Everyone knows that a good night’s sleep is an essential part of waking up feeling rested and refreshed each morning. But equal weight should be given to how you choose to start your morning and the routines you have in place to begin a productive, pleasant day.
In the same way bedtime rituals get you ready for sleep, morning rituals help you shake off those sleepy feelings and jump into your daily tasks. Whether you choose to make your morning slow and steady or leap right into an energetic activity, creating and sticking to a routine can make it easier to get out of bed each day.
Benefits of morning routines
A morning routine is simply a series of steps you take to get yourself ready for the day ahead. Humans are naturally inclined toward following routines, so consistently following one can help you build good habits and feel better each morning.
Morning routines are important for a few reasons:
- How you start your day matters: Have you ever had something unpleasant happen first thing in the morning and it soured your mood for the entire day? How you choose to spend even the first few minutes of your day can set the stage for the rest of it. This means that if you follow an intentional and wellness-focused routine each morning, you’ll be more likely to enjoy a productive and happy day!
- Pleasant routines lower stress: Few mornings are worse than those where you’re scrambling to get everything done and head out the door because you’re pressed for time or unfocused. Having a morning routine in place allows you to take your time, enjoy yourself and collect your thoughts, reducing stress you’d otherwise carry into the rest of your day.
- Routines solidify healthy habits: Creating a morning routine that includes a few healthy habits, like eating a balanced breakfast or taking five minutes to meditate, ensures that you build time for wellness into your schedule every day. The more often you do these things, the more likely they will become habits that contribute to a healthier lifestyle.
- Morning routines boost energy and productivity: Without a morning routine, you might be tempted to hit snooze or lay in bed on your phone until you have to get up and leave. Starting your day this way can mess up your sleep schedule and leave you feeling more fatigued than you would have been had you gotten up and started moving. Additionally, checking a few basic things off your to-do list each morning can kickstart a productive mood that carries on through the workday.
How to make your own morning routine
Everyone’s morning routine will look a little different. Despite popular belief, your morning routine doesn’t have to be jam-packed or “productive.” In fact, spending every second of your morning trying to get everything done might even cause you unnecessary stress! What’s most important when creating a morning routine is to set a few accomplishable goals and give yourself ample time to achieve them.
Here are a few tips for creating your own morning routine:
- Include the essentials: The first items on your morning routine should be the things you have to do to get ready for your day. Brushing your teeth, taking a shower, making coffee and eating breakfast should be non-negotiables you complete every day.
- Add in healthy habits: With the essentials covered, try to include at least one healthy habit in your morning routine. Be realistic about the time you have and your usual morning energy. If you don’t think it’s possible to get a workout in before work, don’t push it. Instead, commit to taking a short walk outside, doing 10 minutes of yoga or meditating.
- Include at least one enjoyable activity: Your morning routine shouldn’t feel like all work and no play! Build in time for something you enjoy, whether it’s stress relieving or energizing. Dance to your favorite song, listen to a podcast, read or call a friend. Adding just a little joy to your morning can make it something you look forward to.
- Give yourself time: Once you’ve identified everything you want to do as part of your morning routine, estimate how much time you’ll need to do it. Make sure you give yourself ample time to get ready—don’t rush through! However, you should also make sure that your morning routine doesn’t cut into your sleep time. If you have to wake up earlier than normal to finish your ideal morning routine, you’re probably sacrificing much-needed sleep to do it. Work to find a balance that allows you to fully recharge and start your morning with a pleasant routine.
Most importantly, remember to let your morning routine be flexible. This routine isn’t a rigid guideline—it’s just something to strive for every morning to help you start your day off right! Change your morning routine as often as you need to in order to meet all your needs and do what’s right for your wellbeing. In time, your mornings might become the best part of your day!