Have you heard the phrase "a good beginning makes a good ending?" Turns out, it's very much true. How you start your morning sets the tone for the rest of the day, and many times we wake up full of stress and worry for the day ahead of us.
While stress isn't always avoidable, it can be managed! And these quick habits can help you promote peace and harmony...amidst the chaos of everyday life!
Before We Begin: An Effortless Breakfast, in Minutes?
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The best way to manage stress is to replace stressful thoughts, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors with ones that promote peace and harmony.
Easier said than done, I know. But with a little work, you can get there. We'll talk about some healthy habits you can incorporate in a minute but first please note it's also important to eat properly, exercise regularly, get enough sleep, eliminate addictions and stimulants, and spend some time every day to reconnect with yourself.
Some more good ideas for managing stress: be contemplative and focus on what makes you happy, whether that’s a hobby, or spending time with the people you love.
OK, that said, let's get down to some concrete steps you can take this morning for a more stress-free today.
1. Take a Deep Breath
I mean that literally.
Before you get up from your bed, take a big breath through your nose, and fill your belly with air.
Hold it for a few seconds and then let the air out.
You might already feel relaxed as soon as you wake up, but you will notice that even thinking about the day ahead can cause you to stiffen up and become stressed.
Repeat the breathing exercise a few times until you feel your body calm down.
Then get up and start your (calmer) day.
2. Meditate or Pray
Meditation is a fantastic way to introduce more mindfulness into your day, and it can promote health and healing.
Quieting the mind is so important for stress-relief and meditation is a wonderful way to accomplish that.
If you haven’t meditated before, try these online videos for guided meditation at home.
Praying has the same effect, as our goal is to clear the mind, and invite positive feelings and thoughts, so feel free to do whatever feels more natural to you.
3. Get Social
Connecting with people can do wonders for your mood.
Have a breakfast date with a friend, go for a walk with family, or even pick up the phone and have a quick call with someone you love.
Interacting with people, especially those we love makes us happier, and it makes others happier too to know you are thinking of them when you want to feel better.
4. Move your Body
Nothing makes you feel better in the morning than the endorphin release that comes with exercising. And if exercising isn't your jam know this: you don’t even have to work intensively to reap its benefits; a brisk walk outside, some light yoga, or some light weight lifting work beautifully. In addition, when you complete your workout in the morning you have more time later in the day to do other things, without worrying and trying to squeeze a quick workout in. One less thing to stress about.
5. Have a Healthy Breakfast
You already know how important a healthy diet is for your physical health, but you may not know what it can do for your mental health.
Specifically, a diet rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants helps alleviate stress and lift our mood, making us feel loved and worthy.
And the optimal diet for your mental health? A whole food plant-based one. When you take time to fuel your body with the right food, it tells your brain that you care about your wellbeing. Here are 10 of the best WFPB foods for alleviating stress.
On the contrary, a diet full of toxins, saturated fat, and added sugar has been associated with a higher risk of developing mental health problems, such as depression and anxiety.
- How to start your morning can have a big time effect on your stress-levels throughout the rest of the day.
- 5 habits to adopt to help you manage stress from the get-go include: taking a deep breath before you start your morning, meditating or praying to quiet the mind, socializing with friends and family, exercising your body, and eating a filling plant-based breakfast.
Rafaela Michailidou is a Vegan Lifestyle Coach, and a freelance health and wellness content writer, with a Plant-Based Nutrition Certificate from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies.