Get a 10-minute head start for a less stressful day.

Mind & Spirit

Bad days aren’t just coincidental. If you’re having a “when it rains, it pours” moment, look towards your morning habit as the culprit.

A recent study found that a disruption in your a.m. routine creates a hard-to-break stress cycle throughout the rest of the day. Just a 10-minute head start gives you time to change that shirt you spilled coffee on, and can reduce the anxiety of being late to work because of unexpected traffic. It even gives you time to grab breakfast so you don’t miss out on that much needed energy boost to get you through to your lunch break.

When you wake up in the morning, your body immediately stops the production of melatonin that helps relax you to sleep. If stressful situations have your day getting off on the wrong foot, your body releases a stress hormone called cortisol. Cortisol causes your body to release adrenaline, which sends out that “fight or flight” message in your brain.

While it’s much needed in emergency situations, too much adrenaline tricks your brain into thinking it’s under stress all the time – which isn’t healthy on the rest of your body in the long run.

Here are some things you can do to get out of the door earlier before work or school:

  • Wake up earlier! It may take a week or two to get used to it, but it’s the easiest way to start making healthier habits for yourself.
  • Lay out your clothes the night before. Set out a few outfits in case you stain something while getting ready or you find out you need to dress for an unexpected meeting or occasion.
  • Keep portable breakfast items on hand. Instead of skipping breakfast altogether, get a nutritious start to your day with cereal bars and fruits you can carry with you, like an apple or an orange. You’ll thank us later when your tummy isn’t grumbling in front of your boss!
  • Set up an app to help you calculate travel time. Traffic apps are really helpful in making sure you get out of the door in time to make an appointment. If you set them up with your desired arrival time, they can send you an alert if traffic is heavy to help you arrive to your destination on time.

If you start your day in a rush, it’s harder to slow down later when email starts piling up and other family commitments bog you down.

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