Medical and mental health professionals agree: the right morning routine will set the stage for a less stressful and more productive day. Committing to activities in the morning helps develop a routine that ensures you’re setting yourself up for the best possible outcomes no matter what your day throws at you.
From the health experts at Self, here are some simple morning habits to start your day. While these may seem small, their impact can be big:
Make your bed. While this basic chore may seem insignificant, it plays an important role in your daily life. Making your bed before you head out the door can help declutter your space and your mind, and will help encourage good “sleep hygiene” when you’re ready to close your eyes at the end of the day.
Get ready in order. Not having to make decisions in the morning allows you to start your day with less stress. Even the simplest of decisions can feel burdensome in the early hours, so come up with a step-by-step process for getting ready and stick to it, i.e., coffee, exercise, shower, read the news, etc.
Delay phone time. Your day will unfold much more peacefully if you resist the urge to check your phone as soon as you wake up. From bank notifications to social media posts to text messages, your phone can flood you with too much information too soon and trigger a stress response. Maintain the level of calm you awaken with for as long as possible by delaying your daily phone check.
Drink water. While coffee and tea are the most popular morning drinks, be sure to start your day with a big glass of water as well. Your body has just gone without hydration for eight hours or so while sleeping, so drinking water first thing will immediately kick-start your day.
Do something creative. Whether it’s a quick crossword puzzle, a little creative writing or a couple of brush strokes to the painting you’re working on, adding creative time into your morning can completely reframe this time of the day. Doing something that brings you joy will turn your mornings into personal time, not just getting-ready-for-work time.
Write or review your to-do list. Help stave off the feeling of overwhelm by taking a few minutes to review or create your to-do list for the day. While you don’t want to get too involved in work activities in the morning, quickly prioritizing what needs to get done before you’re flooded with emails and meetings can help you head into your day more calmly.
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