Power Up Your Morning Routine for a Happier, Healthier Day
Power Up Your Morning Routine for a Happier, Healthier Day
Whether you’ve been wanting to carve out more time for exercise, writing, meditation, creativity or something else, getting up a bit earlier to make progress toward your goal is a positive way to start the day. The key is to think of your morning routine as bonus time — not counted among your regular waking hours, but a special in-between zone during which you get to focus on the things that fill you up and inspire you.
In other words, this is not the time for emailing, aimless internet browsing or work. It’s a time to set your day off on the right foot mentally, emotionally and physically so you can greet the challenges ahead with renewed optimism and vigor. These long days of summer are a great time to try squeezing a bit more into your morning routine. Read on for help getting started.
Morning Routine 1: Make Room, original photo on Houzz
Envision what your ideal morning routine would look like. What would your ideal morning encompass? Take a moment to visualize each thing you’d love to have time for in the morning. Close your eyes and really soak in the details: How does rising earlier feel? What part of this new routine you’re envisioning feels the most delicious to you? As you make a plan, consider the following:
- What would feel great to have already checked off your list before you even get to work?
- Is there something (aside from coffee!) that would give you a boost of energy?
- Are there any creative pursuits or hobbies you’ve been wanting to make more time for?
- How much extra time would you like to work up to having in the morning?
Rise promptly when the alarm goes off. Just how early you decide to get up is up to you, but no matter what time you choose, make every effort to get out of bed as soon as the alarm goes off. To make the process easier, be sure you’re getting enough sleep — you may need to go to bed a bit earlier each night until you feel well-rested.
If it’s more of a mental block than tiredness that keeps you hitting the snooze button, remind yourself that you’re trying a fun new morning routine and see if that helps motivate you to get up and greet the day.
Related: Get a New Alarm Clock to Wake You Up on Time
Night-before tip: Place something special — a flower, a seashell, a beautiful stone or small handwritten sign — beside your bed as a visual cue to get up and start your new morning routine.
Drink a tall glass of water first thing. While your coffee brews or your tea steeps, pour yourself a tall glass of water: cold or warm with a slice of lemon. After a full night’s sleep, your body needs to rehydrate. After drinking your water, you may even find you need less coffee than usual to feel fully awake.
Night-before tip: Set a fresh lemon and a water glass beside the coffee maker.
Morning Routine 2: Aurelien Vivier, original photo on Houzz
Get inspired. It’s common to wake up and immediately check the news, but I urge you to resist. Remember, this new morning routine is about making a positive beginning to your day. The news will still be there in a half-hour; use these first minutes to read something that uplifts and inspires you instead. After reading, you may wish to open your journal and spend a few minutes free-writing about whatever’s on your mind. Getting some of your most pressing thoughts and ideas onto paper is a great way to relax your mind and begin the day fresh.
Related: Shop Personalized Desk Accessories to Make Journaling More Fun
Night-before tip: Place your journal, current read and favorite pens on your desk or beside your most comfortable chair.
Get your blood moving. Whether it’s a few rounds of sun salutations on your yoga mat or an early run around the neighborhood, morning is a great time to check exercise off your to-do list. You’ll begin your day with more fresh oxygen flowing (which makes for clearer thinking), less stress and a more centered mind.
Night-before tip: Set out your exercise clothes and any other accessories (yoga mat, pedometer) that you might need.
Exercise your creativity. If you practice a craft, musical instrument or just about any other hobby, morning can be a wonderful time to sneak in a little practice. Even doing just a bit — knitting a few rows, filling one spread in your sketchbook or practicing a song — is enough to begin to refill the creative well.
Ideally, looking at a screen isn’t the first thing you do with your new morning routine — but if you want to intentionally include some focused creative time in the morning, go for it! This could mean working on the most creative part of your work or devoting some time to a creative writing project or blog.
Night-before tip: Arrange the tools of your craft in a spot where you’ll see them in the morning — you’re more likely to pick up that knitting project if it’s in a handy basket by the couch, not hidden away in a closet.
Morning Routine 3: Craft Nook in NYC, original photo on Houzz
Review your goals for the day. Before moving on with the rest of your morning, take a moment to look over your schedule and make some intentional choices about what you’ll spend your time on that day. Rather than creating a too-long to-do list that you have no hope of completing, focus on your top three important tasks for the day. And if you have any personal goals (such as eating well) consider how they’ll fit in.
Make it easier tomorrow by powering down a little earlier tonight. To fit in one or more of the morning routines mentioned here, chances are you’ll need to be getting up earlier than you are now. To get to bed earlier, try beginning to wind down earlier in the evening: Power off your devices, lower the lights, make yourself a cup of relaxing tea and read in bed.
Related: How to Set Up and Design Your Bedroom for a Good Night's Rest
Tell us: What part of your morning routine do you love the most? Share your thoughts in the Comments.