By creating a healthy morning routine, you can kickstart your day in a positive way.
We’re not all morning people. Some of us like to hit snooze and savor each last second in bed before we rush out the door. Others of us stay up late and wind up groggy and sluggish all morning long, chugging coffee or energy drinks just to get through the day. But the way you start each morning can have a big impact on the rest of your day.
By creating a healthy morning routine, you can kickstart your day in a positive way. Give yourself more energy, decrease your stress levels and become more productive by incorporating some of the tips below.
10 Tips for a Healthy Morning Routine
- Practice good sleep habits. It’s hard to be a morning person when you aren’t getting enough rest. Not enough sleep can put you in a bad mood and make you less productive throughout the day. Adults need a solid seven or more hours of sleep to feel their best, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Set a consistent bedtime each night that leaves you plenty of time to wake up feeling refreshed. Check out these 10 tips for getting your sleep cycle on track.
- Don’t hit snooze. Many of us are guilty of hitting snooze at least a couple of times, but according to the American Heart Association, snoozing isn’t great for your brain and may leave you feeling groggier and more tired when you wake up for a second or third time.
- Let in the light. Bright, natural sunlight can help you wake up more naturally and quickly as your body senses it’s time to get up and be alert. Even turning on the lights in your home can help your body and mind get moving.
- Skip technology. At least, at first. Try not to begin scrolling through your phone the second you wake up. It can waste a lot of time, and it may stress you out unnecessarily with something you find in the news, something you see on social media or what you read in a work email. Try setting your phone aside for the first 10-30 minutes after you get up and use that time to do something more beneficial to your mind or body like a quick yoga session or some meditation.
- Make a plan for those morning chores. Many of us have responsibilities first thing in the morning – whether it’s taking the dog out, packing your lunch or getting your kids off to school. Think about everything you can do the night before to prevent so many tasks in the morning. You can prepare make-ahead breakfasts like this one or have your kids pack lunches the night before. Give yourself as much freedom in the morning as possible.
- Drink a glass of water. Your body loses water throughout the night while you breathe and sweat, so before you grab that cup of coffee or glass of juice, hydrate your body. A glass of water in the morning can help you lubricate your joints and muscles, flush toxins from your body and keep your skin healthier. Consider leaving a full glass right by your bed so you’re reminded to drink it first thing in the morning. Check out H2O: Are You Getting Enough? to learn more about why staying hydrated is so important.
- Try a quick meditation or breathing technique to prepare for the day. Taking a few minutes to clear your mind and collect your thoughts before the chaos of your day begins can help you get into the right mindset and even decrease your stress levels. You could take a few deep breaths before you get out of bed, spend a minute or two thinking about what you’re grateful for or try a quick guided meditation.
- Move your body. You might not have time for an entire workout in the morning, but even if you only have a few minutes, moving your body can help to wake you up and feel more energized. A quick 15-minute walk around the neighborhood for some fresh air, a 10-minute stretch while you listen to the news, or a few yoga poses are all great ways to move your body in the morning.
- Eat a healthy breakfast. You don’t need a huge meal, but eating a balanced breakfast can help you stay focused and energized throughout the morning. Instead of a donut or a soda as you rush out the door, consider a breakfast that contains both protein and fiber. Check out these quick, easy recipes for berry-yogurt protein bowls, breakfast burritos and banana oatmeal protein pancakes to get the nutrients you need to start your day right.
- Get the support you deserve. Your mornings can be upset by things that seem out of your control. Maybe post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is causing nightmares or insomnia. Maybe depression is making it feel impossible to get out of bed in the morning. Maybe anxiety makes it hard to fall asleep at night. If so, reach out and connect with the mental health resources designed to help you get the care you need.
Use these 10 tips to create a morning routine that works best for you. We all deserve to start our days feeling healthy and happy!