A 15-Minute Morning Routine That Will Dramatically Reduce Stress

Contributing writer By Alexis Shields, N.D.
Contributing writer
Alexis Shields, ND, is a licensed Naturopathic Doctor and an expert in Functional Medicine. She earned her doctorate at the National University of Natural Medicine and currently does virtual health consulting with busy professionals and families worldwide.

Our bodies aren't designed to manage the amount of stress we're bombarded with on a daily basis.

Chronic sleep deprivation. Blaring alarm clocks. Long work hours. Lack of vacation time. Kids' busy after-school schedules. We're overweight, undernourished, and badly needing regular exercise in our lives. But with our crazy schedules, who has time?

Your primary goal in establishing a healthy habit is to reduce the harmful effects of stress. Without stress, amazing things happen. Chronic diseases disappear. You look and feel younger. You spend less time sick. No magic pill or fancy technology will ever replace good old-fashioned taking care of yourself.

Luckily, there's something you can do at the start of your day to reduce the negative effects of stress:

Establish a 15-minute healthy morning routine.

Before you shower and dress for your day, start your to-do list, eat breakfast, turn on the computer, or get the kids off to school, take 15 minutes to do the same activities every morning to calm your mind and move your body.

What does a healthy morning routine look like? Here is an example of one that may work for you:

1. Wake up and drink 16 ounces of pure, filtered water to rehydrate your body’s tissues.

Hydration is a healthy way to start your day, no matter what your intention is!

2. Do a 5-minute meditation.

You can even get an app for your mobile phone that helps you make this a permanent part of your routine.

3. Do a 10-minute low-impact workout to get your blood flowing and motivation pumping through your veins.

There are lots of great online resources with short and affordable workout options.

Miraculous things happen when you start your day this way. You suddenly make better health choices, such as deciding against that after-lunch doughnut staring at you on the break room table; you take the stairs instead of the elevator; and you take a 10-minute break from work to go outside and get some sunshine.

All of these little things that you do each day add up to BIG things for your health.

Think of your health as a bank account. You only get out what you put in, but the small, consistent deposits can really add up in the end.

One of our biggest excuses for not eating healthier, exercising more, and taking part in stress-reducing activities, is that we don't have the time. But 15 minutes is a small daily goal that you can start to wrap your head around!

What would your 15-minute healthy morning routine look like?

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