If you spend your mornings in a frantic frenzy, it might be time to incorporate healthier morning habits. In fact, many of us don’t prioritize good morning habits because we’re usually trying to get out the door on time.

However, changing how you start your day can help you stay refreshed, energized, and stress-free the rest of the day. So who better to ask for tips than therapists? After all, they know what’s best for our mental health. To inspire you to start your day on the right foot, we asked five therapists to share how they start their mornings.

Gratitude and meditation
“One of the biggest things I’ve stopped doing is reaching immediately for my cell phone,” says licensed therapist Eliza Boquin. “Instead, I make an effort to first express gratitude. I bring to mind at least three things I’m grateful for and set my intention for the day. I then do a silent meditation to clear my mind and a grounding exercise to prepare me for the demands of the day.”

Morning pages
“[Morning pages] is an idea from a book called The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron — [it’s] a way to tap into one’s creativity,” says psychotherapist Kelly Bos. “However, I use it and tell my clients to use it as a place to focus, process, and contain. Morning pages involve picking up your journal when you first wake up and writing for three pages — no more, no less, and no judgment.  You don’t even have to review it, just dump away. I often come up with a grocery list, a to-do list, a rant, a prayer, or even a list of things I’m grateful for, and it’s all good.”

“On work days, I walk two miles to the train station to meet my train friends and catch up on the latest scoop while munching on organic baby carrots and nitrate-free sliced turkey and sipping chamomile tea all the way into the city,” says licensed psychotherapist Laurel Steinberg. “On non-work days, I start by walking four miles, eating the same breakfast, and planning my day to include friends, family, and fun.”

Taking it easy
“Morning routines and rituals don’t have to be elaborate and time-consuming; mine certainly isn’t,” says psychotherapist Kathleen Dahlen. “I prize sleep and love snoozing as late as my schedule will allow without rushing. I’m usually up before my husband, so my favorite morning ritual is to feed our dog and two cats while waiting for hot water to boil and steel cut oats to cook. Spending those sweet moments with all of us in the sun-drenched kitchen puts me in touch with gratitude and sets the pace for the day.”

“I head outside for a run or to the gym,” says marriage and family therapist Dana Koonce. “I really love to get my workout done in the morning. I feel very energized, clear-headed, and ready for the day after a nice morning run.”

xx, The FabFitFun Team