Your alarm goes off and you hit the snooze button. And then you hit it again — and again — until at some point you realise you barely have enough time to get ready for work or class without being late. Now you're rushing to get ready and are already stressed before your day even begins. Does this scenario sound familiar to you?
The snooze button compels many of us, but it's not exactly the best way to start our days. How we begin the day can make all the difference in how the rest of our day plays out. Making sure to start your day with a healthy routine is a great way to set yourself up to have a good day.
This article will go over the reasons you should consider having a dedicated morning routine, as well as some suggestions for what you can add to your mornings. It's important to remember that they're only suggestions, though. What's healthy for one person may not be right for the next person, so your morning habits should be tailored to you.
Why Having a Morning Routine Is Good for Your Health
You may be wondering why you should bother coming up with a whole routine for first thing in the morning. Why not just incorporate some healthy elements into your morning? First off, it's just easier to fall into a routine first thing in the morning. We just got up, we're probably tired, and we don't yet have the energy to actively think about everything we need to do in the morning. When we have a routine already planned out, we're just following the steps we already know and are achieving all our health goals!
It's also good for us to have healthy routines in general, no matter the time of day. We're able to rely on these routines to keep us going when we're otherwise having a bad day or struggling to get everything done. Being able to fall back on our routines means we don't need to spend as much energy or willpower to complete the tasks included in them. These routines are also able to provide us with a sense of certainty and control. If you have your morning scheduled from when get up until you go to work, you know what will be happening during that time. Just this small amount of control can create a sense of stability in our lives, which can help us navigate the remainder of our day.
What You Can Add to Your Morning Routine
What makes a morning routine healthy? Unfortunately, there's no real straight answer for that. Each person is unique and has different needs. So, when coming up with your routine, you'll need to pick and choose what's good for you. That said, there are some generally healthy options that we've laid out here as suggestions for you.
Wake Up at the Same Time Every Morning
You may have heard that the key to success is waking up early. However, that's not necessarily true, especially if you're a night owl. What's actually important is getting up at the same time every day. That includes weekends and days off. When you're sleeping in on your days off, you're essentially giving yourself jet lag when you have to get up earlier on workdays. Instead, waking up at the same time each day provides a host of health benefits, including feeling less tired and more alert during the day.
Have an Order to Your Morning
Your morning routine should have a purposeful order to it. If you only have a list of things to do with no order to them, you're going to be spending precious time just trying to think of what you still need to do and what you should do next. Instead, if you create a meaningful order to your tasks, it'll be easy to remember what you should move on to next, and you won't be spending your time or energy on needless decision-making.
Make Your Bed
This may seem inconsequential to many, but it's actually a great way to start the day. Making your bed is quick and easy, but it can give a wonderful sense of accomplishment. You'll have immediately crossed a task off your to-do list, and that can send in an upward trajectory for the remainder of your day. It can also just feel nice to see your room look neat and orderly.
Exercise or Stretch
Although it's tiring while you're doing it, exercising gives you a boost of energy, puts you in a better mood, and improves your focus and memory. These benefits make a morning workout a fantastic addition to your day, especially if it's a workday. Having your exercise gear set up and ready to go will make this option even easier.
However, we understand that exercising first thing in the morning isn't for everybody. If you're not the kind of person who has the energy for a good morning exercise, then you should try stretching instead. Stretching can provide many of the same benefits while not being as energy-intensive.
Practising relaxation soon after waking up can really help set your mood for the rest of the day. Relaxation techniques, such as progressive muscle relaxation or meditation, have plenty of mental and physical health benefits on their own. Learning to properly relax can fight off stress, boost your immune system, and just put you in a better mood altogether.
As you know, our bodies are mostly made up of water. It needs water to function properly, and being dehydrated can cause lots of issues. After sleeping for so many hours, it really helps your body to drink plenty of water first thing in the morning. You're helping to energise yourself and kick-start your day when you're properly hydrating after waking up.
Have a Healthy Breakfast
You've probably heard the phrase that "breakfast is the most important meal of the day." This is a common phrase for good reason. Our bodies need the energy that breakfast provides after not eating all night. Having healthy breakfasts planned out will also provide you with the essential nutrients you need to start your day. You may also feel that having breakfast makes you more alert, which would be because your brain is able to receive some energy from that food.
Do Something Fun or Creative
Starting your day with something you actually enjoy doing is another great way to put you in a good mood and keep your spirits high throughout the rest of the day. While many of us have been getting up, getting ready for work, and then leaving, it doesn't need to be that way. You can spend some of your time getting ready while watching some TV you enjoy. If you're up for it, you could even get up a bit earlier to give yourself time to enjoy some of your hobbies before preparing for the rest of your day.
Review Your Daily Tasks
Finally, before getting on with your work or your chores, take a look through your day's to-do list and get yourself organised. This will remind you of all the things you need to do that day and will let you feel organised before actually starting. You can also spend this time prioritising your tasks and get a good feel for how your day will play out.
Create a Routine That's Healthy for You
Hitting the snooze button is tempting for many of us, but it's a bad habit worth breaking. Having a healthy morning routine instead will give you more energy to start your day and will often put you in a better mood.
Choosing the right morning routine depends on who you are and what you need. There are plenty of healthy options you can include, such as making your bed and eating a nutritious breakfast. So get started forming your own morning routine that will lead you towards a healthier lifestyle!