Many people don’t consider themselves “morning people”, and a large part of that perception comes from the stress that can arise when you start each new day in a hurry. By shifting your morning routine to include a little bit of mindfulness, you can give yourself a big mental boost and make yourself more of a morning person after all.

Mindful morning routines can have numerous surprising benefits, including bettering your mental health, boosting productivity, and even improving your personal relationships. Here are four simple strategies you can use to improve your mornings.

Don’t hit the snooze button

As tempting as it is to squeeze in as much sleep as possible, hitting the snooze button is sure to add some stress to your morning. Instead, try to go to bed earlier and set your alarm clock earlier than usual. This will allow you some time to gently get out of bed—open the curtains and bask in the morning light before doing some light stretching as you get up.

Eat breakfast

We all know the adage that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and research supports that notion. People who eat breakfast tend to have more energy throughout the day and are less likely to succumb to food cravings.

Get moving

Getting the blood flowing stimulates the body and mind, helping you feel less tired and in a better mood throughout the day. Light exercise like a morning walk, bike ride, or jog can help you get in a more positive mindset to approach even the most stressful days. Even just a few jumping jacks or a short yoga routine can do wonders.

Read something that’s not work-related

Especially with the prominence of remote work, it’s easy to immediately put your attention towards your email inbox and other work-related tasks. Instead, give yourself a mental break with a chapter of a good book. If you do have a morning commute, consider an audiobook to give yourself a more pleasant start to the day.

It’s not always easy to shift your habits and improve your mental health on your own. Speaking to a therapist can help you develop more effective strategies and understand what may be holding you back in your daily routine. MeMD can connect you to a therapist with a virtual appointment in as little as 24 hours.

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