7 Ways to Avoid Stress in the Morning

Guest Post by Courtney Gordner, DEG Contributor

Mornings bring a sense of panic as I scramble for the right outfit and tightly clasp my coffee on the way out the door, the latter of which is my security blanket for getting through the rest of the day. It never fails. I set my alarm; I wake up at a decent time, and boom: Just like that, the world crowds in and rushes the clock. No matter the start time, I am rushing around at the last minute to find that final finishing touch or the keys that I swear I left by the door when I came home last night.

Morning. Alarm clock. Photo by Igor Zhorov via Flickr.

This sense of panic causes undue stress in my life, stress that is completely avoidable. In an effort to ease the pain that comes with the rising sun, I am embracing the morning with a new outlook and a new way of going about my routine. In doing so, I have found and been enlightened by these seven ways to be less stressed in the morning:

  1. Plan Your Outfits at Night

Why, oh why, did it take me so long to figure this one out? By putting your clothes together the evening before, you eliminate the need to scramble to find that perfect sweater, pair of shoes, or jewelry collection. These distractions are no longer a morning concern, because they’ve already been thought about and put together for easy access.

  1. Make Time for a Good Breakfast

The saying that “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” is true. Challenge yourself to sit in silence and eat a bowl of cereal or a slice of wheat toast to get things going. When you start out eating healthily, you’ll be much more likely to continue the trend throughout the day, leading to less pounds and less stress.

  1. Find the Perfect Alarm Sound

I once had an alarm on my phone that sounded like a rooster crowing. In my mind, waking up to a “natural” sound would be much easier than that incessant buzzing. Wrong. I wanted to throw the phone against the wall and take up smoking before the clock struck 8:00 a.m. Save yourself some anger by selecting a soothing alarm clock, like one that gently plays your favorite song. Waking up singing sounds great, right?

  1. Exchange the Coffee for Water

All of that coffee may seem like the perfect way to wake up and get a handle on the day, but limit your intake to one or two cups – that’s 8oz to a cup, by the way – and then drink water the rest of the morning. Coffee can actually dehydrate you, leaving you feeling drained once the caffeine’s worn off. Some solid H2O will provide sustaining oxygen molecules, allowing you to think and plan your day more effectively.

  1. Put Flowers Next to Your Bed

Waking up to something beautiful in the morning is enough to make you smile and can give you an extra boost of happy thoughts and feelings. Flowers on your nightstand will get your mind moving in a positive direction, which will help set the tone for the rest of your day.

  1. Look at Tomorrow’s To-dos the Evening Before

I don’t know about you, but when I don’t do this, I’m going crazy the next morning trying to remember everything I need to do in the day. Not only am I trying to remember everything I have to do, but everything that I have to take with me to make sure it gets done.

However, if I know ahead of time, for example, that I’m going to the grocery store after work, I’ll write the list out and stick it in my planner with the rest of my to-do list. That way, when it comes time to shop, I don’t even have to worry that I’ll forget something, as my list is already done.

  1. Take a Look at the Forecast

This should probably be done as you are planning your outfit to make sure what you choose to wear will be weather-appropriate. Put an umbrella or wheeled case by the door so you can greet the morning rain full-force.

By planning out your morning ahead of time, you will find that waking up each day is a little happier. Use these seven ways to de-stress your morning, and give yourself a healthy and fresh start.

Courtney Gordner, DEG Consulting ColumnistCourtney Gordner is a blogger/journalist who loves to write. While she enjoys writing about a variety of topics, internet marketing and social media are her favorites. You can read more from her on her blog, Talk Viral or connect with her on Twitter, @CourtGordner, Pinterest and Google+.

About Daniel Gold

Daniel Gold is a productivity coach, keynote speaker, author, and podcaster. He is most well known for his eBooks, Evernote: The Unofficial Guide to Capturing Everything and Getting Things Done, Simplify your Life with Springpad, and Make it Happen: How to Write, Publish, and Sell Your eBook. Daniel is also the co-host of the GTD® Virtual Study Group podcast.