How we start our day is essential. But sometimes, it can be challenging to feel good about the day ahead when there’s a lot on your plate. It’s easy to dismiss time for yourself in the morning. Things come up, and you have errands to run, maybe a family to take care of, and more that takes away from your “you time.” Many of us already carry stress and anxiety due to a variety of reasons, but when you add a stacked schedule on top of that, it’s easy to feel there is no rest or end in sight.
Though it might seem challenging to manage your fear, let’s check out ways to reduce stress in the morning to make your day better.
- Stretch or Work Out
- Try Breathing Exercises
- Try Journaling for Mental Health
- Listen to a Playlist
- Use a Therapy App
- Hydrate in the Morning
- Minimize Screen Time
- Prioritize Time For Yourself
Stretch or Work Out
Stretching or working out are great stress-reducing activities. Stretching helps you release muscle tension in parts of the body where you may be carrying stress. Not only can stretching reduce your stress, but it also enables you to relax your muscles and send mood-elevating blood flow to the brain that can support in managing anxiety. Additionally, if you struggle with getting adequate rest, stretching can improve your quality of sleep.
An early morning workout can be beneficial to the start of your day. Working out in the morning improves not only your focus, but your metabolism too. Try taking twenty to thirty minutes at the beginning of your day to stretch or exercise. Running, riding your bike, taking a walk, push-ups, sit-ups, etc. are all great options. Squeezing in even a little time can be highly beneficial to your mental health and starting your day right.
Try Breathing Exercises
Breathing exercises are a great way to lower stress. When you practice breath control more often, this alerts your brain to slow down, calm down, and relax. Breathing also contributes to lowering your heart rate, blood pressure, diabetic symptoms, chronic pain, depression, and the possibility of burnout.
Try Journaling for Mental Health
Journaling for mental health is a form of therapy for many. Journaling allows you to write out your feelings and frustrations you might have kept bottled up or had a hard time expressing verbally. It not only helps you make sense of your thoughts, but can also help you think more clearly, reduce your anxiety, release anger, see yourself more objectively, and aid in your healing process. Another benefit of journaling is an improved immune function. Surprisingly enough, journaling for your mental health can improve your immunity and decrease the possibility of illness and other asthma and rheumatoid arthritis symptoms.
Writing out your emotions in the morning, or even about what has you nervous or anxious for the day, can help you name the fear and approach it less scarily.
Listen to a Playlist
Curating a playlist or listening to some of your favorite calming songs can help boost your mood and fend off depression. The rhythms and repetitions in music engage the neocortex of your brain, which ultimately calms you. This playlist doesn’t have to be limited to songs, so consider including nature sounds or podcasts. Nature sounds can relax you and bring you closer to your equilibrium if you feel panicked or stressed. Listening to a podcast is also a great way to have someone guide you through a difficult point in your life, and their added knowledge might help you make sense of your emotions. You may even find that someone’s voice on the podcast is calming too.
Use a Therapy App
Downloading a therapy app and using it in the morning can help in starting your day off right. Many therapy or mood tracking apps give you the freedom to input your emotions, what you’re feeling most during the week, how you’ve been sleeping, etc. In addition, apps such as Calm provide a library of different topics to choose from. Whether you want to try some breathing exercises to help you with a specific stressor, meditate, listen to nature sounds, etc., this can help you ease your anxiety before you start the day.
Hydrate in the Morning
Starting your day off in the morning with a glass of water does more for you than you’d think. What are the benefits of drinking water? Water benefits your physical performance, prevents headaches, promotes cardiovascular health, fights off sickness, builds strong muscles, and increases your brain function. If you have long days ahead, it’s essential to stay hydrated to avoid dehydration which impacts your memory, mood, focus, and concentration.
As soon as you wake up, or shortly after, grab yourself a glass of water to start your day off right, and keep a sustainable water bottle handy throughout the day to ensure you’re getting enough water intake.
Minimize Screen Time
Taking a technology break can help you recharge and focus on what tasks you have at hand. For example, instead of checking your phone first thing in the morning, try incorporating a few of the tips above. In addition, replacing screen time at the start of your day can help you prepare better and be calmer and more relaxed.
Prioritize Time For Yourself
As you work toward introducing some of these tips into your mornings, know there are other stress reduction techniques to try as well that can be good or best suited for you. It’s essential to take care of yourself and to prioritize your mental health, not only when you’re feeling stressed, but at all times. Even if you can only dedicate a few minutes a day to yourself, it’s still important as you learn how to keep yourself healthy.