I don't know about you, but I'm a sight to behold in the morning. It takes me a few tries to launch my body out of bed, my hair all crazy, stumbling to the bathroom like a newborn calf. I'm not even sure my eyes are open until I've dunked my face in cold water.
Why am I telling you such tales of glory? Because without my morning routines, I won't get out of bed until it's almost too late.
I make a concise effort to optimize my time in the mornings to be more productive, and I'll help you do the same.
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16 Best Morning Routine Ideas
1. Avoid the Snooze Button
You snooze, you lose! I have to set my intention the night before to wake up at a specific time. Sure, my alarm can go off at 05:50 am, but if I hadn't decided the night before that I would get up within the first 10 minutes, it's an uphill battle from there.
How do you get out of bed? Glad you asked; here are some ideas:
Count backward from three. 3-2-1 getup! Don't give your brain too much choice in the matter; move your body, roll out of bed onto the floor if you have to.
Put your phone far away from you while you sleep. Then you have to get up to silence the alarm.
If you have a fancy coffee machine, preset your machine so that the smell of your morning brew wakes you up.
Find something exciting to do in the morning that would make you want to get up. It could be getting up to read your book, continue a game, try a recipe, go surfing, or get online to start trading.
2. Put Off Checking your Phone
Don't pick up your phone thinking you'll be able to put it down easily.
Get up and put your phone away when you've silenced your alarm. Then, get started with your morning.
There's nothing much I can say to convince you to do this; you'll have to be disciplined.
3. Wash your Face
I wash my face with cold, clean water. It's refreshing, it wakes me up, and I immediately apply my skincare products after. Done.
4. Drink Water
I always have a bottle of water next to my bed. I drink some vitamins in the evening and chug water before bed.
And the same in the morning, after I've washed my face, I drink my vitamins and chug water again.
The benefits of drinking water when you wake up have been proven time and time again - join the hydration train!
5. Make your Bed
Why? This will be the first task you can tick off your daily list. Why is this important? It sets the tone for the day. Your room looks neater; tonight, you can climb into a freshly made bed.
The first item on your to-do list is done, and it's not even 7 am yet! After that, the sky is the limit!
Too dramatic. Nah, I don't think so.
Experiment: make your bed every morning for a few days and then go a few days without making your bed. I bet you'll go back to the former in a heartbeat.
6. Enjoy a Cup of Coffee or Tea
I love a good coffee in the morning. It takes my hunger away until I have my first meal, and I enjoy sipping on it while journaling or reading my morning pages.
If coffee is not your thing, drink tea, a smoothie, lemon water, or whatever. Find a beverage you enjoy (non-alcoholic, obviously) and make it something to look forward to every morning.
7. Write Morning Pages
This is changing my life. I suggest that you just write.
It doesn't need to be complete sentences. It doesn't need to be coherent. It doesn't need to have a storyline. It doesn't need to stay on topic. It doesn't need to make sense.
The point is not for you to go back and reread it. The point is to get your emotions, thoughts, and feelings out. It's a judge-free exercise. You don't have to take anyone's feelings into account. You can completely let loose on the page.
I always say it untangles my brain. It takes the jumbled mess and straightens it out. Magical.
I have yet to figure out meditation, but I can feel the difference it makes when I get it right (by accident).
This is what I got so far:
Remove all distractions - switch off the TV, close your laptop, and put your phone in another room.
Sit/ stand comfortably.
Let your mind wander.
Don't focus on anything specific; try to get your mind as still as possible, and you do that by paying attention to your breathing.
I set a timer on my smartwatch for 15 mins, and I count my breaths until the timer goes off.
Let thoughts come and go - if you get stuck on a thought, remind yourself to move through it.
But that's JUST THINKING! Not really. Thinking means you stay on topic while trying to figure things out. When meditating, you accept that you have the thought and then move on.
Anyway, I've read, heard, and experienced too many good things about it to stop trying.
9. Stretch your Body
No-no, it doesn't need to be a full-on yoga routine. Instead, gently stretch your arms and legs, and move your body in a way that feels natural (although nothing feels natural early in the morning, am I right).
Try this: stretch as high as you can to the ceiling when you get up from writing your morning pages/meditation and then fall forward to bend as low as you can.
Shake it out. Done.
10. Fit in a Quick workout
If you're a morning workout person, now's your time to shine! There are a lot of positives about morning workouts, but the same goes for working out in the evening. So whichever floats your boat, implement it.
Once a week, I work out in the morning; the rest of the time, the afternoon suits me better, so that's what I do.
11. Prepare a Healthy Breakfast
Depending on your lifestyle or eating plan, you might not have breakfast in the mornings. But, if you do, make it a protein-rich breakfast that'll keep you fuller for longer.
Oats are always a good option, as are protein smoothies, eggs, and cottage cheese on rice cakes.
12. Say Positive Affirmations
This is one of my favorites. I've been doing these for a while, which brings me joy. I say my affirmations while I walk to work in the mornings, but you can do yours in the mirror while you put on your makeup, or while you get dressed, while you meal prep, on your morning commute, whenever.
How does it work? Easy! Say positive things to yourself about yourself in the present tense.
I am smart.
I am beautiful.
I am successful.
I am a great partner.
I deserve all the good things coming my way.
At first, you'll feel stupid. Uncomfortable. Skeptical of your own words. Ignore your silly brain and keep saying them. Over and over, keep telling them.
The rule: Positive. About yourself. Present tense.
13. Call a Loved One
Have a morning date with someone you love - your kids, parents, or a friend living abroad.
The rule: this call must not cause you anxiety. It must be with someone with a supportive, positive mindset that'll motivate you for your day ahead.
14. Listen to Music
Some mornings, I prefer to get ready in silence. And sometimes I put on music. Happy music. Dance music. Music that makes me sing in my angelic voice so that birds come and help me get dressed. True story.
The rule: it has to be music that makes you happy. Not angry, happy. Not headbang-your-head-against-a-cupboard happy. Not scream-about-death-and-destruction happy.
It has to be music that puts you in a good space mentally.
15. Listen to a Podcast/ Audiobook
If you don't have time to sit down and read, listen to the audiobook while busy with other things. Or put on your favorite podcast and have a giggle.
16. Perform an Act of Kindness
Who has the time? What can you possibly do in the limited amount of time from when you get up to when you go to work?
Be kind to the people in your household.
Make your flatmate/ partner their favorite breakfast.
On your way to the gym, drop a sandwich with a person on the street that's struggling.
When you get to work, say something nice to the receptionist.
You have to be kind, that's it, not rip your heart out and offer it to a stranger.
Small acts of kindness make a world of difference.
The Bottom Line
Your morning routine sets the tone for your whole day. Find one that works for you, fits your lifestyle, interests, and morning mental and physical capacity. The goal is for you to find one or two things that work and allows you to optimize your day.
Let me know in the comments what you're doing already or if you have any other suggestions.