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wisdom and wellness

Master Your Morning Routine

How Morning Routines Shape yOur Mental Health and Stress Levels

Morning Routine
Start your day off right, and the rest will follow.

Start your day off right, and the rest will follow.

It's more than just a saying; it's a proven strategy for better mental health and stress management. This post explores how four key morning habits—hydration, nutrition, prioritization, and physical activity—can fundamentally shift your daily mental landscape and set you up for success, no matter what challenges come your way.

Hydrate Before You Caffeinate

Why reach for coffee when water can wake up your brain just as effectively? 

Hydration is crucial after the overnight fast, replenishing fluids to boost brain function and mood. Starting your day with a glass of water, even before coffee, can reduce morning grogginess and set a hydrated tone for the day.

According to a study from the University of Connecticut, even mild dehydration can alter a person’s mood, energy level, and ability to think clearly. This simple act can decrease anxiety and help manage stress by keeping your physiological processes, including your nervous system, balanced.

Recommendation: Start with 16-24oz of water.

Power Up With Protein

A high-protein breakfast isn’t just good for your muscles; it’s essential for your brain too.

Proteins are the building blocks of neurotransmitters, the chemicals that your brain uses to communicate. Eating a protein-rich breakfast can stabilize blood sugar levels, preventing mood swings and irritability.

According to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, a high-protein breakfast helps reduce cravings and calorie intake throughout the day. This dietary choice helps maintain a clear mind and a calm approach, making you more resilient in the face of daily stressors.

Recommendation: If you're not a breakfast eater, start with essential amino acids, whey protein, and/or a protein bar.

Prioritize your Tasks

Clarity in what needs to be done can significantly reduce morning anxiety.

Take a few minutes each morning to list your day's priorities. This practice not only enhances focus but also provides a roadmap for your day, reducing the stress of uncertainty. With clear goals, you're less likely to feel overwhelmed and more likely to end the day feeling accomplished and mentally at ease.

A study by the American Psychological Association shows that clear goal-setting reduces stress and anxiety by making tasks seem more manageable.

Recommendation: Review your calendar, prioritize your to-do list, and plan accordingly.

Move and Meditate

Begin with movement, whether it’s yoga, a brisk walk, or simple stretching.

Physical activity releases endorphins, your body’s natural stress relievers. Pair this with a few minutes of meditation or deep breathing exercises to ground your intentions for the day.

Research indicates that just 10 minutes of physical activity are sufficient to boost mental alertness and mood. This combination is powerful for mental fortitude, providing both physical and mental refreshment and setting a positive, energized tone for the day ahead.

Recommendation: If you're not a morning workout person, commit to 10 minutes of gentle stretching, a walk around the block, or even grounding exercises to center your intentions.

I challenge You

Integrating these habits into your morning routine can transform your mental health, reducing stress and anxiety while boosting overall well-being. Challenge yourself to adopt these practices for two weeks and observe the changes in your mental clarity and emotional stability.

Call to Action

Need help getting started? Looking for that accountability partner to hold you to it?

I've got you. Start tomorrow with these transformative morning routines, and don't do it alone. Reach out, and let's make these changes together.

Jenna Jahnz, MSN, RN

Certified Health & Life Coach

Men's Mental Health Coach

Empowerment Hiking Coach

Independent OPTAVIA Coach

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