How To Feel Less Stressed In The Morning By Making This One Change In Your Routine

Morning people sometimes seem like a whole different breed of humans, don't they? For many of us, the hour (or two, TBH) after waking up feels like a real doozy. The simple acts of getting dressed, feeding yourself, and getting out the door on time can easily start your day off on the wrong, anxiety-inducing foot. However, according to experts, the secret for how to feel less stressed in the morning is pretty simple: Give yourself more time.

I know, it's easier said than done, perhaps, but waking up even just a half-hour earlier, for example, might give you all the time and space you need to incorporate tactics for stress release and happiness into your morning routine. And even if you already make lots of time to do your perfect cat-eye or make a killer salad for lunch, giving yourself time to actually get centered is what you really want to make some extra time for each morning before heading out into the wild, wild world.

"Craft your own unique routine, and leave yourself enough time to not feel rushed," Ashleigh Edelstein, LMFTA, a Texas-based therapist who works with teens, couples, and young adults, tells Elite Daily. If you're someone who feels negative and super slow in the morning, for instance, you might need a slightly different routine than someone who feels scattered and nervous as soon as they wake up.

Overall, what you do with that extra time in the a.m. is totally up to you. It's all about finding those little things that'll leave you genuinely smiling as you go about your daily commute. But if you're not quite sure how to craft the perfect morning routine, here are some suggestions from experts who know a thing or two about relieving stress and staying positive.

Hydrate and Get Stretching When You Roll Out Of Bed

This one's easy as pie, and honestly, stretching and drinking water just feel really good, especially when you make a point to do these things as soon as you wake up. Just remember to keep a cup of water by your bed, so you don't even have to think about it.

"It's super helpful to drink water and stretch first thing when you wake up," says Edelstein. "These [things] promote hydration and blood flow to give you that little extra boost of energy."

Think About (Or Even Talk About) The Things You're Grateful For

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According to counselor and relationship expert David Bennett, it's all too easy to start the day with negativity. "Thinking about the long drive to work, the project you have to finish, or the fact that your significant other didn’t text 'goodnight,'" he tells Elite Daily, are all things that can ruin your day before it even begins.

To make sure that doesn't happen, Bennett says, start your day by thinking about the things you're thankful for in your life, and even repeating them to yourself out loud. If you feel like you're at a loss, Edelstein suggests widening the scope of your thoughts: "It can be big-picture or something small," she tells Elite Daily. "If you know the day will present some challenges, take a few deep breaths and remind yourself you're doing your best."

Take A Beat And Do Something Just For Yourself

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"Give yourself enough time to decompress just before leaving the house," Edelstein tells Elite Daily. "Whether that means setting aside a few extra minutes to savor your morning beverage or breakfast, watching a funny video, or snuggling with a pet."

In other words, your morning routine doesn't have to include only the necessities that help you get ready for the day, like chugging coffee or brushing your teeth. You deserve to just sit for a minute and do something that's for you and your own well-being.

Put That Phone Down And Don't Check Your Email

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How many of us roll over and look at our dang phones first thing in the morning? Well, according to Edelstein, it's in your best interest not to do that, even though it's a reflexive thing for so many of us.

"Waiting until you get to work gives you a chance to transition into work mode," she tells Elite Daily, "and keeps work from taking over your home life."

If You Love Blue, Make Sure You See Some Blue When You Get Up

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This is such a simple, yet effective trick. If you know certain colors make you feel happy, calm, or otherwise promote some good vibes for you, Edelstein suggests making sure that color is present somewhere around you in the morning.

"If you have a favorite color, see if you can you figure out a way to include that in your routine," she tells Elite Daily. "Maybe it's just through a pillow or blanket or a mug."

Remember To See The Light (Literally)

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"Researchers have found that getting light in the morning is pretty important for our well-being throughout the entire day," Bennett tells Elite Daily. "Exposure to sufficiently bright light in the morning may help us make the feel-good chemical serotonin."

Even if you work remotely, or in some other setting that limits your exposure to sunlight, it's still just as important for your body to get that exposure. Trust me, it'll make a bigger difference than you might realize.