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3 Stress-Busting Tips to Help You Start Your Day

Between working, taking care of kids and maintaining a social schedule, the hustle and bustle of daily life can cause some people to feel exhausted, stressed or both. If you find yourself dragging your feet in the morning, waking up in a funk or dreading a stress-filled day, try to make a little time for yourself to boost your spirits.

Here are a few morning tips to help you take on the day with less stress and more smiles:

Make time to stretch. Stretching reduces anxiety and tension and slows down your heart rate. It can also improve your energy and clear your head. And don’t forget that your body will feel better—there’s no harm in that! A few simple yoga poses first thing in the morning can also reduce stress. Studies have found that people who did a few simple yoga stretches every morning reported less stress and an overall improved quality of life than those who didn’t.

Come up with a ritual. Creating a little ritual you do each morning “just for you” carves out some quality you-time first thing. Giving yourself attention first will allow you to look forward to waking up and help you take on the day with a positive outlook. This ritual can be something as simple as sitting on the porch with a cup of coffee or reading a book for half an hour, or something more complex like working on a novel or learning a new language. Whatever you choose, it should be as essential to your well-being as your daily shower.

Create a secret smile stash. Come up with a few go-to smile-inducers to fall back on if you wake up in a down mood. Stash a collection of photos from vacation with family and friends, love letters from your sweetie, or music that always gets you dancing or lifts your spirits. These little happy-makers could help put a little more pep in your step on your way out the door, and make you ready to take on the day.