It doesn’t matter whether your day starts at 5:30 a.m. or if you’re a night owl who likes to sleep in. To start your day off right, you must develop — and stick to — a solid morning routine.
But the truth is, most advice on how to start your day tends to be conflicting. Especially if you look to influencers or celebrities for suggestions on how to establish healthy morning habits.
So, if you’re tired of all the noise and want to start adopting healthy (and realistic) morning habits to start your day off, here are the best tips on how to perfect your routine.
Set a Consistent Sleep Routine
What time do you go to bed and when do you wake up every morning? How often do you hit the snooze button? Do you give yourself permission to sleep in on the weekends?
Although these questions may seem silly, science shows that the key to getting a good night’s rest is to sleep on the type of mattress that suits your sleeping style while going to bed and waking up at the same time each day.
Consistency in this regard is crucial because observing the same bedtime and wake up time sets up your circadian rhythm, making it easier to fall asleep at night, improving sleep quality, and allowing you to turn something that can be torturous (like getting up for work on a Friday) into something you do automatically.
The one thing to note here is that you don’t have to be in by 10pm and up at 6 a.m. every morning. Instead, choose a time that works for your body and lifestyle and stick to it as closely as possible — even on weekends and days off.
Ignore Your Phone and Email
The second morning habit you should try adopting is to ignore your phone upon waking — at least for a little bit.
Instead of starting your day by looking at work emails or scrolling social media, try to develop a routine that allows you to wake up in peace — without spiking your cortisol or dopamine levels.
Before reaching for your smartphone, drink a tall glass of water to hydrate your body. Do your skincare routine and put on sunscreen to protect your skin from aging. And if you want to be extra, consider doing a short meditation, a bit of stretching, or journaling to reflect on the day ahead.
According to science, there’s a simple morning habit anyone can adopt to build a healthier lifestyle: going outside to get some sunlight exposure within 30 minutes of waking up.
Research shows that getting morning sunlight exposure effectively regulates the circadian rhythm. On top of that, it improves cognitive function, which is a pretty sweet benefit of an activity that’s relatively easy.
While morning exercise may not be everyone’s cup of tea, there’s something about doing a bit of movement right after waking up that really helps you start your day off right.
Of course, if going to the gym first thing in the morning isn’t your idea of the perfect day, you don’t have to go all out with exercise during this part of the day. But do try to do at least some gentle movement to wake your body up — whether it’s a walk around the block or a bit of yoga.
And if you find that getting your blood pumping in the a.m. does feel good, find ways to set yourself up for success by ensuring that your body is fuelled for strength training or cardio. Leave the big breakfast for after your workout. Consider adding a pre-workout supplement — like L-theanine and caffeine — to your routine so that you are energized and focused during your gym session.
Do Something Productive (Even if It’s Easy)
Finally, the last morning habit to start your day off right is to set yourself up for success by doing something productive after waking up.
You don’t have to tackle your entire to-do list before you’ve entered the office. But simple routines, like making your bed, emptying the dishwasher, or even just doing your skincare can give you that much-needed sense of accomplishment. These easy habits will allow you to feel good about yourself and they’ll help prevent excessive feelings of stress.
Whether you’re an early bird or a night owl, developing a morning routine that works for you can be a great way to invest in your physical and mental health.
As you can see, the five morning habits discussed in this article won’t take up too much of your energy. However, you can rest assured that adopting these practices can have a positive effect on how your day goes.
So experiment with these morning habits, see whether they fit into your schedule, and allow yourself to start your day off right. After all, there’s nothing to lose by doing these things, while the benefits may just be life-changing.