As with success, a simple and purposeful morning routine looks different from person to person. Some might want to wake up early and jog while others prefer to sip tea outside. No matter what side you lean toward, having a simple morning routine is a positive way to start each day and opens up time to slow down and live more intentionally.
Why establish a morning routine?
Life is busy, and the glorification of a busy life is more prevalent in modern times. So many people forget that there are sunsets to watch, people to love, stories to read, and delicious food to eat. They’ve forgotten that they have a life to live and a deeper purpose to their existence.
A simple morning routine allows for a moment of reflection on these things. How are you doing physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally? In what areas do you feel you need improvement? In what areas are you thriving? Having time to ask yourself these questions provides an opportunity to answer them, leading to reduced stress, increased productivity, and feeling grounded throughout the day.
How to create a good morning routine?
Step 1: Set your Intentions
Think about what you hope to get out of an established morning routine. Maybe you hope to find mental clarity so that you can perform better as an individual, a parent, student, or employee. Perhaps you want to make more money in order to travel, buy a home, or provide for your family. Once you’ve clearly defined your “why”, write it down and create reminders so you can reflect on them when you wake up.
Step 2: Make a Plan
Now it’s time to make a list of things you’d like to accomplish in the morning and prioritize them. As mentioned earlier, the best morning routine looks different from person to person. The key to creating a good morning routine is finding what works best for you and staying consistent. Take a look at your schedule and decide how much time you’ll need to set aside for your morning routine. If you’re unsure of where to begin, here are some ideas to get your started:
-First Things First
- Stop snoozing! The more you hit the snooze button and prolong the start of your day, the more tired you’ll feel. When you do this, you’re allowing room for negative intentions to creep in. You’re telling your body that it has plenty of time to lay there when, in reality, you have a day ahead of you to live! Don’t forget your “Why”!
- Open the curtains and let the sunshine tell your body to wake up. I’m sure you’ve heard of the circadian rhythm and the impact the environment has on this cycle. If not, just know that it’s our natural internal clock that tells us when to sleep and when to wake. Natural light is one of the factors that contribute to the regulation of this sleep/wake cycle, so it’s extremely beneficial to try aligning your day with the sunrise and sunset.
- Make your bed- As soon as you’re up, start making your bed. Within 5 minutes of waking you’ve already accomplished something and each time you walk into your bedroom, you’re reminded of this positive start to the day.
- Hydrate- Drink your water! I know that so many of you would rather start with coffee. Just don’t forget that your body has been without water all night and needs to be replenished to avoid dehydration, fatigue, and headaches. I like to start the day with a cup of water at room temperature with lemon juice and crushed mint leaves. This will wake up your digestive system and prepare your gut for the day to come.
- Get Moving- A simple stretch, gentle yoga flow, or casual walk will help get your blood flowing. Grounding yourself outside is another great option. This step can be simple and doesn’t have to involve intimidating exercise routines. Once you’ve implemented lighter physical activity for a while, you can increase the intensity of physical activity if that’s your goal.
- Nourish- Eat a nourishing breakfast. We all have different preferences and dietary requirements, but it’s important that you’re supplying your body with energy to start the day. I have a list of my favorite healthy breakfasts in this post: How to Eat Healthy on a Budget.
- Hygiene- Don’t forget the basics: brush your teeth and go through your skin care routine to feel your best.
- Journaling will help you transfer your thoughts onto paper and clear your mind. This could be scheduling, making lists, goal setting, etc.
- Read something to nourish your mind. For me, this means grabbing my devotional and reading scripture every morning. For others, it could be reading the newspaper or their favorite blog!
- Listen to a podcast or your favorite music playlist.
- Spend time with loved ones- Whether its your spouse, friend, sibling, or pet, spending time with loved ones can have such a positive impact on your emotional health.
- Journaling also benefits your emotional health. If you’re like me, talking to other people is the last thing you want to do in the morning. Gratitude journaling is a great way to start the day with positivity and a sense of purpose.
- I don’t know what spiritual health looks like to you, but everything feels out of sorts when I don’t address my spiritual needs first. I like to pray, read, and spend a time in nature each morning. That is how I feel most connected to God and grounded for the rest of the day. This category will look different from person to person, but I highly recommend opening your heart to adding spiritual care to your morning routine.
Step 3: Prepare the Night Before
A simple morning routine starts with preparation the night before. Make sure you’re getting the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep. Don’t allow the blue light of your phone, computer, or television to keep you up at night! Turn those electronics off at least an hour before bed, and keep your phone at a distance so you’ll have to physically get up to turn off your alarm. You can also establish a nighttime routine to help prepare your body for sleep. For me this looks like a cup of chamomile tea, a completely dark room, and the fan turned on. Whether it be a warm shower or reading a good book, find what works best for you and try to incorporate that each night.
Step 4: Start Small
To establish a simple morning routine, don’t jump in all at once. Pick one activity from your list and start there. It can be as simple as making your bed each day. When that task becomes second nature, you can add on your next activity, and so on. Trying to accomplish everything on your list at once can be overwhelming, and falling short on your commitment can feel discouraging. Focus on making progress through small steps, and then you’ll be able grow from there.