A healthy morning routine checklist: 10 good habits to start your day

Linda Le Phan

Do your days leave you feeling tired and unproductive? Your morning rituals may be to blame.

The first hour of our days set the tone for how energetic we feel, how stressed we are, and how much stuff we get accomplished. Set yourself up for more happy, healthy and productive days by adding these 10 small, positive habits to your morning routine.

1. Start Your Morning the Night Before

Plan and lay out what you will wear to work and mentally prepare yourself for your Despite that great TV show, the interesting friend who called you to catch up or gossip, or the video game you love playing, go to bed at a reasonable hour. Too little sleep sets you up for a grouchy, sluggish morning.

2. Wake Up at the Same Time

People have circadian rhythms, or internal clocks. By waking at the same time every day, even on weekends, the rhythms function more productively, we feel better, and are healthier than sleeping in anytime you get a chance. Try to wake up within an hour of the same time, every day.

3. Avoid the Snooze Button

Waking up once is difficult, so why make yourself do it, two, three, or half a dozen times? According to the American Heart Association, hitting snooze can leave you feeling worse than getting up when the alarm first goes off. Set your clock for when you need to rise, and get out of bed the first time.

4. Stay Away from Your Electronics

It’s tempting to reach for your smart devices as soon as, or even before, you get out of bed. Don’t! Emails and social media suck you in and start sapping your focus and energy before you even have a chance to wake up. Postpone those activities for at least 20 minutes after you rise.

5. Drink Water

With or without a lemon, drinking water in the morning – specifically 16 ounces – is extremely beneficial for your body and mind. It rehydrates you from a full night of sleeping without having fluids, fires up your metabolism, fuels your brain for a productive day, and can even help balance your appetite (by making sure you’re not actually dehydrated).

6. Eat Breakfast

Feed your body fuel for the day with a balanced breakfast. Include high quality proteins like eggs, flaxseed, or salmon, and healthy grains like oatmeal. It’s essential to eat breakfast every day for good health.

7. Move Around

You may have children, pets, or spouses that demand your time in the morning, but you can still get your body moving in a healthy way. A run or other type of aerobic workout is especially beneficial, but even if you can’t fit a workout in, take a cue from dogs and cats and simply stretch your muscles out. A mere 5 minutes of stretching will help you be more alert and healthier.

8. Verbalize Gratitude

Set your attitude up for success. Whether it’s while you brush your teeth or shower, think about three things you are grateful for in your life at that moment. Most of us have things in our lives that are beyond our control, but acknowledging what you’re grateful for puts in a good mindset to deal with those with a minimum of stress.

9. Listen to Music

Crank up the tunes while you’re getting ready and don’t be afraid to sing along. Music lifts your mood and adds energy to your day, helping you feel healthy and productive.

10. Allow Plenty of Time for Your Commute

Nothing causes stress and headaches more than being late and hitting bad traffic. Remedy this by leaving 15 minutes early. That way you won’t need to speed, make unsafe driving decision, or arrive completely irritated and exhausted.

Incorporating these small habits can be priceless in creating a healthy morning routine that increases energy and focus and decreases stress. They don’t take much time and can be adopted easily. If you can’t commit to them all, choose a few to add to your morning routine and enjoy how much better you feel!

 

share your voice

Sources:

Sleepassociation.org

The American Heart Association