Having a morning routine can affect the trajectory of your day.
If you feel like you’re out of gas by 10 a.m., there’s a good chance the rest of the day will leave you feeling stressed, overwhelmed, and worn out.
That’s why having a daily routine is more important now than ever before.
“Morning routines set the foundation for your day,” says Chicago-based therapist Kelley Kitley, L.C.S.W. “I always suggest creating some type of morning ritual, even if it’s just getting up 15 minutes before usual.”
A morning routine can put you in the right mindset and make you more productive, meaning you’ll feel better and get more done.
Here are some morning routine ideas.
1. Break the snooze cycle
Your alarm goes off and you’re not quite ready to leave your comfy bed, so you tap “snooze.” A lot.
But what are you actually getting out of those five (or 15) minutes of just lying there?
Another option: Use that time to meditate in bed.
Even a short meditation has benefits like boosting emotional resiliency and improving focus for taking on your day.
2. Prep to set yourself up for success
Some of your morning routine starts the night before, by doing things like prepping meals, selecting an outfit, or laying out a yoga mat next to your bed.
When you make it convenient to roll out of bed and flow right into gentle sun salutations, you’re more likely to do a morning yoga routine or start your day with morning stretches.
3. Exercise early in the day
Working out can get lost in the shuffle. Getting into the groove of a morning workout routine can mean no more canceling on yourself due to a busy schedule.
It could also fire you up to accomplish even more.
“Completing a task off the bat makes you feel accomplished and motivated to take on other tasks throughout the day,” says therapist Kristen Norris, L.C.P.C.
4. Make your bed
In a 2014 commencement speech, Admiral William H. McRaven said, “If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.”
His words have become a productivity rallying call for doing the little things right.
Making your bed and cleaning up breakfast dishes are ways to stop procrastinating from the get-go.
5. Have a healthy breakfast
Breakfast really does matter. It supports your nutrition goals and is a form of self-care.
You’re also less likely to feel hangry after an early Zoom meeting if you start with a solid morning meal or breakfast smoothie.
6. Honor your boundaries
Divide your morning routine between the “getting ready” part and the “starting your workday” part, especially if you work from home.
“When we jump out of bed and race into our day, we can feel rushed and agitated leaving us feeling resentful,” says Kitley. “We are better to other people when we take care of ourselves.”
7. Plan and prioritize
Make your morning routine productive by using it to schedule out the rest of your day and make time-saving decisions like what you’re having for lunch and dinner.
Your morning routine can propel the rest of your day forward.
8. Rethink screen time
One major hurdle to morning productivity is getting sucked into social media from the moment you wake up.
If you feel compelled to check your socials in the morning, set a timer around how much time you want to devote to liking pics and funny dog videos.
9. Keep expectations realistic
You want to find a balance between a morning routine and a morning relay race.
“Not everyone is a morning person, so be gentle with yourself if you are trying to start a new habit,” says Kitley. “Choose something that excites you versus something you feel you ‘should’ do. If exercising in the morning isn’t your thing, don’t force it. Accept some limitations and focus on small shifts like a five-minute guided meditation.”
With that, here’s to saying “good morning!” and meaning it.