1. Get up at the same time every day
In our homes, it's easy to begin our days from a morning routine that happens while we're in bed. We may rise earlier than we want to for work, but if we want to avoid feeling a crash later in the day, we need to keep that habit.
Waking up at the same time every day will help you avoid that mental food fight and enjoy your morning time in bed. And, if you take the time to set the alarm and think about how much better it's going to be when you get up, you're more likely to get up on time.
2. Exercise in the morning
Everyone deserves to enjoy their morning routine, Reyes says, and waking up with exercise as part of it can boost your mood and your energy throughout the day. "You can use the morning time to get a burst of energy, take a couple of minutes for yourself, even if you have to exercise or stretch."
3. Get to the office early
Dr. Reyes advises getting to work no later than 7:30 a.m. A new study found that evening hours are when the post office workers, around 55% of the population, experience overwhelming feelings of anxiety and stress. Since if you wait until later in the day, you might end up feeling stressed when you're already feeling frazzled. "Trying to avoid any kind of extra stress in the morning is beneficial," Reyes says. "That's when you can focus your efforts.
4. Drink water, eat breakfast
First and foremost, drink water. "It’s important to get your fluids in during the day," says Dr. Reyes. She advises adults to consume at least two cups of water before noon, and an additional 16 ounces of water for every meal, and lunch.
It can take between 15 to 30 minutes for your body to hydrate, so if you don't have the time to wait, drink a glass of water every hour.
5. A bowl of nuts
"Make sure you start your day off with a healthy protein source," says Dr. Reyes. Nuts are a delicious way to start your day, whether they're sprinkled on top of yogurt, made into a sandwich, or mixed with a bit of mustard and pickles.
Be wary of the numbers on the labels: "Many brands claim to have healthy ingredients," she explains.
6. Meditate for 10 minutes
Meditation is a great way to relieve stress and begin your day with a clear mind. Take 10 minutes in the morning to sit still and bring your attention to your breathing — slow and steady — or concentrate on a sound you hear in your ear or around you. You may find it helpful to try this in a quiet place in your home or bring a pillow and some pillows to the office
7. Walk or hike
Not only does a brisk walk in the morning get your blood moving, it also gives you time to concentrate. Just breathe and listen to the sounds around you. (Hearing helps to quiet the inner chatter.) A brisk walk at the end of the day can recharge you.
8. Make an early dinner
A healthy dinner will set the stage for a healthier morning. This is also a great way to prepare yourself for the week ahead.
9. Stay organized with lists or planners
“When you're preparing your to-do list, but the most important tasks at the top,” Dr. Reyes says. “Write those down first so you can get to the rest as soon as possible.”
Drink coffee with the sun
“Coffee — caffeine in general — helps keep you alert,” she explains. “It helps with your energy levels and memory. Drinking coffee in the morning helps you get through the morning and get to work on time.”
10. Eat breakfast
“Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It provides important nutrients that your body needs. One of those nutrients is glycogen, which is stored in your muscles. The more carbs you have in your system during the first half of the morning, the more energy you have for the rest of the day. This makes it easier to get through the day.
11. Keep your desk clean and tidy
Before you know it, your morning can devolve into a cluttered, messy disaster. It’s the perfect time for the “fleeting piggy” that makes its way from the crevices of your desk to the floors around you, leaving you feeling uncomfortable and irritable.
When you’re tidying up before you head to work, grab some tissues, some Windex or WD-40, and get busy on your mess. By simply taking your workspace back, you’ll reduce stress and make it much easier to focus and stay calm.
Mind the limits of caffeine
When you’re dealing with a bad night’s sleep, you might be tempted to give up caffeine. But, no, don’t start there.
Aim to limit your caffeine intake to no more than 400 mg per day. This is about two to four 8-ounce cups of coffee, tea or chocolate.
But you may need more.
12. Turn off electronics before bedtime
"It can be tempting to be on your phone late at night, but this is counter-productive. If you’re so caught up in Twitter or Facebook that you miss out on sleep, you might be more stressed, but more importantly, you’re going to be making your mornings way harder. The next day, you’re going to have a much more difficult time getting out of bed."
Exercise, set realistic goals
"Everyone makes New Year's resolutions, but you have to be realistic. If you tell yourself you’re going to run a marathon in the next month, it’s not going to happen. So how about running a mile, biking to work, or yoga?
Drink alcohol moderately
Drinking a glass of wine with dinner is fine, but drinking too much can put a strain on your kidneys and liver, which may leave you dehydrated.
13. Avoid sugar, caffeine, alcohol, smoking
High sugar, caffeine and alcohol are all well-known triggers for headaches and tension. "If you have an uncontrolled or unpredictable headache, stay away from things that could trigger your headache," Reyes says.
As for alcohol, it can cause nausea and a racing heart, which Reyes says is a headache trigger as well. Caffeine can also affect the heart and make you feel more anxious and fatigued, and smoking has been shown to increase stress hormones in the body, according to the American Heart Association.
Make your tea or coffee with freshly ground pepper
Spicy or herbal teas and coffees can make your morning brew taste delicious. But the caffeine and stress can trigger an attack, Reyes says. Steep your tea, or make your coffee with freshly ground pepper to counteract that flavor.
14. Eat a healthy diet
"During the week, have whole grain foods — oats, whole wheat bread, brown rice, quinoa, millet, buckwheat, flaxseed, corn, squash and more, Reyes says. These grains will supply you with protein, fiber, folate and vitamins A and B12."
"At least two to three times a week, have a variety of fruits and vegetables and avoid foods high in saturated fat and trans fats. Opt for lean meats, fruits and vegetables. Ideally, have a salad for lunch every day."
Keep sodium in check
"Avoid adding salt to your food. Salt is dehydrating and can increase bloating and cause cramping. Make sure you are getting 30 mg of sodium or less a day. Limit sodas, high fructose corn syrup-sweetened drinks and sauces."
Have an evening snack
"Make sure you eat a small snack before you go to bed.
15. End your day with relaxation and gratitude
Include a few things you're grateful for and embrace the moment you wake up each morning.
Take time to plan for the next day and reflect on what went well and the lessons you learned from the day.
Nurture your body
After the stress of the day, take a deep breath and consciously relax.
Pay attention to what foods you're eating and which ones can add to your stress.
Lately, I've been meditating daily, which has been a huge help in de-stressing and resetting my nervous system.
Work in social interactions
Give and receive more love and care. Being more social (and connected) will help you stay more grounded and calm.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2021 Muhammad Anjum