Fighting Stress with Healthy Morning Routines

Fighting Stress with Healthy Morning Routines

I have read a few studies lately on stress. And the results of all of them point to a very stressed out society we are living in. Work, spouses, kids, friends, money, bills... you name it. There are many causes of stress. 

And here's the problem with that... ongoing stress is NOT good for us. 

It can cause acne, hair loss, weight gain, weight loss and many other health problems.  It can make you feel crazy and  overwhelmed at EVERYTHING!

But, the good news is, there is a way to combat stress.

Routines and organization is the best way to deal with stress throughout the day. And what better time to start with a routine, then first thing in the morning! Setting the tone for the day starts the minute you open your eyes. If you aren’t careful, stress can take over your day before you can do anything about it.

So just how do you combat stress first thing in the morning? 

Here are my top tips to create your own morning routine to help alleviate stress.

Stop Hitting The Snooze Button

If you’re one of those people that keep hitting the snooze button in an attempt to get more sleep, you’re probably not going to like what you’re about to read. When you press that snooze button over and over again, you are causing yourself to have less time to prepare for the day. That alone can cause some stress. If you’re like me and need three or four alarms timed to go off 15 minutes apart, try setting them a little earlier than when you actually need to wake up. This will allow you to be able to hit that snooze button (once or twice – not 10!) and still get up on time. Having to rush in the morning is a breeding ground for high stress levels throughout the day. That snooze button is just not worth it.

Don’t Constantly Check Your Phone

Constantly checking your phone, whether its social media or emails, can cause those stress levels to heighten. Checking your phone right after waking up overloads your brain causing stress by trying to wake up faster. Try not checking your phone until you’re on your way out or about to leave. It will allow your mind the time it needs to wake up on its own and do it calmly.

Breathe

We often forget, but good quality breathing is so important. Learning to calm yourself through breathing exercises will help fight away the stress that hits in the form of panic attacks and anxiety attacks or plain old stress. Take in deep breaths while counting to five and then exhale counting to five. Doing this helps to gain control of the situation which alleviates the feeling of being overwhelmed and stressed by everything going on around you. Doing this in the morning before you even get out of bed is a great way to prepare your mind for all the tasks you need to tackle.

Repeat An Affirmation

Saying kind things to yourself about yourself will definitely make you happy and keep those pesky stress levels at bay. And it can be anything that makes you feel positive like “I am grateful for my life”, “I begin my life today”, “I am kind”, or “I am beautiful”. It really just depends on you and what you need/want to hear. The moment you start to feel like you’re being flooded with too much and become overwhelmed, take a breath and repeat your affirmation. This will help calm you and also help keep you positive and motivated to get through the day.

Eat A Good Breakfast

We’ve all been told that Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But there is science and plenty of studies that can prove it. In fact, A British study taken in 2012 found that “people who ate breakfast reported feeling 89% less anxious in challenging situations later that day, and were able to deal with dilemmas 7% faster than on days they skipped their A.M. meal” ("12 Morning Tricks To Set Yourself Up For A Much Less Stressful Day"). So, make sure you not only eat breakfast, but that you eat a HEALTHY breakfast. Doing this will increase your brain function and reaction and allow you to focus more on the tasks you need to tackle each day. 

Make A List for Productivity

Early on in the morning, try to focus on all your high-concentration tasks. This includes things like writing reports, seeing patients, managing finances or anything else that might require more focus and/or creativity. The best way to put those things in order of how much concentration they require is to make a list. After you complete one of the tasks, cross it off. Doing this will alleviate the feeling of being overwhelmed and flooded with tasks throughout your day.

So, there you have it.

If you are struggling with stress each day or even every once in a while, you can try these tips to decrease the amount of stress you feel, just by sticking to a good healthy and quality morning routine.

Related reading: 

Tired of Feeling Tired? 3 Must Eat Breakfast Foods

10 Easy Ways To Get Rid Of Stress

Breakfast For Busy Women- Why It's Important Not To Skip

One of the things I speak with my Nutrition clients about is the combination of stress, how it affects what you eat, and in turn, how that makes you feel. The first step I take with them is filling out my Food, Mood and Health Journal. 

Now you can have it, for FREE!  It comes with a video training, and you can get it emailed over by signing up below. 

That's it for today, I would love to hear from you! 

What does your morning routine look like?

Which of these tips are you going to try? Let me know in the comments below! 

Gaylene Gomez, NNCP, C.H.N.