It’s easier to begin than you think.
Guest Post written by Christine Flowers
What does your typical morning look like?
Are you someone that gets out of bed at the same time every morning -- eager, full of pep in your step, and ready to start the day?
Or are mornings a drag? So much so that you keep hitting the snooze button time after time and can’t stand the thought of starting the day?
If you answered the latter, perhaps a morning routine would help you get in the right frame of mind and start off the day on a positive note. A morning routine is actually very important. There are numerous ways it can help your health -- both mentally and physically.
What is a routine?
: a regular course of procedure; of a commonplace or repetitious character; of, relating to or being in accordance with established procedure (1)
Think of a routine as a sequence of events -- or a habit -- that doesn’t change. Repeated actions are done at the same time -- and normally in the same order -- every day so that you are mentally prepared for what is about to happen next.
There are enough stressful surprises in life, but a routine can help combat that stress and help to regain control of your day.
How can a morning routine help my mental wellness?
Here are a few ways a morning routine can help your mental wellness.
Unpredictability can provoke anxiety -- but routines help decrease anxiety by your ability to positively envision what will happen next in your day. Take a few minutes as part of your morning routine to focus on how you’re feeling. If you’re feeling anxious, try to identify what is worrying you and address those feelings head-on. If you internalize anxiety, journaling is a great way to get your thoughts on paper and take away that extra weight on your mind.
Productivity coaches suggest that daily habits can be an indicator of increased productivity and achievement. Habits that benefit each of us can vary. But overall, if you practice a morning routine, it can help you to better handle the day and complete tasks without feeling overwhelmed or overly stressed. (2)
Sets a Positive Tone For the Day
A morning routine that starts out the day by focusing on positivity will likely set the tone for the entire day. Take a few minutes in the morning to do some deep breathing exercises or meditation. Or journal about things you are grateful for. Starting your day on a positive note will help to keep the momentum going throughout the day -- no matter what is thrown your way.
How can a morning routine help my physical wellness?
Here are a few ways a morning routine can help your physical wellness.
Starting the day with healthy habits -- one of them eating a nutritious breakfast -- can help boost your energy levels and mind and body for the day ahead. Hydrating your body is also very important. Dehydration has been linked to fatigue as well as symptoms of low mood, including irritability and confusion. (3) Drinking water can help improve cognition and give you the energy you need to tackle the day.
Lowers Stress Levels
Here’s a fact -- you start out the day with a lot of questions to answer. Should I hit snooze or get up? What should I wear? Coffee or no coffee? That’s a lot for your brain to process first thing in the morning. But most of these questions would already be answered by having a set morning routine. Fewer decisions to make in the morning = feeling calmer and in control = less stress.
Produces Better Sleep
There’s no need to lie awake at night worrying about what you didn’t get done. A morning routine will set the tone for the entire day, including what things you need to do to feel like you have been productive. Better quality sleep will improve your mental sharpness, performance, emotional well-being, and energy level. (4)
This all sounds great, but what if I’m not a morning person?
Good news! You don’t have to be! The beautiful thing about a morning routine is that it will look different for everyone. You should incorporate what makes you look and feel your best! If you’re not sure where to begin, here are a few helpful tips and ideas to start a morning routine.
A morning routine is only as beneficial as the bedtime routine that precedes it. Planning ahead and doing a few things the night before is a great way to get a head start on your morning routine! For example, I make my kids lunches, set out their clothes (and mine!), and pre-set the coffee pot the night before so I feel less rushed and stressed in the morning.
Whether you start the day with yoga or mindfulness or a walk, try to stay consistent with sticking to your routine. Sure, life happens, and you may need to skip a day. But for maximum results, be as consistent as you can.
When you’re starting a new morning routine, be sure to try different things. Be flexible to the fact that some things you may try might not be a good fit for you. Don’t get discouraged -- keep trying new things until you find what works best for you.
Move Your Body
Stretching, yoga, and walking are great examples of things you can add to your morning routine that can help your overall wellness. These movements don’t need to be intense -- anything to get your body up and moving is beneficial.
In fact, practicing stillness is just as important as moving your body! Some examples include meditation, breathing techniques, and prayer. Focusing on the present moment helps to keep our focus aligned and not allow other daily distractors to get in the way of having a productive day.
Morning routines aren’t difficult to get started. Remember that a morning routine will look different for everyone. Just as it takes 21 days to form a habit, creating a morning routine can take the same amount of time. So be patient with yourself, show some extra self-compassion, and know it can take a few weeks to see maximum results. When it comes to a morning routine, consistency is key!
Once you have a head start on your morning routine, be sure to sign up for our monthly newsletter HERE. The newsletters are packed with more awesome mental health and wellness tips. There’s also an entire page dedicated to personal wellness tips and tricks to help keep you feeling your best!
Merriam-Webster.com. 2021. https://www.merriam-webster.com (29 Sept 2021).
https://www.verywellmind.com/morning-routine-4174576 (29 Sept 2021).
About the Author
Hi, I’m Christine - Copywriter and Editor. Creatively driven by my love for coffee, the calming color of turquoise, and a passion for all things mental health and wellness. I help my clients by using their voice and goals to create or edit engaging copy -- which helps them extend their reach online and grow their business!