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We’ve all been there. The alarm clock startles you out of a dream and you frantically realize that not only did you oversleep, but unless you get to your computer in 15 minutes, you’re also going to be late for a meeting. The panic sets in and you rush at lightning speed through your morning routine, grabbing a sugary breakfast bar and slipping into your desk chair.
Now instead imagine a productive morning routine that’s become a well-oiled machine. You wake without an alarm clock at 6 a.m., jot down your morning pages, prepare your favorite healthy breakfast, and sip your coffee as you catch up on the day’s headlines.
Which one sounds more enticing? If you’re tired of rushing in the mornings and want to improve your overall wellness, we hear you. That’s why we’ve broken down tips for creating a morning routine that will set you up for success as you tackle whatever the day throws your way.
It’s no secret that morning routines can help kick-start your day, but there are actual health and wellness benefits that come with a productive morning routine.
Stress often happens when it feels like there’s not enough time to finish all of the tasks on our to-do list or we worry about what needs to be done next. When you start the day waking up late or you’re constantly rushing out the door, that sense of urgency and stress sets the tone for the rest of the day.
Setting a morning routine can be a great way to start your day off on a less anxious note. Once you get into the groove of your morning routine, it will be a process you hardly have to think about. And your body will thank you for lowering your stress levels. Research shows that unchecked stress can lead to illness like high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes.
Setting your alarm clock a little earlier to fit in a healthy breakfast and physical activity can be a great way to establish positive habits in your life. Swap a sugary breakfast staple like cereal for something healthier like eggs and avocado to keep you satisfied all morning long.
Waking up and going to sleep at the same time each day will help you establish healthier sleeping habits and improve the quality of your sleep. This will help you boost mental sharpness, performance, emotional well-being, and energy levels throughout the day. Plus, when you lower your stress levels before you go to sleep, you can help prevent teeth grinding and clenching during the night.
There’s a reason why many successful people start their day with a consistent morning routine. Being able to knock out tasks that not only better yourself but better your health can give you a leg up on your peers who aren’t taking advantage of a morning routine. This can also set you up to achieve goals you have for yourself, whether that’s learning a new skill or improving your physical health.
Just as important as waking up early to face the day, establishing a productive morning bathroom routine is one more element that can greatly improve your day. A routine can also help save you time in the mornings. A recent study found that 30% of adults spend over a week getting ready each year. By optimizing that time for your personal and professional development, you can make the most of that time spent.
Putting on your makeup is a chance to listen to an audiobook about your industry. Brushing your teeth for two minutes is a chance to run through your to-do list for the morning. A morning routine is all about finding ways to optimize your time while accomplishing small tasks that set you up for the day ahead.
Creating a whole new morning routine may sound daunting, but it’s actually pretty simple. You can ease yourself into your new routine by waking up 20 minutes earlier each day and adding in a few of these tasks over time so that these new habits become second nature.
The key to becoming a morning person is to ensure you’re getting enough sleep. To do this, you should establish a regular bedtime and wake time that will help your body adjust to this new schedule. It’s helpful to stick to your Monday through Friday sleep and wake schedule even through the weekends to condition your body and help yourself wake up naturally.
When you wake up in the morning, don’t forget to make your bed. This will help you resist the urge to get back under the covers for “just five more minutes” so you can truly start your day as soon as your feet hit the floor.
A sunrise alarm clock helps your body wake naturally and uses light to gradually wake you out of your sleep. By the time your alarm goes off, your body has already been preparing to wake up, so it doesn’t cause as much of a startle.
Make the mornings special by establishing a morning ritual that doubles as a bit of self-care first thing in the morning. A few ideas include putting your phone away as soon as you wake up to avoid the noise of the outside world, devoting time to reading in the morning, or starting your day off with a journal prompt.
Remember that it will take time and adjustments to create the perfect morning routine for you. Be flexible and try out new elements of your morning routine until you’re satisfied. Then get to work sticking to your routine and over time it will become second nature.
Now that you know the basics of how to set a morning routine, we’ve gathered some helpful tips that will make your mornings even more productive.
We’re all different and the best ways to wake up will differ for everyone. The best thing you can do for yourself is to personalize your routine to make it your own. Think about the goals you want to achieve when you begin to wake up earlier. Are you health-focused? Then you may want to set aside 30 minutes for physical activity. Are you looking to learn a new skill? Challenge yourself to read about your industry or study for a certain amount of time each morning.
No matter how you choose to personalize your routine, remember that a morning routine doesn’t have to be set in stone. Say you achieve one of the goals you set out to accomplish in your mornings. You can then focus on a new priority that might make your mornings look a little different.
By checking social media, email, or text messages right after waking up, you let other people’s opinions, requests, and advertising into your mind, which pollutes your thinking.
Instead, use the morning to improve yourself, work toward your goals, and prepare yourself for a successful day. Train your brain to be OK with less stimulating — yet more beneficial — activities such as reading, meditation, journaling, prioritizing your tasks, scheduling your day, or taking the time to make a healthy breakfast.
While it might be tempting to reach for that familiar rush of caffeine in the morning, your body will thank you for hydrating first instead. When you go hours without drinking water throughout the night, your body becomes dehydrated. Water also boasts many health benefits such as aiding with digestion and clearing toxins that will help you set your day up for success.
A helpful way to ensure you drink water when you wake up is to set a carafe full of water and a cup on your nightstand before you go to sleep so you don’t even have to leave your bedroom to pour yourself a glass. And if you have to have that cup of coffee in the morning, try to drink at least an 8-ounce glass of water first.
As you’re showering in the morning or putting on your makeup, this is a prime time to listen to something educational. You can queue up a success podcast or an audiobook about your industry to build your knowledge as you’re running through your personal hygiene routine.
Your mornings will run much more smoothly when you set aside time to prepare for the day to come. This could be making a healthy breakfast and storing it in the fridge so you can easily reheat the next morning or laying out your exercise clothes so you can grab them as you head to the gym.
As you’re prepping for the next day, cutting down on decisions you will need to make the next morning will help you ease into the day. One way you can do this is by paring down your wardrobe so that you know you love each and every piece of clothing and won’t spend precious morning minutes changing in and out of outfits. Having clothes you feel good in can also boost your self-confidence.
A simple way to start off your day by relieving any stress you may have about the day to come is through breathing exercises. Deep breathing exercises have been shown to improve cognitive function and reduce anxiety. Make deep breathing a habit by doing it at the same time during your morning routine, such as before or after brushing your teeth or during your morning shower. If you find yourself breathing shallow or stress rising up throughout the day, the best part about breathing exercises is that you can reset your breath anytime and anyplace.
There’s a reason why many successful people begin their day with a cold water plunge. While we may not all have access to a cold lake or pool, cold showers offer many of the same benefits. When cold water hits your body, that shock sensation increases oxygen intake, increases your heart rate, and boosts alertness. Think of this as a natural alternative to your morning coffee.
A great morning routine should always include attention to your oral health. Brushing your teeth in the morning gets rid of that morning breath by removing the acid and bacteria that built up overnight, which can help prevent cavities from forming. You can also use mouthwash to eliminate bad breath and set you up for success with any business meetings or appointments you have throughout the day.
Organization is key to a successful routine. Cut down on the time you spend searching for the right products by organizing your bathroom so that the items you use the most are readily available and within reach.