6 Great Ways to Start Your Day

A healthy lifestyle starts each and every morning

Woman Taking a Shower

Hoby Finn / Getty images

The way you spend your morning can add a certain flavor to the rest of your day. When things start out feeling stressful, you can experience a "downward spiral" of negative events and stressful responses. (If this has already happened to you today, learn how to turn around a bad day.)

Conversely, if you start off your day from a place of feeling centered, you will be better able to handle what comes and enjoy the rest of your day to a fuller extent.

Here are some healthy lifestyle habits to incorporate into your morning routine that can leave you better able to handle the stress you experience. Try one or several, and experiment until you find what suits you.

Put On Some Music

Music therapy has been shown to reduce stress and has a positive effect on health. You don't need a therapist to enjoy some of the benefits music has to offer.

Listening to music as you get ready and start your day will create positive energy and a soothing sense of peace (or a sense of fun, if you play party music).

Music can compliment other healthy lifestyle habits, adding a sense of peace to a yoga workout, putting a spring in your step on a morning walk or stimulating your mind as you write in your journal.

Relax in the Shower 

Many of us shower in the morning though we often rush through it because we need to get on with our day. Why not take a few extra minutes and get into the right frame of mind?

As you let the warm water loosen your muscles, think about the possibilities that lie ahead, think about what you have to be grateful for in life and remember this serene feeling.

When you encounter challenges through the day, just think back to this relaxed feeling. You may be able to approach your stressors from a more centered place.

Drink Green Tea 

Sipping a warm cup of tea is a soothing activity that will help you prepare for the day ahead and feel nurtured. Green tea is loaded with antioxidants, so it’s a delicious and healthy lifestyle choice.

Eat a Balanced Breakfast

If you usually start the day with a bagel and coffee, know that breakfast is known as the most important meal of the day for a very good reason.

A healthy meal in the morning can balance your blood sugar levels and give you the sustenance you need to handle physical and mental stress.

Without breakfast, you will be less resilient, both physically and mentally. Be sure to have plenty of protein and fruit, not just caffeine and empty calories!

Write in Your Journal

Journaling has many health and stress management benefits and can also lead to increased self-awareness. Writing once a day can help you feel focused, process negative emotions and solve problems.

Take a few minutes to reflect on what you enjoyed about the day before, focus on what you hope to achieve in the day ahead, or just write about what you are grateful for right now. 

Take a Morning Walk

Walking has so many health benefits, the stress management benefits are practically just gravy! A morning walk can get you ready for your day, help you sleep better at night, lower your stress level and reduce your risk of numerous health conditions. If you bring a dog with you, you’ll be lavished with attention as well!

Do a Little Yoga

You were promised six strategies, but I'm giving you a bonus because it's such an effective stress reliever.

For a healthy body and peaceful mind, few activities give as much bang for your buck as yoga. Combining all the goodness of several stress management techniques (diaphragmatic breathing, meditation, stretching and more) yoga provides some of the best stress management and health benefits you can find in a single technique. 

A good way to start your morning is by doing a series of yoga poses called Sun Salutations.

By Elizabeth Scott, PhD
Elizabeth Scott, PhD is an author, workshop leader, educator, and award-winning blogger on stress management, positive psychology, relationships, and emotional wellbeing.