Slow Your Morning for Better Health

We all have hectic lives. Whether you work or are retired, days fill up quickly with tasks, and time can fly! Many people think the best way to approach the day is to tackle as many jobs as possible before eleven so that they feel accomplished. But science shows that a slower morning might be better.

According to Amber Benziger, a licensed professional counselor, one of the ways people increase anxiety in their day is “just rushing and hectic mornings.”  

She said that hurrying yourself through your morning routine creates a chaotic day. “That starts the day off very anxious and can bleed into the rest of your day,” said Ms. Benziger. Instead, having a regular routine with time built in to relax sets you up for success.

When you start your day off slower, you allow your energy to ramp up naturally. Your body isn’t built like a starter pistol. A slow morning isn’t lazy; it lets you prioritize what you should be doing, focus on your tasks more clearly, and see what matters. It sets the tone when you start your day in a rush.

When you start the day slowly, you are actually more productive than if you rush out the door. As you have more energy and a clearer mindset, you can easily get things done without feeling rushed.

By creating little pockets of slowness in the morning, we give ourselves some buffer to protect against the stress and overwhelm. If something frustrating or unexpected happens, we have room to deal with it,” said Brooke McAlary, author of Slow: Simple Living for a Frantic World. “And while it sounds like a small change, it makes a huge difference to how we move through the rest of our day.”

Having a slow morning starts the night before, according to Ms. McAlary. Pick what clothes you’re going to wear, know where your keys are and know what your first task of the day is. Then, when you wake up, you don’t have to worry about any of that. You can enjoy your coffee or stretching without thinking about what comes next.

Finally, don’t reach for your phone or turn on the TV to watch the news until you’re ready. Email, social media and the headlines can all wait until you have focused on taking care of yourself and are prepared for the day. If something is urgent, someone will call you. Nothing happening online can’t wait until after you have had your coffee. Let yourself ease into the morning and take a beat for yourself before facing the world. It will help you face the day with less stress and the right attitude.

Banner image: Tim Foster via Unsplash

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