Some of the most successful entrepreneurs and celebrities swear by their morning routines. Jeff Bezos carves out some quiet time. Julianne Hough lists five things she’s grateful for. Oprah meditates. According to a study from Harvard Business School and Stanford University, workplace stress can be as harmful to our health as secondhand smoke. As a result, taking the time for self-care before heading off to work can help you accumulate less stress throughout the day, along with other major benefits.
As you plan your holiday gift list, give someone you love a more productive, happy, and successful day with a present that sets them up with a joyful morning routine.
Cards to set your intention for the day
Oprah Winfrey has spoken often about the value of setting intentions. Before starting any project, she asks, “How do I use this in the service of something greater than myself?” You can perform that same thought exercise each day when you wake up. By starting the morning with a positive intention, you set the stage for a day framed in positivity and gratitude. If you like a little prompting, try the UncommonGoods Mindfulness Cards. There are over 50 prompts and exercises divided into four sections: rest and balance, curiosity and joy, insight and awareness, and kindness. Using the cards daily is a Microstep that can help reframe how you think about each morning.
UncommonGoods Mindfulness Cards, $16.95
A cute cushion to wake up and meditate
According to a brain imaging study by researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, mindfulness meditation alters regions of the brain associated with memory, awareness of self, and compassion. A meditation cushion is a great gift for anyone who’d like to start their days with a little calm after the holiday frenzy.
A planner to organize your time
Studies have found that the act of writing a to-do list can help you remember your tasks better than you would if you simply listed off your plans in your head. Give someone special that gift of organization with a beautiful planner. That way, they can write down everything they’re planning at the start of the day, and trust that they’ll have it all recorded. Plus, Gail Matthews, Ph.D., a psychology professor at Dominican University who studies the science of goal-setting, has found that you are 42 percent more likely to achieve your goals simply by writing them down on a regular basis.
A coffee maker to enjoy a moment of stillness
Research shows there are many benefits to enjoying a cup of coffee in the morning — including a lower risk of cancer, and the promotion of a healthy heart. Before the day begins, sip on a hot cup while reading or journaling. Even better, set the alarm to wake up 30 minutes before your family wakes up, to have a moment just for you.
Nespresso VertuoPlus, $110-150
A pretty water bottle to make hydrating easy
Tom Brady’s morning routine starts with 20 ounces of water. Turn that healthy habit into a fun one with a pretty water bottle! This one looks chic, and you can jazz up the H2O with the fruit or herbs of your choice.
A cool, colorful print to inspire creativity
Seeing different colors can have fascinating effects on our mood. For instance, research has found that green can help you to hold on to positive memories and spark creativity. Help giftees start their day with a burst of color with the vibrant prints from Swissted, a series of posters for art, music, and design lovers (we love this Pixies one).
Swissted, from $50
Shower scents to boost focus
In her book, Gracefully You, actress Jenna Dewan writes that she turns her morning shower each day into a mindful experience. Even on the busiest days, you, too, can start your day by taking a moment in the shower for mindful focus. When you are washing your hair or lathering up, zero in on the smell, and let it wake up your senses. Take a beat to enjoy being in the moment before things get hectic. This holiday, try putting together a DIY energizing shower gift basket with some stimulating scents like:
Philosophy’s Cinnamon Buns, $18. Cinnamon is loaded with antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory benefits, but the spice can also boost brain power. According to Cynthia Sass, M.P.H., R.D., research shows that just smelling it (even in the shower!) can help people process information and improve attention, memory, and visual-motor speed.
A breakfast sandwich maker for a nourishing morning meal
Each morning, Chrissy Teigen and John Legend enjoy a warm breakfast together. “We eat the same breakfast every day. I always do two eggs over easy with turkey bacon, and avocado,” Teigen tells Bon Appetit. According to the International Food Information Council, eating breakfast may help children do better in school by improving memory, alertness, concentration, problem-solving ability, test scores, school attendance, and mood — and it benefits adults, too. Make breakfast fun (and easy) with a sandwich maker.
Plus: Check out our other Gifts to Thrive By guides:
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