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A good morning routine is essential to keeping up with a full daily routine. If you don’t start your day off right, it can become easy for the rest of the day to get away from you.
Routines are personal. That is to say, while there may be some aspects of a routine that can be beneficial to many, there is no One Size Fits All version of a perfect morning routine.
Here are some features of a morning routine that I’ve found to work for me. Take a look and use this list as inspiration to customize your own ideal morning.
Start Your Day Off Right Tip #1: Wake Up at the Same Time Every Day
Wondering when you should wake up?
Not everyone has the same sleep patterns–some people are even hardwired to thrive on as little as five hours of sleep! Others need closer to ten hours to feel fully rested and prepared for the day ahead.
It can take a bit of trial and error to discover your body’s natural sleep requirements.
Try going to bed at a set time and taking note of when you wake up naturally.
Experiment with different sleep and wake times to see what leaves you feeling most energized the next day.
Now, once you’ve found the sleep schedule that works best for you, stick to it!
Set an alarm for the same time every day–even on the weekends. Your body needs consistency!
Don’t Hit That Snooze Button– Or Do!
Now, if you can actually manage to get yourself out of bed when your alarm goes off, good for you!
But for those of us who really struggle to get up in the morning, sometimes we have to make a compromise to ensure that we don’t abandon our new morning routine after a few miserable days.
Personally, I like to set my alarm for an hour before I actually intend to get out of bed. Because I know I’m going to want to hit snooze.
Even though I’m technically waking up a whole hour earlier than I get out of bed, this tricks my brain into feeling like I’m getting extra sleep. This is one of my biggest tips for setting a schedule when you have ADHD!
Start Your Day Off Right Tip #2: Stretch
The first thing I do when I roll out of bed is some light stretching, to wake the body up.
The dedicated might want to start doing a morning yoga routine.
If, like me, you don’t have the attention span for a whole routine, just do a few basic stretches.
A little movement is key if you want to start your day off right.
The way I think of it, even if I’m only stretching for three minutes, I’m still waking up my body and am much better off than if I didn’t stretch at all.
Start Your Day Off Right Tip #3: Wash Your Face
Look, I’ll be honest, I’m no expert when it comes to good skincare routines. It took me years to discover the wonders of a good facial moisturizer. But it seems to me that washing your face every morning (and again every night) is generally a good idea.
Find a face wash that suits your skin type and has a smell that you want to wake up to!
My favorite face wash is this cleanser by Public Goods. It smells great and always leaves me feeling refreshed. I use it every morning and every evening, and follow it up with the equally refreshing facial moisturizer. (Use this coupon to save $15 off your first order from Public Goods! I highly recommend their skincare products, and they also offer some great household and grocery items.)
Washing your face is an especially important step for people who don’t shower in the mornings. I prefer to shower at night, so I need that splash of water in the morning to wake me up and leave me feeling refreshed.
Start Your Day Off Right Tip #4: Get Dressed – Express Your Personal Style!
Part of a good morning routine is getting dressed in a way that honors your personal style. You want to feel comfortable in your skin as you head into your day.
If you’re someone who goes through several outfits in the morning trying to find The Right One, make sure you allow for enough time in your morning routine to do a bit of dress-up.
Put on the colors, fabrics, and styles that feel most like you. Things that feel comfortable, and are practical for the activities you’ll be doing throughout the day. Throw on some makeup if that’s your thing, or add accessories. Whatever makes you feel the most confident in yourself.
In addition to boosting your confidence, the sooner you get dressed, the more prepared you’ll feel for the day ahead. That’s a great way to start your day off right.
To Shoe Or Not To Shoe? Personally, I’m a no-shoes-on-in-the-house kinda person. But there does seem to be a correlation between putting on shoes and feeling more prepared for the day. So throw on some shoes right away, if you want to! Or, if you won’t be leaving home for some time, try wearing slippers with hard, rubber soles. That’ll give you a similar sense of having shoes on.
Start Your Day Off Right Tip #5: Eat a Healthy, Full Breakfast
Whether or not breakfast is the most important meal of the day is something of a debate. But it’s widely accepted that skipping breakfast will leave you with less energy for the rest of the day.
So, here are some breakfasts to start your day off right!
Traditional American Breakfast
2 eggs, bacon or sausage, and a slice of toast or even a couple pancakes served with a side of fresh fruit make for what many would consider a traditional American breakfast.
Fried egg, bacon or breakfast ham or a sausage patty, and a slice of cheese, all between an English muffin or toast of your choice. What’s not to love?
Eggs, cheese, and any number of fillings makes this a fun and easily customizable breakfast for many. I like my omelettes with mushroom and spinach.
Ah, yes, the millennial classic. Hey, it got trendy for a reason! Avocado on toast, maybe with an egg on top, is a quick, easy, and delicious breakfast that’s still worth the hype, as far as I’m concerned.
Pancakes or Waffles
For the sweet-tooths out there, while they may not be the healthiest item on the list, pancakes or waffles are a time-honored favorite. If you want to feel a bit healthier about this breakfast choice, throw on a side of fresh fruit!
One of the easiest breakfasts to prepare (especially if you buy microwavable oatmeal in packets), oatmeal is healthy, filling, and good for the soul. Why not top it off with some fresh fruit? Berries and/or bananas make for some of my favorite oatmeal toppings.
From refreshing fruit smoothies to sweet chocolate peanut butter banana (my favorite!), smoothies are a versatile way to get a healthy breakfast you can drink. Throw in some protein powder or other supplements, and you’ve got a filling meal you can take with you to drink on the go! I prefer to have something small to eat along with a smoothie, so I usually grab a bagel, too.
Vegetarian or vegan? Many breakfast recipes are easily modified to fit a vegan diet! Aside from the obvious like oatmeal or a smoothie, which are often vegetarian or vegan by default, you can also opt for a vegan egg replacement and veggie sausage for a more traditional breakfast. Following your personal values is key if you want to start your day off right!
Quick Tip! If you don’t have the time or energy to cook a full breakfast for yourself, make some compromises! Grab a breakfast smoothie or protein drink and a slice of toast or a bagel.
This may not be an ideal way to eat every day, but don’t beat yourself up for those days when you just can’t prepare a full, sit-down breakfast.
Start Your Day Off Right Tip #6: Put On Some Music for Ultimate Morning Vibes
Life is just a little too boring without music, as far as I’m concerned.
That’s why I’ve put together a morning playlist.
From slow, chill tunes to bright, optimistic jams, these songs will help you start your day off right!
Start Your Day Off Right Tip #7: Take a Walk
If you live in a walkable area, going outside soon after you wake up can do wonders for your overall health and wellbeing. Soak up the sun in its early hours to get that much-needed vitamin D, and listen to the sounds of birds announcing the start of a new day.
You can do a search for walking trails in your area, or simply take a walk around the block.
If you have a dog, take them with you!
For cat parents, try taking your feline friend out for a walk in one of those trippy-lookin’ space backpacks!
Walks with pets are a great way to start your day off right – and they’ll appreciate it, too!
Start Your Day Off Right Tip #8: Get Spiritual
No matter what you believe in, the concept of connecting to your own spirituality (or, “consciousness”, if you prefer) is something that resonates with and benefits many people.
Taking some time each morning to go a little deeper will leave you feeling refreshed and inspired for the day ahead.
Here are some ideas that will make for a more mindful morning routine:
Speak Some Morning Affirmations
Even if you don’t believe in any sort of “spirituality”, there is scientific evidence that saying positive affirmations to oneself aloud has a positive effect on us.
Saying some of these things each morning is a surefire way to start your day off right.
Morning Affirmations for the Day Ahead:
- “Today is going to be a good one.”
- “I am so thankful to be alive today.”
- “I am going to accomplish great things today.”
- “Whatever today brings, I will meet it with grace.”
- “Today, I choose to treat myself and the world around me with love.”
Morning Affirmations About Yourself:
- “I am strong. I am brave. I am capable.”
- “I’m learning and growing every day.”
- “I can make a positive difference in the world.”
- “I’ve got so many wonderful thoughts and ideas.”
- “I am kind. I am compassionate. I am patient. I am loving.”
Meditate and/or Pray
I personally prefer loving-kindness meditation, which encourages the meditator to send love and kindness to themselves or to others. It’s helped me develop my capacity for compassion, patience, forgiveness, and overall love and respect for all life.
If you deal with anxiety, try starting your day with some simple breathing exercises. My favorite is the 4 – 7 – 8 method. To do this, inhale through your nose for 4 seconds, hold the breath for 7 seconds, and then exhale through your mouth for 8 seconds. Repeat three times.
Or, you can connect with your deity/deities through prayer and/or studying religious or spiritual texts. (As an atheist, that’s about all I can say about that– You know the practices that are relevant to your spirituality better than I do!)
Connect With Nature
If you can find the time in the morning to sit with nature, that’s great! I used to live near a college campus where I would frequently go on morning walks and chill with the trees. (And yes, I even hugged a few.)
If you live in a concrete jungle, even just pulling up images of trees or the ocean on your computer and taking a few breaths to appreciate the Earth can do wonders for your mental health.
Connecting with nature is a great thing to add to your morning routine if you’re looking to start your day off right!
Do a Tarot Reading for the Day!
Tarot can be a touchy subject for some, but if you’re open to experimenting, card readings can be a great way to get in touch with your intuition.
Personally, I prefer oracle cards to tarot–and they’re typically a lot easier to learn than a classic tarot deck.
Moonology is a great oracle deck to use to do some introspection and find inspiration for the day ahead.
The Work Your Light Oracle Cards (pictured above) are also a dear favorite of mine– the bright pastel colors and motivational messages add extra inspiration to the day.
Do Some Self-Reflecting Journaling
How do you feel when you wake up in the morning? Tired? Inspired? Overwhelmed from the day prior? Excited about the day ahead?
Taking a few minutes every morning to write down your thoughts and feelings is a good way to get in touch with your emotions and to realize your goals. Journaling is an excellent element for a mindful morning routine.
When I kept a journal, I would write a few sentences every morning about what I wanted my main “theme” for the day to be, such as self-care, socializing, or productivity, as well as choosing an inspirational quote to focus on for the day.
I would also write about any anxieties that came to mind, to get them out of my head and onto paper, where they felt less threatening.
I eventually fell out of the habit, but as I’m writing this, I’m realizing how much I might benefit from starting up a morning journal routine again.
It’s never too late to switch things up!
If this idea calls to you, try journaling for a bit and if you like it, keep it as part of your routine. If not, no worries! Part of designing your own morning routine is trying different things and deciding what works for you.
On a Related Note: Try Dream Journaling! Some people like to keep track of their dreams, especially if they’re trying to learn how to lucid dream. Even if you’re not into lucid dreaming, taking a look at our dreams can give us insight into what’s going on in our subconscious minds. If you’re going to keep a dream journal, put it next to your bed (or even under your pillow!), and plan on writing in it as soon as you wake up, before the memory of your dreamland begins to fade.
Start Your Day Off Right Tip #9: Fill In Your Daily Planner
If you’re using any sort of planner to keep you on track for the rest of your day (a habit I deeply recommend), part of your morning routine could be to fill out any necessary parts of your planner for the day (or week, or month) ahead, go over what you’ve set out to do for the day, and cross out any tasks you’ve already completed.
I like to put simple things like “wake up” and “eat breakfast” in my daily planner, so I can feel that sense of accomplishment at checking them off in the morning.
Maybe you have a tracker of certain habits you’re trying to adopt, like getting up on time, doing a daily drawing, or meditating every morning. Go ahead and fill those in as soon as you complete them! It’s so satisfying and gives you a boost of energy that will help you feel like you’ve already been productive at the start of your day.
Start Your Day Off Right Tip #10: Head Off For Whatever Comes Next – With the Best Attitude You Can Manage
I won’t tell you to be positive. I don’t think being positive 24/7 is doable, nor even healthy.
If you’ve been dealing with a lot lately, sometimes all you can do is tell yourself you’re going to get through the day.
Not all days are going to be our best. Some days are just… days. And some days are really, really rough.
There may be moments of joy, or moments of stress.
There will likely be a bit of both.
But there is something to be said for taking a deep breath at the start of each day and deciding to make the best of it, whatever it may hold.
I want to encourage you to head into your day with the knowledge that, whatever the day may bring, you are strong enough to get through it.
If you’re feeling particularly optimistic, great! Carry that with you as far as you can! I call it a healthy dose of positivity with an equally healthy knowledge that even if the Good Vibes fizzle out, you can make it through the day.
…Alright, now that you’ve got some ideas for a kick-ass morning routine, get out there and try them out!
Keep what works, edit what could work, and drop anything that doesn’t serve you.
Own your mornings!
And, now that you’ve got your perfect morning routine pinned down, why not try setting up an equally awesome evening routine?
Monday mornings are a whole other ballgame. Here are some affirmations to start your week!
Live with other people? Check out these tips on how to have a quiet morning alone, roommates be damned.
What do you find is an essential way to start your day off right? Share your ideas in the comments below! ⬇️⬇️⬇️