By: Emma Lunsford

Morning routines don’t just set the tone for the rest of your day. They also play an integral role on your stress levels too!  Say no more, right? With 2020 events and upcoming holidays, we could all use a little less anxiety in our lives. But what’s the best morning routine for reducing stress? Stick around for some life-changing morning routine hacks! 

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The Best Morning Routine According to Science

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#1 Early to Bed Early to Rise

Let’s say you have to be out the door by 8 am, but you don’t get up until 7:30. Now, you’re scrambling around trying to get ready, make lunch, and pack up! It’s no surprise that waking up earlier means you have more time to prepare for the day. And the slower you can start your morning, the less stressed you’ll be.  

Like magic!

It might take a couple of weeks to get used to your new sleeping pattern, but the more consistent you are, the better. Our bodies love routines, especially when it comes to sleep. 

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#2 Grab a Cuppa, But Not Immediately

Gotta love that morning coffee! It’s totally okay to indulge in a cup or two in the AM but keep in mind, it’s better to wait until later in the morning to slurp it down.

Studies show that when you consume caffeine when cortisol is high, it negatively impacts your body’s hormone cycle to release cortisol at inappropriate times — for instance, right when you’re about to fall asleep. Not only that, but drinking coffee later in the morning (around 9:30-11:30 am) may actually give you more of an energy boost than if you consumed it first thing when your cortisol levels are at their peak. 

So hydrate with a glass of water and de-stress first before pouring! Your stress will thank you later.  

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#3 Eat a Filling Breakfast

We can’t talk about morning routine hacks without talking about eating a healthy breakfast! When you eat foods full of healthy fats, protein, and fiber, your blood sugar has a better time stabilizing throughout the day, which means, yep! You guessed it — less stress. 

For instance, ever felt super stressed and hungry at once? It’s the worst combination of shaky hands, migraines, and just feeling “out of it.” However, the more filling meals you eat, the better your body handles stress. 

Make one of these recipes for breakfast! 

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#4 Move Your Body… Even If It’s Just a Little Bit

It doesn’t have to be a 2-hour long sweat sesh. In fact, even just a short walk with your dog can work wonders for reducing stress . And it’s all the better when you exercise in the morning, too. 

It’s a fantastic way to get your blood flowing first thing and promotes healthier choices later in the day too.

Try a workout!

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#5 Journal It Out

Stream of conscious journal much? This is where you write down all of the things that come to mind — no matter if it’s just random words. You’re opening up that line of communication with yourself, writing down how you’re feeling and what you’re thinking about. 

Eventually, you could reach some pretty profound realizations about yourself. The power of self-awareness! 

Studies suggest that journaling is amazing for reducing stress. You get to brain dump any racing thoughts, then address any underlying needs.

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#6 Do Something That Makes You Happy

Oftentimes, we just go through the motions and forget to actually enjoy life in the process. But you can change that by incorporating one small but fun thing you love to do in the morning. It could be a hobby like reading or painting or something else entirely like going for a drive or hiking in the mountains. 

It’s perfect for naturally boosting your mood and ramping up those endorphins for a better day ahead! 

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#7 Meditate For As Long as You Need

We probably don’t even need to reiterate how amazing meditation is for your mind and body, but we’ll say it again anyway. Studies show meditation can help lower stress levels! 

The best morning routine hack: Always choose activities that are quick and easy. Thankfully, meditation only takes like five minutes, and you don’t need equipment. No-brainer alert! 

Give these meditations a go!

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#8 Eat the Frog… Get It Over With!

We all hate that pit-in-our-stomach-feeling around not wanting to complete a to-do. But instead of avoiding it, why not get it over with first thing? 

It will leave you feeling so much more accomplished and less stressed, which is exactly what we’re going for with an amazing morning routine.

So before you sit down to work, quickly map out what order to get things done: worst comes first!  

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