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What you do first thing in the morning can set the mood for the rest of your day. Starting the day off with healthy habits for mind, body, and soul puts you in a relaxed state where you’re in control and ready to tackle whatever may come. Use these morning routine ideas to design your uniquely perfect start to each day.
What to Exclude From Your Morning Routine
Make a point to hop into your routine the second you open your eyes. If you give into any of the below temptations, it might be game over and time to get to work before you even know what hit you.
- Social Media: There’s no quicker way to kill 30 minutes in the morning than by immediately starting with mindless scrolling on Instagram. Leave the social media scrolling for your lunch hour or during the day when you’re pretending to do something productive.
- Email: When you open an email that warrants a response, you’re going to want to jump into that instead of your morning routine. Keep the phone on silent and give yourself time to ease into the day on your terms instead of someone else’s.
- Snoozing the alarm: Snoozing the alarm is a sure way to miss out on any opportunity for some morning alone time. If you’re struggling to wake up, back up your bedtime by 5 minutes each night until you’re not feeling as tired come morning. This podcast episode by one of my favorite productivity experts, Laura Vanderkam, discusses other creative ways to quit snoozing.
Building The Morning Routine
My morning ritual has morphed and changed over the years, according to my personal preferences and seasons. Yours should do the same. Feel free to grab one or more of the morning routine ideas below to incorporate into your ideal morning ritual to live your best day every day.
An article in Business Insider shows the habit of drinking water first thing in the morning is shared by top executives. Having a cup first thing helps to rehydrate your body and instantly boost alertness. I started several years ago drinking 12oz of water when I got out of bed each morning and am now at the point where I do about 24 oz each morning. I fill my 24 oz tumbler with room temperature water, a fiber supplement* and electrolyte powder*.
Pro tip: Plan to be close to a bathroom the first few days you start drinking water in the mornings. It tends to get things moving. And if you’re not ready for it, you might be caught off guard. You’re welcome in advance for the heads up.
According to Psychology Today, “Research findings show that regular mindfulness meditation, in which an individual practices detached self-observation, significantly reduces generalized anxiety and other anxiety conditions.” I initially started a meditation practice to calm my anxiety, and it has been one of the best things I’ve done for my mental health.
Meditation taught me how to separate my thoughts and feelings and recognize my body and emotions at a much deeper level. The 10-15 minutes I spend meditating are the most important of my whole day. If you’re new to meditation, I recommend Emily Fletcher’s Stress Less, Accomplish More*.
Play Brain Games
The jury is still out on if brain games improve cognition and motor skills as we age, but if you’re competitive like me, it’s a fun challenge to try and get a high score on a game. I also love to see my progress over time and unlock new games and levels.
I use a free app called Elevate to play three quick brain games each morning, which takes no more than 5 minutes. I’m unsure if it’s making me any smarter; you’d have to ask my husband. But it’s certainly entertaining and wakes me up!
Have a Feel-good Morning Drink
This morning drink might be straight coffee for some or tea for others, but after a glass of water, you’ll be ready to mix it up. I do one cup of coffee in the morning with my unique combination of goodness: 1/2 tsp turmeric*, 1 tbsp MCT oil*, one scoop collagen powder*, and 1/2 packet of mushroom coffee mix*. Essentially my coffee has become a vehicle for all my supplements, but this is the combination of things that make me feel peppy and ready to go in the morning.
Check out my turmeric latte recipe for another great option for an anti-inflammatory morning drink!
An article in Happier Human about the benefits of gratitude indicated that “a five-minute daily gratitude journal can increase your long-term well-being by more than 10 percent. That’s the same impact as doubling your income!” If that’s not an incentive to start a gratitude practice, I’m not sure what is.
I am a huge fan of practicing gratitude in the morning and starting with 3-5 things that I’m grateful for each day. This daily practice helps me stay grounded and remember the small things around me for which I have to be thankful. I have this journal*, which helps track habits, gratitude, and writing prompts, which is fun if you’re a bit more creative and enjoy free writing. I’m also a fan of Rachel Hollis’ journals. The journal is simple but helps you stay consistent by writing the same long-term goals every day.
Move Your Body
Anyone else feel a little creaky when they first roll out of bed? Shake off the morning bugs by getting your body in motion. My favorite way to get going is with a quick 10-20 minute yoga session.
Yoga has so many benefits, including the ability to help you relax and lower anxiety. I generally flow through some sun salutations or do a video in the Yoga Collective app like their 10 minute morning quickie.
Real Simple cited a study that showed reading for only 5 minutes can reduce stress by up to 68%! I feel the calming benefits of reading for a few minutes in the morning, not to mention that it also enables me to read more books. (Which thrills me as a self-proclaimed book nerd.) Check out my post Habit Stacking Your Way to Better Health to see how I pair reading with another practice to maximize success.
The Main Thing About Creating a Morning Routine
The above are only morning routine ideas and some things that I’ve included in building my routine. Your perfect morning routine is going to be whatever makes you feel ready to take on your day. You might do one or two morning activities, and that would be enough. Or you may go through a list of 10 or more things that get you moving. Whatever you decide, the best morning routine is the one that you’ll stick with day after day.
If you have other suggestions, I’d love to hear about them in the comments!
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