Habit-Stack Your Way to a More Relaxed Monday

We know what you’re thinking — what is habit stacking?

The idea behind habit stacking is simple: add a new behavior to your daily schedule by “stacking it” on top of an existing habit. The concept of habit stacking was pioneered by James Clear, author of the New York Times bestseller, Atomic Habits, and it is designed to help individuals incorporate more healthy behaviors into their lives without disrupting their normal routine.

Pairing the concept of habit stacking with DeStress Monday will make you proactive in adding more calming and meditative behaviors to your daily schedule. For example, many of us make coffee in the morning, and, whether you’re using a drip pot or French press, the brewing process takes between 5 – 10 minutes. With habit stacking, the time you wait for your coffee can also be the time you spend practicing a mindful meditation or deep breathing exercises.

By stacking enough of these habits, you’ll effectively (and seamlessly) incorporate a surprising amount of stress-relieving activities into your life. Try habit-stacking this Monday, and add some more moments of calm and contemplation to your daily routine.

Coffee brewing: Take a moment for deep breathing

Coffee takes a few minutes to prepare and brew. While you wait, sit in the kitchen and do some deep breathing exercises. By counting your breaths, you’ll feel re-energized and relaxed even before taking that first sip.

Heating up the shower: Practice a mindful meditation

Showering is a common part of the morning routine, but everyone knows it takes a few minutes to get the water nice and hot. Take that time to engage in a mindful meditation by closing your eyes and focusing on the sound of the shower.

Waking up or going to sleep: Do bed yoga

We all want a few extra minutes in bed, so why not put that time to good use with some bed yoga? Doing yoga on a mattress is soft, accommodating, and works especially well for those who have an injury or a physical limitation. Start off with these simple poses and add more advanced movements as you get more comfortable.

Watching your favorite show: Try a sun salutation

You don’t have to feel like a couch potato when you’re watching television. Let your body and mind unwind by pairing your TV watching with a calming sun-salutation sequence.