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The action: Refrain from email, news, texts, and social media for the first hour of your day. If you check your phone the moment you wake up, scanning for the latest updates and emails, you're pre-loading each new day with stress, says Bernstein. "Though this habit seems natural, it can create a lot of anxiety and tension," she says. "Begin the day with clarity and peace, and use the morning to prepare energetically for the day instead of overloading on media."
The proof: Mental health experts agree with Bernstein: “When you check your phone first thing in the morning, you run the risk of stimulating your mind into criticism and judgment," says Joanna Kleinman, Ph.D., a psychologist in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, referring to the emails and voicemails that beg your response and Facebook updates that compel you to compare your life to other's. Allowing entry to your inner critic can set off a cascade of stress hormones and elevated blood pressure—a poor foundation for a healthy day.