Are you a morning person? Maybe jumping out of bed before the crack of dawn, ready to start the day, and shouting out "what a beautiful day!" is not your thing. I get it. Personally, I am a morning person, for the most part, however, during allergy season (hello, spring and fall!), I definitely need more zzz's and am a bit of a cranky monster in the morning when those allergies attack my eyes. It's definitely tough to get up on those days. But, in those moments, I try to stick to a morning routine as much as possible because I know that, if I don't, it will definitely affect my day. And, you know, it seems to work (at least turning my very cranky into less cranky). It turns out that research supports morning routines for overall mental health by boosting mood, happiness, and productivity.
Here's the thing...you don't have to wake up an hour early and a morning routine doesn't necessarily mean you need to meditate on a cushion and sit completely still for 20 minutes (although, if that's your thing then fantastic!). It's just a matter of carving out a few minutes for a routine that works for you. The key is that it's:
2. something that makes you feel good from head to toe.
Hal Elrod, author of “The Miracle Morning” says, “Focused, productive successful mornings generate focused, productive, successful days – which inevitably create a successful life.”
Why Consider a Morning Routine?
Studies show that a morning routine has the ability to increase happiness, reduce procrastination, boost confidence, support the immune system, and improve overall performance. A morning routine empowers you. It gives you control, puts you in the driver's seat and prepares you to make empowering good choices for the rest of the day. A morning routine can help you feel grounded before you start the day. It prepares you for obstacles that come your way, resulting in less stress. It helps you become more adaptable to uncertainties of the day. A morning routine is a healthy habit that leads you to choose other healthy habits throughout the day like choosing a good-for-you breakfast, drinking more water, or deciding to take a walk at lunch. A morning routine can energize you (even if you’re not a morning person!). A morning routine can help you connect more with loved ones and build stronger relationships as you approach them from a place of being grounded, compassionate, and loving. A morning routine can create confidence and security because it's a routine, within your control.
Hopefully you're feeling ready and open to a morning routine after hearing how truly life-changing it can be. And, if you already have a morning routine, now you know why you love it so much!
You Don't Need to Skip Sleep to Have a Morning Routine
You'll be happy to know that sacrificing sleep for a morning routine is not the ask here since sleep is also incredibly important for optimal health. Research shows that those who have a consistent sleep schedule, with the same bedtime and wakeup time each day, have less of a chance of obesity, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and metabolic disorders. Instead of waiting until you feel tired to go to bed or sleeping in until you're ready to wake in the morning, research shows it's better to have a set bedtime and wakeup time ... which leads us to the morning routine. First, establish a time that works for you to go to bed each night and get up each morning. Next, make sure that morning wake up time allows you to carve out 5–10 minutes for activities that make you feel good.
What Does a Morning Routine Look Like?
A morning routine should be something that YOU love. It should feel good to you and be something you look forward to each day. It should be something that energizes and grounds you for the day. Here are some activities to consider, but feel free to create your own morning fun:
say or read positive affirmations
get some fresh air
tend to your garden
read something inspiring
write notes of gratitude
write a sweet letter to a friend or family member
walk outside barefoot in the grass
With regard to morning exercise, it may not top the list of morning activities for some. However, research shows that morning movement can support your immune system and jumpstart your day. Simply find movement that you enjoy and you'll know you'll stick to each day, whatever that looks like to you. A simple walk, yoga practice, or squats in the convenience of your own home can do the trick!
For more ideas on how create simple morning routines that are super effective but only take minutes, check out our blog, 3 Life-changing Morning Routines That Take Less Than 5 minutes.
Still having a hard time with how you'll even feel awake enough to do this morning routine thing? Expose yourself to sunlight or lights in your home. Light exposure in the morning when we wake can help us feel more energized and ready to start the day.
Whatever you choose to do, make sure it’s something that feels good to you. That looks different for everyone. P.S. Start your morning routine the night before by writing down your to-do list so it’s on paper and not on your mind while you sleep.
Do you already have a morning routine you love? Please share!