Quality sleep is important for our physical health and supports our immune system – and creating positive morning habits can help you reduce stress throughout your day! Simple habits can improve your mood and boost your productivity so you can feel more at ease.

Here are five things you can do to reduce stress and make your mornings brighter:

1. Prepare the Night Before

If your mornings feel stressful as you scramble to figure out what to do, wear and eat that day, planning the night before can make the AM less chaotic. A great morning starts with the things you do for yourself before you go to bed:

  • Pick what you’re going to wear
  • Prep your breakfast (like overnight oats!)
  • Get your coffee maker ready to brew
  • Write out your to-do list

2. Make Your Bed

This simple habit may seem unimportant, but you’d be surprised by how adding this to your daily routine can improve your mood. Starting your day off by completing an easy task will give you a sense of accomplishment and lead to better productivity throughout your day!

It also makes going to bed a nicer experience when your bed is made and ready for you to jump in.

3. Take a Cold Shower

It’s tempting to make the temperature of the water as hot as you can handle in the morning, but there are some benefits to taking a cold shower – if you can handle it. Of course, the cold shock will wake you up if you’re feeling groggy, but cold showers are also wonderful for your hair and skin, increasing circulation and soothing sore muscles. If you want some of the benefits but need the heat, you can ease into it with a contrast shower:

  • Shower in hot water for 3-5 minutes
  • Switch to cold water for 1 minute
  • Repeat 3-5 times
  • Always finish with cold water

4. Virtual Coffee or Exercise Dates

If you struggle to get out of bed in the morning, planning something fun may be the cure for snoozing your alarm relentlessly. Schedule an early morning virtual chat with a loved one and catch up while you brew coffee, make breakfast, or get ready for the day. You could also encourage each other to exercise by doing a quick virtual workout or yoga routine together. It’s harder to sleep in when your best friend is calling you!

5. Daily Affirmations & Gratitude

If you follow step 1 and set up your day the night before, you’ll have more time to focus on yourself in the morning. This is a great opportunity to set aside time to write out positive affirmations and daily gratitude’s. Positive affirmations are a series of statements that start with something like “I am,” “I know,” or “I have” that describe what you’re grateful for or want to experience. It could be as simple as “I am happy” or more specific like “I eat well, exercise regularly, get quality sleep and practice mindfulness to enjoy a healthy mind and body.”

This may feel silly at first, but it’s a step toward shifting your early morning mindset from negative to positive. Follow your affirmations with a list of at least five things you’re grateful for and monitor how it affects your mood over time.