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13 Things You Can Do Tonight to Make Tomorrow Morning Less Stressful

Are mornings a mad rush at your house? By the time you find matching socks for the kids and answer the text messages that piled up overnight, you may feel like you've put in a full day before you even reach the office.

You can make your mornings run more smoothly. Take a look at these suggestions for feeling more relaxed as you start each day.

8 Ways to Save Time in the Morning

Staying on schedule is probably your biggest challenge. These time-savers will streamline your routine.

1. Plan your schedule. Maybe you're trying to cram too much into too few hours. Figure out how much time you need for your usual activities. Then, you can calculate when you need to go to bed so you'll be well rested each day.

2. Organize your space. Do you know where your umbrella is? Keeping essential items in their place will eliminate searching for car keys or gym bags.

3. Check the weather. Rain and snow may change your plans. Take a look at the forecast before you go to bed so you'll be ready with rain boots or ice scrapers.

4. Prepare breakfast. Eating breakfast gives you energy now, and makes it easier to resist snacking on junk food later. If you can, do some meal-prep on the weekends so you can have grab-and-go nutrition at your fingertips. Or, assemble your smoothie ingredients in the blender tonight so you can pull them out of the refrigerator tomorrow and go.

5. Lay out your clothes. Hang tomorrow's outfit at the front of your closet, on the back of your bedroom door, or in the bathroom. Buy a compact steamer to cut down on ironing time.

6. Simplify your look. How many products do you use in the morning? Design a simpler skin care regimen and browse around for a low-maintenance hairstyle.

7. Write notes. Save your brain power for more important subjects. Instead of keeping mental inventory of all the things you need to do, jot down reminders to pick up prescriptions or dry cleaning.

8. Shorten your commute. Studies show that the length of your commute has a dramatic effect on your health and wellbeing. Moving or changing jobs is a big decision, but you may want to explore your options. If you're looking for a benchmark, the average one-way commute in the U.S. is 25.5 minutes. If that's not an option (we get it!) can you telecommute or work remotely even some of the days? Or work a flexible schedule or on a 4 day/10 hour a day schedule?

5 Ways to Make Mornings More Peaceful

However much you need to do, you can stay calm and focused. It's a matter of attitude. These tips will help you enjoy mornings more.

1. Adjust the light. Light has a powerful effect on your brain. Darkening your bedroom at night will help you to sleep better so you wake up feeling refreshed. The opposite holds true for waking up. Exposure to morning sun will banish grogginess. If you live in a climate where morning light is limited in the winter, consider installing daylight hue bulbs in your home to give you the feel of morning light.

2. Meditate before bed. Meditating or praying before sleep may give you pleasant dreams. You can reinforce the positive feelings by meditating in the morning too.

3. Skip the snooze button. Try placing your alarm clock across the room if you're in the habit of hitting the snooze button. Those 10 minute fragments of sleep usually leave you feeling worse than if you get out of bed immediately.

4. Play music. Spend your evening queing up a playlist of your favorite songs. Lively music will give you energy if you're dragging around. Gentle instrumental music will soothe your nerves if you're apprehensive about a job interview or business presentation.

5. Use commute time as self-care or learning time. Continue your education during your commute. Find a podcast that will teach you Roman history or the fundamentals of accounting. Or, listen to captivating audiobooks that let your imagination soar.

A few simple strategies can turn you into an early bird or at least make your initial hours happier and more productive. Starting the morning on a positive note will help you head off stress and feel calmer all day long.

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