Starting your day off on the right foot can make the difference between a tough day and an awesome day. Getting your day started with what makes you happy can allow you to cope better when struggling through a stressful workday. Below are seven stress reducing strategies to help everyday be successful.
Wake up early
Nothing ruins a relaxing morning and creates high stress levels more than running late. Although it may be difficult to immediately start waking up two hours earlier to make time for yourself, consider starting with small increments. For example, for one week set your alarm 30 minutes earlier than usual and start experiencing how much you enjoy the extra time. The trick, of course, is that in order to not feel exhausted you may need to go to sleep a bit earlier than you currently are. This will differ from one person to the next depending on how much sleep they need to function well.
When life consists of going from the house to the car to the office, or wherever it is that you may go, getting a dose of revitalizing fresh air can be challenging. Use a portion of your morning to make sure you get outside, no matter the weather. Walk your dog, water a garden, go for a jog, or even just sit outside and breathe. Stale, office air can feel draining, so start the day off right with Mother Nature.
No one will argue that life is busy. However, slowing the mind down to meditate can help to concentrate, re-focus, re-energize, and de-stress. By meditating for even a few minutes in the morning, you can clear your mind to start the day off fresh. If you are new to meditating, consider using an online app or video to help walk you through the process using guided imagery, music, visuals, or silence.
Before rushing off for the day to take care of work and responsibilities, first take care of number one – yourself. Exercise is a priority to make for yourself. This provides both physical health benefits and prevention of chronic health conditions like obesity, hypertension, and diabetes. Additionally, it provides mental health benefits to manage stress, anxiety, and depression. Finding fitness videos online provides an affordable and convenient way to exercise that can be done independent of schedules or of the weather conditions.
If you prefer a group setting, set time aside in your morning schedule to attend a morning fitness class, running group, or biking group. Many people find exercising with a group to be an effective motivating technique to show up regularly.
Allow some quiet time to yourself before the rest of your household starts waking. Reading for 20 minutes allows you to have that extra bit of time to yourself and reduce stress. Whether you are reading your favorite novel, catching up on news headlines, or learning about something new from recipes or taking an online course, reading lets you to pick an interest of your own and focus on it. This is both relaxing and prevents you from feeling resentment towards the other demands in your life for taking up your time.
Ideally, household chores are split up among household members. However, you can take five to 10 minutes in the morning to do a bit of organizing, cleaning up a bathroom, or keeping your bedroom tidy. Coming home to a clean home is a refreshing way to start the evening.
Whether it’s with your family, your roommates or even just you and your personal day timer, take a few minutes in the morning to review the plan of the day. This can save time and reduce stress later in the day, as it helps everyone to be organized. It can help as a reminder to take the frozen dinner meat out of the freezer before it is too late, to have the kid’s permission form signed and packed, and to know who’s picking up who and when. With a few minutes of planning in the morning, stress can be reduced all throughout the day.
Starting your morning off filled with activities that you enjoy and ones that can benefit your mental and physical health can pave the way for a successful and fulfilling day. With a little organization and giving yourself more time before the workday starts, stress can be reduced while making work part of your day, but not your entire day.
You’re Never Too Far From… Being Active, at Belmont Lake Preserve. One of North Carolina’s top Active Lifestyle, master-planned communities.