Want to reduce stress and live your life more intentionally on a day-to-day basis? Start with these simple morning routine ideas for less stress.
You hear the familiar and dreaded sound of your morning alarm. It’s difficult to open your eyes, but you do anyway. Then you check your email and start scrolling through your social media feeds. Good morning, it’s a brand new day with your favorite phone!
Well, is it any wonder you’re already overwhelmed after being awake for 10 minutes? A quick cup of coffee, no breakfast and you’re out of the door into the world.
How you start your day can be essential to how it will continue, so the next day try to make some time and incorporate these stress-eliminating ideas into your morning routine.
1. Put the phone down
Your smartphone is a source of a constant influx of information, some good, some bad, and most of it – basically useless. The news and other notifications keep bombarding you throughout most of the day, which makes your stress activation system to switch on.
This is the same process known as the ‘fight or flight’ response. Your body is primed to search for threats in the surrounding environment and react to them, and the first place to find them in the morning is on your phone.
The stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol are released into your system every time this system is activated, and you definitely don’t need them first thing. So tomorrow leave your phone behind and make time for some of the other morning rituals below.
2. Practice Mindfulness & Gratitude
Instead of stressing about the big day ahead of you throughout your morning routine, start with mindfulness and gratitude. My favorite way to do both is very very simple. It’s by spending a little bit of time in nature and appreciating it. You can do that in 10 minutes by sitting on the patio, going for a walk or just looking out of the window.
This little practice will help focus your mind on the positive things in life. It will also reduce stress levels by helping you concentrate on the present instead of worrying about the past or future.
Another great way to incorporate mindfulness and gratitude into your mornings is through journaling.
3. Move Your Body
I bet it’s no surprise that exercise is on the list of the best morning routine ideas for less stress. Most of us don’t move enough throughout the day. Instead, we’re constantly sitting in front of screens and stressing about events that probably won’t matter 6 months from now. They say it’s like smoking 15 cigarettes a day. And researchers might be right.
But we can avoid this by moving in the morning! Getting into your body will help you get out of your head and will release endorphins. And do whatever type of exercise you like – running, walking, dancing, strength training, Pilates or barre are all great options.
4. Have a glass of water
Or if you’re in the mood for a hot beverage – some relaxing herbal tea such as chamomile will do too. You can even add lemon to your first glass of water if you’re not a fan of plain water. Whatever you choose, don’t delay getting hydrated after waking up.
Your body is 70% water, and your brain is 85%. After a whole night’s sleep, your body is dehydrated, and this makes it more difficult to perform your daily tasks. The lack of water automatically increases your cortisol levels (one of the stress hormones mentioned above) making you feel stressed right from the very start of the day.
You don’t need to skip your favorite coffee, but pair it with a glass of H2O! Sipping on water throughout the day will help you feel your best and keep your stress hormones balanced and under control.
5. Do Something Good For Someone Else
If you’re a mom or simply a happily married wife, this will be a no-brainer for you, because you have kids and a husband to be kind to in the morning.
But if you’re not, it can be more of a challenge. Being kind is good for others and it’s even better for you. It helps to take the focus and simultaneously the pressure off of yourself and instead invest it into others. Help someone who needs help.
Now don’t overthink this. You can smile and hold the door open for someone else when you’re going into the coffee shop, you can compliment a co-worker, you can make breakfast for your loved ones or you can even feed the ducks in the park during your morning walk. Yes, you can do something good for people and animals. Preferably both!
By overusing our devices we’ve forgotten how to treat each other properly and in my opinion, it’s one of the reasons we’re facing so many mental health issues these days. Instead of looking out for one another, we’re focusing more on what we lack, making our problems bigger in our minds. Looking outside of ourselves puts things into perspective and doing something kind makes us feel useful.
More Healthy Habits To Start
So, try incorporating some of these simple morning routine ideas to eliminate stress in the first hours of the day. Don’t forget to get your regular 7 or 8 hours of sleep a night, as it will be easier to handle busy mornings and everyday challenges. For more healthy habits, check out these articles as well: