How you spend your morning sets the tone for the rest of your day. While, sure, pint-sized housemates tend to wrestle our a.m. routine from us, there are still things we can all do to start the day off in a healthy and productive way. Whether you have 20 minutes or two hours to yourself in the morning, here are some small ways to start the early stretch off right.
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This could be 30 seconds of listening to the water flow as you stand in the shower, a quick guided session with a mindfulness app, or a full-on 20 minutes or more of quieting your mind. However handled, morning meditation is an excellent way to ready yourself for the day and has been linked to greater focus and patience as well as less stress.
A good stretching routine wakes up the body, increasing blood flow, activating muscles, and relieving tension. It’s also a meditative act that helps you clear your mind.
4. Make The Bed
This advice was popularized by retired Navy four-star admiral William H. McRaven’s Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life... And Maybe the World. Completing such an easy task — and doing it properly, not just throwing the quilt over ruffled sheets — starts your day with an immediate, and replicable, sense of accomplishment.
5. Express Gratitude
Perspective is everything. The act of writing down a few things for which you’re grateful trains you to reflect on the positive — something that can be all-to-easy to ignore. With regular practice, such reflection is beneficial to relationships, stress levels, and overall happiness
7. Choose A Specific Time To Look At Your Phone
Chances are the first thing you reach for in the morning is your phone. Fight this instinct. Get an old-timey alarm clock. Charge your device outside of your room. Whatever helps. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t read the news or check your mail. But it’s far more beneficial to your mental health if you’re choosing a time to look at it — perhaps as you drink your coffee — rather than mindlessly pawing at it first thing in the morning.
8. Create A List
We can only hold so many tasks in our heads. Taking a few minutes to write down the things you need to accomplish allows us to organize the jumble of tasks that swarm around in our brain into a useful system. Done right, it creates structure, and helps fights the chaos of the unknown.