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Let’s face it, mornings can be stressful. And if you have children or pets, mornings can be really, really stressful. Starting your day on a positive note helps set the tone for the rest of the day. Here are some tips to set yourself up for a smoother morning.

Drink up – Drinking a glass of water right when you wake up helps wake up your system. You have been asleep for 6-8 hours, so it is important to rehydrate your body. Drinking a glass of water also helps to fuel your brain, fight sickness, and jump start your metabolism. Once you have a glass under your belt, then you can fuel up on coffee or tea.

Wake up gently (and before everyone else) – Nothing is worse than the harsh blaring sound of your alarm going off right at 7am (who are we kidding…5am or 6am is more like it.) Try a sleeping app, such as Sleep Cycle. This monitors your sleeping patterns and will wake you up within a time limit while you are at your lightest sleep. If possible, add an extra thirty minutes or so into your morning schedule. This way you can wake up slowly and have a cup of coffee, maybe meditate, or get ahead on work emails before anyone else is awake. This will help you feel less stressed during the morning rush too, and like you got ahead.

Sleep with the shades open, your cell phone downstairs, and a book on your nightstand – While it can be tempting to grab your phone and start scrolling through email or social media, it is easy to get sucked in and waste time browsing in the AM. On the flipside, the bright light from the cell phone screen also keeps you awake in the PM and makes it harder to fall asleep. Keep a book on your nightstand so you can read before bed and fall asleep much easier. Also, keep your curtains open so that you can wake up naturally and gradually with the morning sun.

Blast some music & toss on some oils – Studies show that music increases mood and energy.  Playing your favorite music while you shower, put on makeup, or cook breakfast can add a little pep in your step and get you moving faster (and maybe dancing too which burns calories!)  Try dabbing orange or lemon essential oil onto your wrists too for an added energy boost!

Get Dressed – I find it helpful to lay your outfit the day before, just so it takes the stress off deciding in the morning. Don’t have time to lay your clothes out?  Try doing a closet overhaul and curating your closet so you only have 3-4 colors that you wear most often.  This makes coordinating outfits such a breeze that you’ll have trouble picking your favorite combo! It is also nice just to take your time getting dressed and ready, so you are presented as your best self.

Eat breakfast (and make it easy or prep the night before) – Breakfast is the most important meal of the day! Aside from drinking water, it is vital to jumpstarting your metabolism.  I personally opt on the lighter side, but oatmeal, fruit, or an avocado on toast can do wonders. Bananas are packed with potassium and perfect for eating on the go. If you don’t have time to make eggs in the morning, make them ahead of time on Sunday.  I love this recipe from A Sassy Spoon.  These egg muffin cups are so simple to make and you can freeze them or refrigerate them for the week. Packed with protein and veggies, they are a perfect healthy breakfast.

Now you are ready to take on the rest of the day. Whether it’s helping others get out the door on time, or getting to your appointment, it starts with taking care of yourself!

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