Whether you’re an early rise or like to stay in bed as long as you can, a solid morning routine has been clinically proven to kick-start your day. According to clinical psychologist Ryan Howes “A healthy, low-stress, [and] focused morning routine sets the tone for the whole day,”
Having a morning routine can increase your energy, productivity and positivity. It also generates momentum, building up to the brain’s peak time for cognitive work (late morning). Which is why when first starting the day, it’s important to avoid “decision fatigue” by having a set morning routine that doesn’t require too much brain power.
Now we know that everyone is unique and that not everyone requires a fully scheduled day to reap the health benefits of a routine, so make the choices that work for you, knowing they’ll only make you healthier and more efficient with your time.
Some ways a routine can help include:
* Better stress levels lead to improved mental health, more time to relax and less anxiety. A lack of healthy stress management techniques can put you at greater risk for heart disease and negatively impact your overall health.
* Better sleep will leave you refreshed. Your daily routine influences your quality of rest. Your sleep schedule and bedtime habits affect your mental sharpness, performance, emotional well-being and energy level. It’s best if you can maintain a consistent time for waking and going to bed.
* Better health is a result of just a little extra planning. Set the alarm a little earlier and you’ll have time to exercise and eat breakfast, fueling your body for the day. Even a quick (and healthy) breakfast will get you energized. Whether you like to just go for a run or go to the gym for a bigger workout, it’s important make time for exercise.
* Good example setting will encourage others to try a routine as well. You demonstrate its importance and the positive effect it has on health, motivation and self-esteem.
Need some ideas for your morning routine? Here are morning routines from 7 different women from all walks of life, ranging from 27 years old to 75 years old.
Name: Karla W
Occupation: Middle-School Teacher/New Mom
Duration of morning routine: 6am-9am
- 6am – Wake up, drink water, take morning medication, feed my son.
- 6:30am – Feel my body and stretch. What parts are tight?
- 7am – Talk to my son, gratitude and affirmations.
- 7:15am – Wash face, brush teeth.
- 7:30am – Play with my son.
- 8am – Nap or answer emails and texts.
- 8:30am – Make tea, pump, sit in silence.
Name: Fran H
Duration of morning routine: 7:30am- 11am
- 7:30am – Wake up, check weather app for local temperature and wind conditions and check other locations where family members live.
- 7:45am – Head straight to the bathroom and open drapes to let as much sunlight in as possible.
- 7:50am – Remove PJ’s, step on scale, either swear or wear a smile. Put PJ’s back on.
- 8am – Fill water jug to 96 ounces, do 15 minutes modified Tai Chi Stretching.
- 8:20am – Make coffee and Keto breakfast.
- 9am – Eat breakfast, check email, read the NYT morning digest, do the mini cross word and regular crossword.
- 10am – Take care of dishes in the sink.
- 10:15am – Vacuum/dust the house and get dressed.
Name: Heidi F
Duration of morning routine: 6:20am-9am
- 6:20am – Wake up, review my sleep data on my Oura app.
- 6:30am – Login to my Ameritrade account, do some trading.
- 7am – Answer emails, read news.
- 7:30am – A quick yoga flow and a short HIT workout/walk on the beach.
- 8am – Brush teeth, wash face, shower, put on eyeliner.
- 8:30am – Chug a glass of water, make a dandelion tea with a scoop of collagen.
- 8:40am – Meditate
Name: Kimberlyn F
Occupation: TV Development Assistant
Duration of morning routine: 7am-8:30am
- 7am – Wake up, think of 3 affirmations and 3 gratitudes.
- 7:20am – Freshen up, skin routine.
- 7:30am – Neighborhood walk – I change my route every day and listen to different podcasts, usually The Daily (NYTimes) or Okay Now Listen (Netflix).
- 8:15am – Pick up coffee – I love supporting local and trying new spots!
- 8:30am – Small breakfast – usually a chia seed pudding or eggs with toast.
Name: Renee L
Occupation: Boutique Wine Sales
Duration of morning routine: 6am-6:30am
- 6am: Wake up, make a coffee.
- 6:10am – Go out onto to the patio and greet the day.
- 6:15am – Count my blessings.
- 6:20am – Apply sunscreen, turn my swag on.
- 6:30am – Walk the dog.
Name: Dorothy C
Duration of morning routine: 7:30am-10:00am
- 7:30am – My cat, Sumo comes in to wake me up, morning affirmations, review my schedule and priorities for the day.
- 7:45am – Respond to any urgent client texts/emails.
- 8:00am – Brush my teeth, AM skin routine.
- 8:15am – Morning yoga + quick workout session (Plyo or HIT)
- 9am – Shower/get ready for work.
- 9:30am – Listen to an audiobook or podcast on my commute. Currently on rotation; Affirmation Pod, BiggerPockets Money/Real Estate, The Daily, Time Ferris Show.