How you start your morning can have a big impact on the rest of your day. You can significantly enhance your mood and lower your overall anxiety simply by planning your morning out a bit.
Try these nine ways to begin your morning that can get your day off to a great start. Try some or try all, but I bet even trying a couple will make for a better day.
1. Hit the snooze button? Yes!
Going against the grain and all those tedious studies, hit the Snooze button--but just one time. Then you get 10 more minutes to clear the fog and prepare yourself mentally for the day ahead. Hitting Snooze just once gives you a sense of control over your day--this may be your last chance, so take it! When setting your alarm the night before, allow time for a 10-minute snooze--if you don't take it, that's 10 extra minutes for a less-rushed morning.
2. Brighten things up
Studies have shown that waking to bright colors--comforter, walls, curtains--can actually increase your mental agility, increase confidence, and just plain make you happier. Want to be happier when you wake each morning? Try greens and yellows. For a calming feel, try blues. Wake up to reds and violets for more energy. And, lastly, sitting in a bright, light-filled room (think sun streaming in while you're sipping your morning coffee) can leave you with a happy, ready-to-face-the-day glow.
3. Let those smiles begin
When you take that first look in the mirror at yourself, smile. Reduce your stress first thing with a splash of smile-producing, feel-good endorphins. Then keep smiling, even if you have to fake it the first couple of tries.
4. Crank up the volume
While you're showering and getting ready in the morning, let the concert begin (Bluetooth portable speakers are great in a bathroom). Studies have shown that music makes you feel happier, improves blood vessel function, puts you in a much better mood, and reduces stress. No time for a massage? No problem. Studies have also shown that music replicates the same anxiety-reducing benefit as receiving a massage. Add a bit of dancing for improved health, mood, and memory, and get the added benefits from exercising.
5. Take the time to eat a healthy breakfast? Maybe
Love your breakfast in the morning? Go for it! I personally think eating a healthy breakfast before leaving for work is a bit overrated. I don't get hungry until about 10 a.m., and I know I'm not alone. If you are like me, prepare your healthy breakfast or brunch--whatever you want to call it--for a nice break from work midmorning or later. Do begin your day with plenty of water (or coffee)--your body is likely to be a bit dehydrated after a long night's sleep.
6. Catch up on the latest
Catch up on the news of the day, particularly news that may affect your company or job. Get a feel for what the talk-of-the-day might be.
7. Choose your top priority
Scan your calendar and email so you have a clear picture of the day ahead. Then decide what your most important task of the day is. The premise being that once you complete your most important task of the day, the rest of your day should be a walk in the park--barring any crisis, of course. Having this clarity before you leave for work will set you up for success, because it allows you time to think, strategize, and create a successful plan of action before you dive in.
8. Take some time for yourself
Whether to get one important thing ticked off your personal to-do list, organize one small area of your home, or just hang out hugging and spending time with a loved one, take some time in the morning just for you--be selfish in the name of sanity.
9. Off to work--early
Take the stress out of your commute by leaving with more than enough time to get to work. And use your commute time to learn something new or listen to something inspiring. This is a great way to set a positive tone for your day, it gives you a sense of accomplishment, and it opens your mind to creativity.