You don’t need to totally revamp your morning routine to make the most out of it.
What do you want more of out of your morning? Time? Energy? Ease?
It’s all possible, and probably easier than you think. There are little adjustments that you can make that can elevate the start to your day beyond its current form.
We often think about morning routines as these rigid schedules filled with exercise, green juices, and meditation. But that’s not realistic for all of us or for every morning. Each new day is different and that means that even routines need to factor in a little bit of fluidity.
So, how do you boost your morning routine?
Start by looking at what you do now, what you want to achieve, how you want to feel, and how you can make that possible. These 24 ideas are ideal for making the most out of your morning without forcing a total overhaul. You can squeeze these tips and tricks into your existing routine so you can start the day the best possible way.
1. Get ahead of the game
Prepare what you can the evening before. Pick out an outfit, allow yourself to get enough rest, and check your planner to avoid any big surprises that might send your morning routine spinning.
2. Set 1 goal
It doesn’t have to be a climb-Mount-Everest type of commitment, but setting a little goal for yourself can keep you motivated throughout the day and help you feel accomplished.
3. Apply sunscreen
Protect your skin, even if you plan to sit at your desk all day. Sun coming through the window can be just as damaging as being outside. This simple addition to your morning will keep your skin feeling its best.
4. Reach for a glass of water
Drinking 8 ounces of water first thing in the morning helps you replenish the hydration you lost during the night. Some research even indicates that a glass of water in the morning may improve mental performance.
5. Make your bed
If you make your bed, you’ve already completed one task for the day! It sounds a little silly, but this simple action could change your whole day (or the whole world).
6. Give yourself enough time
Boosting your morning routine can be as easy as giving yourself enough time to do everything that you want to do. Building in a little bit of buffer time will help you avoid feeling rushed as you’re getting out the door.
7. Avoid hitting snooze
As tempting as it is, keeping a consistent sleep routine is best for the body. This will help you sleep better at night and feel more rested throughout the day.
8. Review your to-do list
A quick survey of your day will help you make it more efficient and productive. Ranking your tasks from 1 to 4 will help you know where to start and which items can wait a day or be delegated to somebody else.
9. Indulge in a drink
Make your favorite coffee or tea and spend a few moments simply enjoying it. Mornings can be stressful, but you deserve a little bit of solitude with something that makes you happy!
10. Avoid your phone
Don’t get stuck in the scroll. Putting your phone out of reach means you can focus on other priorities, like being mindful and making sure you’re prepared for the day.
11. Eat breakfast
It’s true, it is the most important meal of the day. Even when you don’t think you have time, grabbing something on the go can help set you up for a better day. Try these simple, but delicious recipes if you’re in a crunch.
Get your body and mind ready for the day with a few stretches. Incorporate a little meditation or light workout routine into the mix to really build up your morning wellness practice.
13. Tidy up
Setting a time for just 10 minutes can help you tidy up a space quickly and efficiently. This is especially helpful in your office space where you’ll spend most of the day.
14. Try a cold shower
There’s some pretty convincing research that shows the benefits of a cold shower in the morning. Just two to three minutes of water below 60 degrees (that’s the length of one song!) can help boost your energy, combat depression, and even boost the immune system.
15. Set an intention
Think of this as a little reminder you can hold on throughout the day. Think for a few minutes about what you want to embody or focus on throughout the day (ex: being more flexible or feeling confident in saying ‘no’) and hold that intention as you move through your day.
Journaling first thing in the morning can help jumpstart your brain and get the juices flowing, that’s in addition to the mental health benefits of journaling. You don’t need to write a whole page, even just a few sentences can help put you in a state of mindfulness.
17. Get some sunshine
Vitamin D is known to boost serotonin levels in the body, so if you want to feel good when you wake up, throw on some shoes and head outside. A few minutes can put you in a better mood, improve sleep, and protect the body against disease.
It can be difficult to get your pages in, but taking just 10 minutes each morning is a good way to develop the habit. In one week, you’ll have read for more than an hour all together.
19. Say thanks
Starting your day off with a little bit of gratitude, whether it’s for yourself, a neighbor, or a friend can help you start the day on the right foot. Try a gratitude journal for some introspection.
20. Get creative
Having a creative morning might feel like a luxury but anybody can incorporate it into their morning. Trying a new breakfast recipe, dancing to your favorite song, and doodling on your journaling pages all count and help give yourself an excuse to try something new and fun with little risk.
21. Prep your lunch
If you’ve got a busy day ahead, take a few minutes and make sure you have a plan for lunch. Whether it’s knowing which cafe to stop at during a quick break or packing a nutritious meal, your future self will thank you.
22. Take a few deep breaths
It doesn’t take a lot to change your morning. Even a few deep breaths can do the trick. Try these breathing exercises tips when you need to center yourself and prepare for a busy day.
23. Be present
This can take many forms, from meditating to chatting with a spouse or family member. Being present simply means that you’re acting in the moment. Take a few deep breaths and focus on what’s in front of you.
24. Pay it forward
Doing something kind for somebody else is easy to do and boosts your mood, too! Holding the door, buying the next person in line’s coffee, and complimenting a stranger are a few ways you can pay it forward.
Written by Kara Mason.