The alarm goes off and it's a race to the finish line. You have to get the kids up, dressed and fed. You need to shower, throw on an outfit and pack lunches, stat. Then you have to make it to school before the bell rings and get into work before your 9 a.m. meeting.
It's no wonder you feel zapped of energy by the time that meeting is done. You've been on overdrive all morning, going 60 miles per hour. It feels like any energy you gained from sleep has already been used. Plus, it can be hard to handle a sudden crisis at work when you've been going at such a frantic pace all morning.
That's why it's important to take measures in the morning that will help ease stress all day. We promise they won't be so time-consuming that they add more stress to your already frantic morning. These tactics will leave you more refreshed and let you be more efficient the rest of the day.
Here are a few you can try to get your day off to a positive and productive start:
Step away from the snooze button. You hit snooze and now you're scrambling to get everything done. Get up and moving as soon as your alarm goes off. Even better—set your alarm for 10 minutes earlier so you can begin the day more relaxed.
Forget about yesterday. Don't spend the morning stressing about something that went wrong the day before. Yesterday can't be changed, unfortunately. Focus on today, a brand new day.
Make your bed. When the long day is over, you may want to crawl under the bed's covers with a good book. But it won't feel the same if you come home to a disheveled bed. Making your bed in the morning will get your day off on the right foot and make it easier to relax come nighttime.
Hydrate. Drink a glass of water when you rise for an immediate energy boost. Keep a bottle of water by your bed or a cup in your bathroom to make the process convenient.
Anticipate something that's happening. As you're brushing your teeth or in the shower, think about something that's happening today that you're excited about. It will give you something to look forward to and be grateful for as you speed around the house.
Write down your flash of genius. Did you have an inspirational dream or a good idea in your sleep? Put those ideas on paper now. Otherwise, you may forget about them later.
Journal your thoughts. Write down some thoughts, disregarding punctuation, spelling and grammar. It should be a stream-of-conscious process where you keep your hand moving. Journaling can help you lay out your intentions and concerns for the day.
Get some natural light. Open the curtains or blinds. The light will help wake up your brain. If it's still dark out, step onto your front porch, balcony or yard to help perk you up.
Stretch. Stretching will help get your blood flowing and body moving. Jump-start your day with energizing stretching moves like the ones outlined here.
Tackle a quick, dreaded, to-do list item. Have to take out the trash and it's pouring outside? Forgot to empty the full dishwasher last night? Get the dreaded chore out of the way so you're not fixating on it all morning.
Put down the phone. If you check your email in the morning, you may panic about something that urgently needs to be done at work. Scan social media and you may get flustered over some sad news. Do your best to resist checking your phone until you're more awake and closer to being out the door. Along the same lines, try not to watch the morning news. It can similarly impact you, with breaking news and tragedies bringing potential stress to your body.
Eat breakfast. You've likely had it beaten over your head that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But do you practice that mantra? The meal doesn't have to be complicated and time-consuming. Grab a yogurt or granola bar and you won't leave the house hungry.
Sing. Whether it's in the shower, as you get dressed or another time, sing to yourself or sing along with some tunes. Singing can help relax you and make you feel less anxious.
Meditate. Start the day off with some inner peace by meditating. You can do whatever form of meditation works for you. You might try visualizing relaxing places or images. Or repeating a calming thought, phrase or word silently. You can also try deep breathing, where you focus and concentrate on your breathing as you inhale and exhale, slowly and deeply. Do whatever helps you relax, says the Mayo Clinic.
Massage yourself. You don't have to run to a spa for a quick morning pick-me-up. Get your blood flowing by massaging your feet, thighs and calves. Massage each of your arms and hands. Massage your back and stomach. Rub your neck, scalp and shoulders. Relax muscles by also massaging your face.