Nothing starts the day off right like a simple but healthy morning routine. Many of us understand and recognise that how we start our day will often determine the motivation,scope and momentum we experience throughout. If we start off tired and lethargic, we tend to continue on in just the same way. Before you know it, it’s lunch time and you’ve hit ‘the wall.’ It’s at this point many of us attempt to top up our energy levels by popping ‘pro-plus’ pills or drinking caffeinated drinks. While this may help in the short-term, it often leads to an influx of unwanted energy late at night. And what happens then? An inability to get some good quality sleep!
The vicious cycle repeats! You don’t feel tired because you’ve spent all day attempting to stay awake and productive. So, you don’t sleep well, resulting in waking up feeling unrested. Yet again.
This is why it’s important to have a simple and healthy morning routine, with a specific focus on what we do in the morning and before going to bed. Even on days off, vacations, weekends and everything in between, we need to have some sort of healthy routine in place.
But don’t worry, this isn’t as hard as it sounds. Nor should it feel like an endlessly-challenging test of character. With this post we aim to give you simple, sustainable and easy to implement suggestions on how to perfect your healthy morning routine!
Ten simple ways to create a healthy morning routine.
Prepare what you can the night before.
Let’s face it, most of us are left rushing around in the morning. Specifically on a work or school day when time runs very thin. The best way to beat this is to prepare what you can the night before. Choose your outfit, pack your bags, and even prepare a simple breakfast! No matter how small, any preparation helps reduce time spent ‘faffing’ in the morning.
This include setting up any self-care routines you follow. Be it a morning skin care routine, a quick yoga session or anything else. By having these all set up and ready for the morning you don’t waste precious time searching for your skin creams, or wondering where you left your roller.
Plan your day.
Take a few moments to plan for the day ahead. Write a few simple bullet points on your notepad app, or jot down your key objectives in a diary. Having your day planned, even just loosely, can help you stay organised, and reduce stress!
I personally plan out my days using a weekly planner. While these are often loose plans, they help me stay on top of important appointments, deadlines and even plan my social media content. This is usually done every Sunday, however sometimes I take it one day at a time, specifically if I’m going on vacation.
Avoid your smartphone.
It can be tempting to check our smartphone first thing in the morning. Many of us are guilty of immediately reaching for our phones in a bid to go through last nights notifications, catch up on news, check social media or simply waste time on Tik-Tok. From the moment we unlock our screens, there’s something begging for our attention.It can make us feel like we’re never switched off, forever chained to our screens.
While there are occasions where it’s essential to check our phones, be it for the time or urgent messages, we don’t always need to be switched on. Especially in the morning when our time can be limited. This is why setting up a voice assistant to read a summary of our most urgent notifications can be useful. If you use an iPhone, this feature is known as “scheduled summary,” but can may also replicate this on other smartphone types.
Using a service like this can give us time to gather our thoughts, and go about our morning routine without interruption. Then, when you hop into the shower, you don’t have to feel a sense of mental lethargy as you get ready.
Avoid the snooze button.
Hitting snooze can disrupt your sleep cycle and leave you feeling groggy. Instead, try getting up when your alarm first goes off. While those few extra moments might feel precious, they often leave us feeling worse!
Enjoy a light, simple breakfast.
Some people say to eat breakfast like a king! It helps set us up for the day ahead, and prevents snacking on unhealthy alternatives. And while it’s great to go into the day full and satisfied, quite often it’s better to eat something light and comfortable while still getting our nutritional needs. Moreover, in the dash for the door, a lighter breakfast can ensure you feel energized, without spending hours over the stove-top.
For instance, this biscuit recipe for breakfast can be prepared the night before and help you throughout the week. Even smaller efforts such as putting oats and blueberries together with yogurt can make for a delightfully nutritional start.
No matter what you choose, a light and healthy breakfast is the perfect way to put your best foot forward into the day ahead.
Drink a glass of cold water.
I’m the first one to admit that coffee always sounds more tempting that water. But, instead of reaching for the coffee pot, pour yourself a glass of cool water to start your day. Water helps hydrate the body and can give us an extra boost of much needed energy! Caffeine, on the other hand, is short lived.
Step outside and take a deep breath.
It’s very easy to be insular and blurry-eyed when leaving the house in the morning. If you have a spare couple of minutes, the best way around this is to greet the day on your own terms. My husband often finds that taking time to go outside to take in the fresh air can work wonders! Even taking five minutes to head outside onto your balcony, porch or garden, to greet the morning sun can give you the short, simple break you need.
A deep lungful of fresh air not only feels good, but helps you relax, and orient yourself ready for the day ahead. But many people don’t have the chance as they wake up late, leaving only enough time to sprint to the office desk. But giving yourself this little two-minute allotment of time helps you feel more like yourself, and able to think more readily.
Meditate or do some yoga (if you have time).
If you’ve got the time, it can be tremendously helpful to do some light exercise such as yoga, or meditate. Kudos if you do both! Both are beneficial for different reasons. Yoga allows us to start the day with some light movement, stretching off the sleep and gently allowing the
blood to flow. Meditation, however, helps us live in the moment, focus our priorities and calm any anxieties we have about the day ahead.
It’s true that not all mornings are suitable for this, but if you have the time, a rotating schedule of all these disciplines can help you set the day off right. There’s nothing quite like the mood we bring with us when we’ve had a work out that morning, followed by a good shower and a nice breakfast.
Read, even if it’s just one page.
Reading in the morning can provide various health benefits for both your mental and physical well-being. Here are just a few simple ways reading, even just a page, every morning can help you.
Take some time to reflect on the things you’re most grateful for. Even if it’s just the warmth of your bed, the purr of your cat or a great cup of coffee! I practice gratitude by keeping a small notebook by my bed and writing down three to five things I’m grateful Some even go as far as to repeat this cycle before going to bed, with specific focus on the good they experienced during the day.
Being able to recognise what we have in life, no matter how small, can help us see the bigger picture. Gratitude is particularly helpful for those going through difficult times in their lives, be it with grief, mental or physical illness.
While this may not be feasible during the early morning rush, you can also keep gratitude notes on your smartphone. I keep both voice and text notes for those days when I’m under pressure.