Practice These 5 Morning Rituals to Reduce Stress + Boost Productivity

Last year, over three-quarters of the U.S. population reported having physical symptoms caused by stress. Over. Three. Quarters. That’s a lot of stress, people! While different things trigger stress for all of us, there are some proactive things you can be doing to help reduce your stress.

And, in my opinion, the morning is the best time to be proactive!

In the morning, you feel fresh, rested, and motivated. It’s just simpler to think clearly in the morning before the day starts hitting you with curveballs. As a bonus, incorporating daily morning rituals into your life adds predictability and routine – which also helps reduce stress in its own rite!

5 Morning Rituals to Help You Reduce Stress + Boost Productivity

Try one or all of these morning rituals to help you reduce stress and be productive.

1. Wake Up Earlier

Go ahead, hit me with your “I don’t wanna” groans. Finished? Great. Now hear me out.
Go to bed earlier and set your alarm between 5 and 7 a.m.. When you wake up at least an hour before your normal routine starts, you’ll have plenty of time to calmly get ready, eat breakfast, and get an idea of what you have to do for the day.
By getting up earlier, you won’t feel rushed, stressed, or like you’re running behind. You’ll have time to read the news, get caught up where you need to, and feel productive before 8 a.m.. And you’ll also reduce stress just by knowing what your game plan for the day looks like!

2. Go to the Gym

Since you’re up earlier, why not hit the gym? You’ll get a heavy helping of endorphins to start your day, which has been shown to have a tremendous impact on reducing stress.
You can choose whatever activity floats your boat – from an early morning yoga class to weight training – to give your brain and metabolism a kickstart for the day. You’ll feel so accomplished by the time you get home and that stress-free fire under your ass will keep that productive feeling up all day long.
Bonus: the morning gym crowd is typically a lot thinner than the evening crowd, so you won’t be fighting for a mat or equipment.

3. Journal and Prioritize Your Tasks

If you’re like me, you’re trying to hold 1,001 things-to-do in your head at any given moment. Take time in the morning to journal everything you have to do, and then prioritize what needs to be completed that day.
This takes pressure off of your brain to remember everything, and you’ll ditch the “I know I’m forgetting something . . .” stress. Ultimately, this allows your brain to be more creative and thoughtful throughout the day. Prioritizing the most important things you need to do will also help to keep you distraction-free and more productive.


4. Ditch the Coffee

Say, what?!
YUP. Caffeine gives you about an hour-long energy boost, but you crash after that. Being tired around mid-morning can actually increase your stress as you push through the sleepies to try and get your work done. And supplementing with more coffee can give you headaches, jitters, and nausea, which can make you even more stressed out.
Instead, eat a good, balanced breakfast before you dip out in the morning complete with carbs, healthy fat, and protein. This will give you the energy you need to tackle the day head on and stay on-task. And when that afternoon slump rolls around, grab a powerful snack like almonds or energy bites to keep you rollin.

5. Avoid Social Media

Social media sucks up time like a black hole sucks up light. To reduce stress in the morning, the name of the game is staying on-task, and social media can derail you quickly. “I’ll just check really quick” turns into 15-30 minutes or more, and then you feel rushed to get ready for your day!
Instead, put your phone down. Focus on quiet time, eating breakfast, getting ready, and doing what you need to do to set yourself up for a successful day. Your mind will thank you!

Bonus! B-R-E-A-T-H-E

I couldn’t help myself. Throughout your morning, take the time to take deep breaths. This allows your parasympathetic nervous system, that rest and digest response, to chill the f*ck out and keep you calm. Then, throughout the day you can reduce stress by returning to this breath.

The Takeaway

Pretty much all of us are stressed out, and that’s no fun. We’re all hustlin’ to make ends meet which is awesome, but it’s much harder to balance everything when we’re stressed. We need to remember to take time for ourselves so we can reduce stress and stay productive.
The morning is a great, quiet time to take measures to reduce your stress. Try one or all of these morning rituals and let us know how they worked for you!

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Morgan Casavant

Morgan is a graphic designer and yoga instructor committed to inspiring compassion, balance, and centeredness - on and off the mat. She loves minimalism, the zero waste movement, and all the things working to protect the environment.


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