Your Guide to Better Mornings

With the New Year quickly approaching, several people are beginning to brainstorm ways they can change their lives for the better. To help counter the stress of a new semester, I'm encouraging college students to consider becoming more comfortable with waking up early. Beat the morning blues by establishing a daily routine that will not only make you feel happier, but also more proactive and productive.

Below are a few ideas to help you start streamlining your mornings. Try implementing one or two ideas now to set yourself up for a successful resolution.

Pick out your outfit the night before. I know this sounds cheesy, but it really helps. Not having to make this decision in the morning helps you focus on other important activities to prepare you for the busy day ahead (like getting coffee). The Closet+ app can help make this process even easier. Prepping and planning your lunch will also help cut out unnecessary stress.

Ditch digital devices right before bed. One article recounted a study from the Journal of Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes that explained how using your phone at night helps decrease productivity throughout the day. The LED light from cell phone and computer screens can also disrupt natural sleep cycles. Checking Facebook endlessly before you go to sleep shouldn't become a habit.

Get moving. Whether you choose to exercise or take the long way to class, getting your body warmed up in the morning will automatically make you feel happier. Let's face it--hitting your snooze alarm five times in a row before standing up will just make you feel grumpy.

Make your bed. Completing this small task should be a no-brainer, but I know it often gets overlooked. By making your bed right after you wake up, you'll feel a sense of accomplishment and productively kick-off your day. It immediately makes me feel more organized.

Eat breakfast. Coffee ≠ a nutritious breakfast. While coffee is great for a day filled with long hours in the library, nothing compares to having actual food to help wake up your brain. Mixing fruit, yogurt, and granola is a simple and efficient option that won't slow you down.

Read the news. Instead of immediately looking at your email inbox, check out Twitter or an actual newspaper to catch up on the day's news or and latest trends in the field you're looking to enter. Feedly is a great app to use to get your daily digest of information.

Read a daily inspirational quote. If you're in a rush and don't have time to read the paper, make it a goal to at least hunt for an inspirational quote to fuel your day (I usually search Instagram). Starting the day with positive vibes will not only keep you composed at work but also provide you with words to inspire others.

Look over your day's schedule. While its okay to put off checking your email before class, looking over your daily agenda will help you feel calm and focused. Making quick to-do lists always helps keep me on track. Knowing the things that are set-in-stone for the day will help make you feel more at ease when unexpected tasks or social activities pop