled with worry.
Start your day off on the right foot before you even step out the door. Here are six simple ways to ease into your day:
1. Get a head start.
Make like mom did when you were a kid and set out your outfit the night before. Place everything from your shoes to your shirts, pants and undergarments in an easily accessible place. If you want to get extra-organized, you can meal prep for your week ahead with easy and long-lasting recipes like soups or breakfast bars.
2. Avoid electronics.
There’s nothing worse than the pit in your stomach you feel waking up to a slew of work emails. It’s common knowledge that phone time should be avoided before bed but it’s also best to practice a digital hiatus for at least 20 minutes post wakeup. The stress of emails and the distraction of social media that early in the day can totally suck you in and derail you from the task at hand—getting up and moving.
3. Stay present.
Plan for today and only today. When your mind starts slipping off into thinking about tomorrow or next week, or even next year, pause. Meditation, gratitude practices and journaling are all productive ways to keep your head in today’s game while wiping away worry. To keep your focus, choose a starting ritual that signals to your brain that it’s time to get up and on with it. It could be as simple as grabbing a cup of coffee at the start of each day.
4. Set a false alarm.
Trick your sleepy self into thinking you need to be up earlier than you actually do. It will allow you to account for any inevitable slowdowns—whether your toothbrush needs to be recharged or the trash needs to be taken out—you’ll have an extra 30 minutes to get everything accomplished. Even better—use that extra time to do something you love—play with your pup, read that novel you’ve been putting off, or hold some stress-relieving yoga poses. It’s always best to ease your way into the day.
5. Seek a source of nourishment.
Down a glass of warm water with a dash of fresh lemon juice the second you wake up. As we sleep, our bodies dehydrate, leading to that dry and groggy feeling most people experience upon waking up. The lemon water will serve not only as a source of hydration but also a dose of vitamin C and a digestion aid. It’s also important to make breakfast a priority. A bowl of cereal, a piece of fruit, or scrambled eggs take fewer than 10 minutes to prepare and will give you the boost of energy you need most.
6. Set a soundtrack.
Create a playlist the exact length of time you have to get ready. If you’ve got 30 minutes each day, build a few half hour playlists that you can swap in and out to suit your mood. Music helps stimulate brain waves—alerting your body it’s time to wake up without shocking your system. The end of the playlist is a gentle reminder that it’s time to get on with your day.
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