How to Lift the Stress Out of Your Morning

“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in, forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day, you shall begin it well and serenely…”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Another morning. Another day begins.

You get up too early, stumble into the shower and in somewhat of a haze try to get things together and get work or school on time.

But by applying a few simple tips you can make not only the morning but the whole day more relaxed and smooth.

  1. Plan the night before. Choose the 2-3 most important tasks and put them on a to-do list. By choosing just the most important stuff instead of a dozen things you are less likely to start procrastinating or realize at the end of the day that you filled it with less important tasks.
  2. Pack your bag the night before. This very simple habit can alleviate quite a bit of stress in the morning. If you pack your bag before you go to bed then you don’t have to run around in your house half panicked tomorrow while looking for your books or some important papers.
  3. Make your lunch the night before. Pack the leftovers of your dinner in a container and put it in the fridge. Just don’t forget to put it in your bag in the morning. You may even want make an extra serving so you can quickly heat up dinner when you get home from work/school. Doing this the night before will save you a bit of time and possibly a bit of money.
  4. Don’t forget to just relax. You can’t get much done if you never get any rest and revitalization. Well, you can for a while but soon you’ll start to feel run down, stressed out and fill up with all kinds of negative emotions pretty much all the time. So take some time to just relax. Meditate in one way or another. Take a warm bath. Take a walk in the woods. Listen to relaxing music. Have some fun with friends and/or family. Release pressure, stress and tension that can come from a hard day’s work so you don’t carry all of that into the following morning.
  5. Get enough sleep. It’s tempting to stay up a bit longer and let the “morning-you” take care of the problems – I do for example become more likely to revert to old behaviour patterns such as negativity and being easily stressed – that come from lack of sleep. But be good to yourself at least some days during the week. Go to bed a bit earlier and catch up on your sleep.
  6. Use a morning ritual. What you do early in the day often sets the context for your day. We have a tendency to want to be consistent with what we have done before. So a morning ritual that sets the right tone for the day can be a great start. I do for example get up and drink two glasses of water, eat breakfast and drink a cup of yerba maté, brush my teeth, make the bed and declutter for a few minutes. Then I prioritize the items on my to-do list and get started with the most important task.
  7. Keep everything in its place. If everything has its own place then it is whole lot easier to keep your home reasonably ordered and decluttered from day to day. And to find the keys as you are heading out the door.

What is your best tip for creating a better start to the day?

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About the Author

Henrik Edberg is the creator of the Positivity Blog and has written weekly articles here since 2006. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Gothenburg and has been featured on Lifehacker, HuffPost and Paulo Coelho’s blog. Click here to learn more…

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Very inspiring tips. You did it very well. Thanks for sharing this information. I will try to follow the shadow of your tips.

  • I never have enough sleep. I usually sleep 5 Hours per night with 20 minutes afternoon…and drink more than 3 mugs of coffee……..

  • I agree about pre-planning your day the night before because you don’t know what will be in store for you the next morning.

    It’s actually a kind gesture towards yourself to prepare the night before therefore reducing stress in the morning.

  • Great tips Henrick. Taking care of everything the night before is key.

  • Nea

    Henrick, these are great habits to put in place. I’m not a morning person so I know all too well the stress that comes with packing lunch, laptops, etc. upon waking up. It’s so much easier to arrive at work on time and in the right frame of mind when you’ve done as much as possible the night before.


  • My secret – Plan tomorrow today – that always helps me to be productive. In addition I use the 6 point plan for each day. That is on a blank sheet of paper before I leave the office ready for action the next morning. The 6 most important things that I need to do tomorrow to move my life or business forward. Little by little we possess the land.

  • The morning ritual is a winner for me. I have one I never miss. I have a hot shower and put on the shower radio and sing my way into the day. I feel fresh in both mind and body and the vibes are all lifted. You can’t beat a song to raise the vibrations!

  • Hello Henrik,
    Using a morning ritual is the one I can rely one. It consists of reading and journaling (sometimes the journaling morphs into material for a chapter in book or a blog). Usually the reading precedes the journaling. The ritual is always accompanied by two cups of coffee.

  • Thanks for sharing your best tips and insights, guys!

  • A couple of years ago I learned the concept of planning your next day ‘to do list’ the night before, pause to think/visualise taking action on the top or most important items for a few minutes, then go to bed. The subconscious mind then spends the night figuring ways to make it easier for you to complete the list.

    Sometimes unexpected interruptions throw off the timing, but at least in the end I get it all done.

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  • Great tips. I get up a little early, make some coffee and watch my children (ages 8 and 5) while they are sleeping. Just watching my kids resting peacefully gives me extra energy and removes all stress.

  • Great tips! Love the Ralph Waldo Emerson quote. Routine is crucial with kids in the morning, otherwise something is bond to be forgotten in the chaos. I would add that we all need the reminder to unplug from our devices and relax before bed!

  • I think, you got a point on that.

  • Very informative and helpful post. Just to also share what I do, I do my yoga every morning and spend a few minutes alone in a quiet space at home. I have few inspirational art hanging on my yoga room and I guess that helps in lifting the stress out of my body.

    Hope this helps!

  • I like the idea of a morning ritual. I light a candle (borrowed idea from a friend) and choose a random page in Louise Hay’s, Inner Wisdom: Mediations for the Heart and Soul. I read it and comtemplate while I have a cup of coffee. I also think about the elements of my day, and know that I will handle whatever comes up, the best way I can, and that will be good enough. Then I move on to other things. I am often very tired at the end of the day, so I get up early. That way I am sure to get quality time for me. I don’t have to rush to get ready and leave for work. I would encourage people to expriment and discover what works for you.