Managing Morning Stress

The key to a well-focused morning is planning the night before

Managing Morning Stress .Ever wonder why you wake up feeling overwhelmed and not sure where to begin? And.. all of the ideas and to-dos you had in your head the night before are now jumbled? You are not alone. 

Research shows that for most of us our cortisol levels are at their highest in the morning. It’s part of the natural circadian rhythm of our bodies that help us get up and get going with the sunlight. In fact, according to the Cleveland Clinic, “The level of cortisol in your blood, urine and saliva normally peaks in the early morning and declines throughout the day, reaching its lowest level around midnight. This pattern can change if you work a night shift and sleep at different times of the day” (2021).

Personally for me, it’s difficult to focus my mind on what to do first when I wake up. I also find it challenging to do a calmer activity first thing in the morning such as pray or meditate. My mind tends to race and it’s difficult to stay focused. I find walking or stretching helps move the energy through before I can sit and focus. 

With all of this in mind, setting your day up for success actually begins the night before when you are calmer and your mind feels clear about the things that need to get done the next day. 

Writing your to-do list the night before is a great way to set your intentions for the next day. You really do want to write them down. 

Consider keeping a journal next to your bed so you can jot down 5 priorities for the next morning. It will help you focus more when you wake up and your heart feels like it’s racing. 

The bottom line is… we do better and feel less out of control with a plan. You’ve got this.


Cleveland Clinic (Ed.). (2021, December 10). Cortisol: What it is, function, symptoms & levels. Cleveland Clinic. Retrieved March 22, 2023, from