A healthy way to start your day.
A morning routine can help you prepare for the rest of your day mentally, emotionally, and physically. It can hep you transition smoothly from the time you wake up to the time you need to get to work. Learn how a morning routine can be healthy for you and how to create one in 11 simple ways.
For most of my life, I didn’t have a consistent morning routine, let alone one that supported my well-being. My hectic schedule left me with little time for anything except washing my face, eating breakfast, and brushing my teeth. Although they met my most basic needs, they didn't truly fulfill me spiritually and emotionally.
When I started having anxiety and stress every day, I knew something had to change in my routine. Being a working mom of 3 kids made this challenging, so I had to start slow.
I figured that morning would be the best time because I could get up before my kids and have some peace and quiet. Another reason to start a healthy morning routine is biological. Cortisol, which a hormone, starts to rise in the morning and peaks around 9 am. Then it gradually declines as the day goes on and is lowest around midnight. So, your brain would be most alert in the morning.
I started meditating just 5 minutes each morning and over time, I noticed a difference in my mood. To make room for more in my routine, I decided to wake up a little earlier and go to bed a bit sooner. It made a positive difference in my energy level and overall well-being.
It is important to create a habit and routine because according to research:
‘Implementation of a lifestyle change implies that a routine is followed and habits are formed.’
The data revealed that it is more effective to fit recommendations into a person’s lifestyle instead of asking them to change it because routines take time to establish.
In order to maintain a healthy lifestyle, it’s better to implement changes slowly. If there are too many changes, then a person trying to change is more likely to relapse in behavior. One or two habits at a time seems to be the most effective approach in keeping a a healthy routine.
This is important because it implies that we can be healthier if we make small, but significant changes in our daily routine.
You don’t have to stick to the same routine for the rest of your life. A morning routine can be fluid and evolve to fit your current needs and situation.
It is a good idea to keep track of what works for you and what doesn’t. I suggest keeping a diary to make note of your symptoms and feelings if you’re just starting out. This way, you can observe how the habits are helping you to improve your well-being and make any adjustments if necessary.
Although your routine will look different from others, you can follow some simple guidelines to maintain a healthy morning routine.
You want to create a morning routine that will make you feel your best and supports a healthy lifestyle.
11 simple ways to establish a healthy morning routine.
KEEP YOUR ROUTINE SIMPLE.
When in doubt, you can always kiss. Not the kind that you give to your significant other, but the acronym. K.I.S.S. stands for "Keep It Simple Stupid." This advice is anything but stupid. If you’re going to implement healthy habits in your life, you don't want to feel overwhelmed by making drastic changes. To make your morning routine solid, you want to keep it simple.
You can start off slow and add a habit one at a time until you feel like you have a routine that will energize you in the morning without making you overly stimulated. The last thing you want is to arrive feeling agitated or anxious.
GET A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP TO START YOUR MORNING OFF RIGHT.
A healthy morning routine can help you develop healthy habits and a lifestyle to match. It can also help you stay fit so you can feel your best every day. Creating a healthy morning routine doesn’t have to be difficult.
Your morning routine starts with getting adequte rest the night before. You don’t want to start the day with a groggy mind and a body that has to be dragged out of bed. This is what happens when you don’t get enough sleep. You feel tired and cranky.
Getting a good night’s sleep will help you get your morning routine off to a good start.
ESTABLISH A HEALTH AND BEAUTY RITUAL.
I don’t have a health and beauty ritual right now, since I am mostly at home. When I used to work, washing my face was my ritual and it marked the beginning of my morning routine. Even though it was a small thing I did for myself back then, it made an impact in how I felt.
You routine will look different for you. Examples would be showering, applying makeup, skin brushing, or oil pulling. Whatever your health and beauty ritual, be sure that it makes you feel good inside and out.
DRINK WATER FIRST THING IN THE MORNING.
Water is the universal thirst quencher and perhaps the best drink you can have in the morning. It keeps your cells healthy and hydrated and flushes away toxins. The recommended amount for women is around 2 liters.
For men, the amount is about 3 liters per day. You don’t have to drink it first thing when you wake up, but I recommend to drink some water before you have your breakfast and coffee.
SAY POSITIVE AFFIRMATIONS OUT LOUD OR TO YOURSELF.
Saying something positive to yourself is a great way to prepare you emotionally and physically.
Affirmations can help boost your confidence and and raise your self esteem. When affirmations are repeated over and over, they strengthen neural pathways in your brain so that the messages you receive will feel more real to you.
You can create one for each section of your life to improve your mental, physical, and emotional health.
EAT A HEALTHY BREAKFAST.
Start your day off right with a healthy breakfast. You want to make sure you include high quality proteins that contain omega-3 fatty acids to nourish your body and mind, such as nuts, seeds, and cold water fish.
Cut out the processed stuff that contains white flour because they can cause spikes in your blood sugar and quickly fall. This can leave you feeling sluggish and increase your risk for insulin resistance and pre-diabetes.
Choosing whole and plant based foods like vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and whole grains is also essential for a healthy diet.
CUT THE DISTRACTIONS FROM DIGITAL DEVICES.
I am guilty of checking my digital device, which is my cellphone, first thing in the moring. Defaulting to this can be destructive to your morning routine and possibly detract from a healthy habit formation.
Keep your phone and any digital device beyond your reach so you are not tempted to look at it right before going to bed or first thing in the morning. This way, you can devote your personal time to establishing healthy habits.
START EXERCISING AND GET MOVING.
Exercise is a great way to get the body moving so you can start your day feeling pumped. Movement helps your body release endorphins, which can put you in a better mood. Some experience this as a runner’s high.
A great exercise you can try is the morning yoga routine on the Aham Yoga YouTube channel. It’s a bit quick but the instructor encourages you to slow down if you’re unable to get into some of the poses. The exercise is exhilarating and will even help you get in better shape.
WRITE IN A JOURNAL TO HELP PROCESS YOUR THOUGHTS.
Journaling is a great way to reflect and gather your thoughts before you start your day. You can write about anything you want because your journal is a blank slate.
I like to start with writing what I'm grateful for. You can also write down what you are feeling or any issues that come into your mind. When you write, you don't have to hold back. Just keep your pen flowing until you can't think of anything else to write about.
You can look back on what you wrote to see if there are any changes in your mood or thought patterns over time.
READ A BOOK TO GENTLY STIMULATE YOUR MIND.
You can open up a book, or listen to the recording of one, as part of your morning routine. I don't recommend reading anything on social media, the internet, or the news, because they can be distracting and you may have trouble stepping away from it.
Reading sparks your imagination, which can gently stimulate your brain in the morning. You can start by reading a couple pages a day or listen to an audiobook for 5 minutes.
Consistency, not volume, is key to maintaining this habit. Before you know it, you’ll finish reading a book and the knowledge you gain will be priceless.
PRACTICE MINDFULNESS FOR MORE BALANCE.
Mindfulness, from the MBSR model, is a perfect way to start your day because it can help you stay balanced and focused. There are several ways to practice this method. The most common is meditation. There is also the walking and eating meditation.
Another method, which intersects philosophy, spirituality, and practicality, is the 5 mindfulness trainings, based on Buddhist teachings.
Studies have shown numerous health benefits of mindfulness practices such as reduction in stress and increase in wellbeing. The simplest way to practice is a 5-minute meditation each day.
Find a comfortable sitting position and make sure you won't be disturbed for the full five minutes. Then focus with your eyes slightly open on a fixed spot or close them. If your mind wanders, you can redirect your mind on your breath or on a fixed spot.
Continue this until your 5 minutes are complete and remember to practice every day. Over time, you will be able to meditate for longer stretches.
A healthy morning routine can make a big impact on the rest of your day. It can also help support a healthy mind and body. The best approach is to adopt one healthy habit at a time. This will set the tone not just for your morning, but for the rest of your life.
I would love to read your feedback. Please let me know if you have any questions, tips, or comments down below.