7 Ways To Make Your Mornings More Relaxing

I know. A calm morning sounds like something that other people have. I mean, who has the the time to meditate, do yoga, and make an Instagram-worthy breakfast? If you think it sounds impossible to have a relaxed morning routine, I was right there with ya.

Take a second and think back to your morning. How was it? My guess is you slapped your alarm clock a bit, fumbled around for your pants, and then went running out the door while shoving a granola bar in your face. Or maybe I'm just projecting because that's what I did. So yes, I'm the first to admit how easy it is to let your morning get out of control. But even I, with a little planning, have witnessed the benefits of starting the day off right.

When you really think about it, changing up your morning habits doesn't have to be such a big deal. Let's say you have to be at work at 9 a.m., and you have a 30 minute commute. If you wake up at 7, that leaves you with an hour and a half to do whatever you want. Imagine what you can do with all that glorious time to yourself before the day even begins!

A relaxing morning can really set the tone for the rest of your day, so it's a good idea to try your hardest to make your mornings as nice as can be. Here are some tips for doing just that.

1. Stretch Before You Get Out Of Bed

When my alarm clock goes off, the last thing I want to do is peel away my blankets and leap into the freezing cold morning. The very thought fills me with dread, and I know I'm not the only one who feels this way. So instead of leaping up — or angrily hitting snooze for 45 minutes straight — make a slower, and more relaxing, transition into the day. Spend a few minutes (totally under the covers) doing some morning yoga stretches. They will wake you up and warm you up, and getting out of bed won't feel so bad.

2. Take A Hot Shower

Some people swear by showering at night so they save time in the morning, and I can totally appreciate that. But even if you showered the night before, consider taking a quick, hot rinse in the morning. As Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S., notes on PsychCentral.com, "Water is known for having calming effects. A shower can soothe any aches and pains and help you feel refreshed and ready for the day. It does a great job of washing away your grogginess, too."

3. Do Something To Make You Happy

Does anyone associate mornings with happiness? If you do, good for you. For the rest of us, though, mornings are equated with grumbling, rushing, and blearily fumbling to get ready for work. It's not exactly the picture of joy. But the early hours of the day don't have to be so horrible, especially if you set aside some time to do something fun. According to Tartakovsky, " ... think of activities that tend to boost your mood, regardless of how small they seem. And try to incorporate them into your morning routine. Maybe that’s stopping by Starbucks for coffee, [or] reading ... an excerpt from your favorite book. Maybe it’s drawing, listening to classical music, singing in your car, writing in your journal, having breakfast on your porch or dancing as you get ready."

4. Get Organized The Night Before

Nobody likes to run around like a crazy person in the morning. If you do, that's kind of how the rest of the day seems to go. So instead of spending your morning hurriedly organizing yourself for the day, take a few minutes the night before to put everything in one spot. Figure out where your keys are, make sure your phone is charged, and set it all up by your front door. That way, when you're ready to leave for the day, all you have to do is grab your stuff and go.

5. Have A Real Breakfast

Just like with the shower at night/shower in the morning debate, whether or not to eat breakfast can leave people totally divided. Some people swear by a good meal in the morning, while other's hate the idea of eating when they first wake up. But there is something to be said for "breaking your fast" from the night before, and starting the day with some nutrients. As Misty Sansom notes on HuffingtonPost.com, "Even if you find it difficult to eat early in the morning, increased activity in the morning will usually work up your appetite. At the very least, try a fresh fruit salad. At the most — pretend you are serving up a special and fancy breakfast for close friends who have come to stay. Set the table, use silverware, have a flower in a vase and enjoy. Even something as simple as eggs, toast, fruit and tea can look like a Sunday treat."

6. Sit Down To Do Your Makeup

How many women do you see on the subway quickly scratching on some mascara? It gets the job done, but this method will never be filed under "relaxing." If makeup is your thing, why not sit down like an old-fashioned lady at a vanity and treat yourself to a nice, beautifying moment? You'll feel so pampered and put together, while minimizing the chance of spilling liquid foundation all over yourself.

7. Plan Your Day

Sitting down and planning out your day — what meetings you have, which errands you need to run, which friend you plan on grabbing dinner with — can help set the course for those things actually happening. The more you picture it, the more likely it is to all run smoothly. According to Sansom, "Take a moment to jot down your daily tasks, any phone calls or appointments you have, and any simple To Dos you need to check off. You can also highlight the three most important things you need to get done that day — even if nothing else gets done, you want to at least to check off those three things."

It may sound impossible, but you can have a relaxing morning. All it takes is a little preparation to turn your mornings from harried and crazy, to calm and relaxing.

Images: Bianca Consunji/Bustle; Pexels (8)