The way you start the morning can set the tone for the whole day. If you are rushing around and not meeting your basic needs, you will likely end up feeling frazzled and off-kilter for the rest of the day. By creating a healthy morning routine, you set yourself up for a calm and successful day.
If your fantasy is to have time to spend doing some morning pampering like using a nourishing skin care routine set while you listen to an enlightening podcast after having eaten a healthy breakfast, we will show you how you can achieve that dream.
Pinpoint What You Don’t Want to Do in the Morning
To know what to do right, we’ve got to know what we are doing that doesn’t serve us well. Review your morning routine — be brutally honest with yourself here — and take note of the things that are wasting time or putting you in a bad frame of mind.
Some things to ask yourself about your morning habits:
- Do I wake up and go directly to social media and start scrolling?
- How many times do I hit the snooze button?
- Am I standing in front of the closet in a daze trying to figure out what to wear?
- Do I start checking my email while I am in bed or trying to do other things?
- Is coffee the first thing that goes in my mouth?
- Are there things I want to get done that I never have time for?
No one routine is going to work for everyone. We all have different needs. There is no wrong way to do a morning. If it works for you and leaves you feeling refreshed and ready to go, then it is the perfect routine for you.
Think About What You Do Want to Do in the Morning
Now here is where we want to really stick to the basics. If you are struggling with just getting out the door on time, this is not the moment in your life to decide to add in a full exercise program to your morning routine.
If you have children, then you know that mornings are even more challenging, as you not only have to get yourself together, but are doing that for the kids. Children bring a level of unpredictability to all aspects of life, but especially mornings. If there are kids involved, then you really need to stick to the basics and add in some padding time.
Consider what are your basic needs for the morning. Here are some things to consider:
- Getting out of bed at a time that allows you to get everything done
- Nourishing your body well: food and hydration
- Getting dressed easily
- Having what you need to care for yourself during the day
- Tending to morning household chores like feeding pets
- Creating some extra time for the unexpected
Once you’ve got the basics down and you are feeling comfortable in your morning routine, then you can start to add in those extras like yoga or meditation. Having some extra time built into your routine can be utilized for things like a short meditation on days when you don’t need to use it due to some unexpected change.
Not everyone is a “morning person,” but our society functions as if we all are. By knowing your natural sleep/wake rhythms, you can create a routine that optimizes your day. Research has shown that people show a stable pattern in day/night activity over the course of their adult life.
Knowing whether you are a “morning lark” or a “night owl” can help you understand your needs and create routines that optimize your morning. There is evidence showing that there is a genetic aspect to whether you are a morning person or an evening person, so it is something that can be hard to change.
For those who are night owls, having a job that starts early in the day or having children who need to be at school can be particularly challenging. Knowing this about yourself can help create some self-understanding, as many people tend to beat up on themselves for not being bright-eyed and bushy-tailed in the morning.
If you are not a morning person, you will need to minimize the number of things needing to be accomplished in the morning. By creating healthy routines, you can even get a bit more sleep knowing that your morning process is streamlined and ready to go.
Preparation Is the Key
Whether you are a morning lark or a night owl, preparing in advance goes a long way toward smoothing out any morning. Having as much as possible lined up the night before allows you to make healthy choices and improve your state of mind for the day ahead.
Some ideas for morning prep are:
- Make a list of what needs to be done in the evening and hang it up in the kitchen.
- Set an alarm for some time in the evening to prompt you to start your prep.
- Pack lunches for everyone the night before.
- Set aside some time on the weekend to prep some easy breakfast foods such as baked egg cups that can be kept in the fridge and microwaved in the morning.
- Set out clothes for the morning so there is no wondering what to wear.
- Tidy up the kitchen in the evening so that you are not distracted by the clutter.
- Pack tote bags the night before so everyone has what they need: books, keys, wallets, cellphones, work badges and so on.
Streamlining your morning routine does mean taking some time out of your evening, but it is totally worth it to start the day feeling nourished and calm. It is a gift to your future self.
Mornings Can Be Wonderful
Getting your healthy morning routine down pat helps lower overall stress levels and can create time for you to spend pampering yourself. You will have time to take a few deep breaths, use those lovely cruelty-free skin care products you bought, and maybe even do some stretching before you dash out the door.