The way we start our day can dictate how our entire day goes. Have you ever started your day off on the wrong foot and noticed how difficult it was to shift perspectives after that? A stressful start to the day rarely leads to a relaxing afternoon.

That’s precisely why it’s so important to create habits and routines to help your day start as stress-free as possible. Taking some time to care for our mind, body, and soul in those first AM hours can dramatically improve our mood later. Especially during the afternoon slump and while we’re rushing to get to the gym or heading home to get dinner on the table.

There are a few hacks I use to help my day run smoothly.

It can take some practice to turn these into routines, but incorporating these habits is a sure-fire way to wake up grounded and ready for the day.

Give yourself some time.

Set your alarm a few minutes early to allow yourself time to ease into the day. Take this time to lay in bed and allow the body to gently wake versus the stress of a loud alarm jolting us out of bed. Grab a journal from the bedside table and do some morning pages (a popular “brain dump” exercise) or a list of things to be grateful for. There is no need to allow cortisol levels to spike from the moment we open our eyes. By planning for the day, we can eliminate stress from the get-go.

Give your body a once over.

Chugging a glass of water before beginning your morning routine will kickstart your system. It’s important to hydrate throughout the entire day, but your morning eight ounces will get the process going. Doing a skincare routine, dry brushing the skin, scraping your tongue, or even gently moving your body through yoga or stretching can also generate some energy and flip the switch between our sleeping and waking modes.

journal phone watch

Give yourself a plan.

While sitting and having a nutritious breakfast (which can still be easy), think about the important tasks that need to be accomplished. For example, time blocking can be a helpful method for making sure that those non-negotiables are really non-negotiable. Sure, we can knock out all of our work — but also include a daily walk, time at the gym, and a healthy dinner into your plans for the day.

Incorporating these three habits into your morning will help you set yourself up for the day in a way that’ll leave you feeling refreshed and ready for the day ahead.

You’re going to be able to enjoy that first cup of coffee without depending on it to pull you out of that surly morning mood.

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