Morning routines are a set of activities you accomplish every day from the moment you wake up until the moment you transition to work.
This prime ritual can set the tone for your day. According to the National Alliance of Mental Illness, “Having a morning routine can increase your energy, productivity and positivity”. Sticking to a few morning rituals day after day helps with decision fatigue.
Furthermore the Therapy Group of NYC have discovered that daily routines can prevent substance abuse, manage symptoms of mental disorders, and broadly benefit mental health.
So How Do You Create a Meaningful Morning Routine?
Every morning routine is unique and specific to each individual. It’s a singular moment to focus on yourself and practice self care in various ways before the agitation of the day. There is no right or wrong way to do it
A meaningful morning routine should be built according to your personality, identity, needs and personal goals. Do you need stimulation? Calm? Connection?
Here’s a few ideas on how to use these prime hours of your day that are free and unclaimed.
Don’t try to experiment them all, just pick a few and start where you are at.
The Routine Before the Morning Routine
The preparation of your morning routine starts the night before.
Try to avoid the following habits
- Alcohol, drinking could prevent you from falling into deeper sleep and lead to sleep issues.
- Exercising, cardiovascular effort increases your body temperature and prevents the natural body process of “cooling off” that helps us fall asleep.
- Eating just before sleeping presents the same issues as exercise as it raises our body temperature.
- Working late, and the stress caused by it could also negatively affect your sleep.
- Screens, at least one hour before sleep , turn off all electronic devices.
Instead, wind down with some calming habits to signal your body it’s time for bed
- Lower the lights in your apartment and light candles,
- Read a book,
- Drink herbal tea,
- Take a warm shower with relaxing essential oils such as lavender,
- Sleep long enough, between 6 and 8 hours ideally.
Rituals for a Meaningful Morning Routine
- Take a moment to gaze, wake up gently, slowly bring yourself into the world,
- Be present in your body and feel gratitude,
- Avoid your phone, try not to look at your phone first thing in the morning and keep it in airplane mode,
- Hydrate, drink a big glass of water or choose the hot water with lemon alternative,
- Check it on yourself, how do you feel today?
- Set intentions and goals for the day,
- Meditate, to quiet your mind and be present
- Expose yourself to natural light,
- Journal and let your thoughts flow freely,
- Go for a walk, stretch or exercise to get the blood flow, study shows that individuals who exercise are usually more creative and productive for the 2 hours following the exercise, and in general less stressed out.
- Walk your dog, pet your cat or bunny,
- Care for your plants,
- Pamper your skin with a hydrating mask,
- Play an instrument,
- Listen to a podcast or a playlist,
- Read to stimulate your brain,
- Declutter your space: make your bed or empty the dishwasher.
While there is not one perfect morning routine, everyone can craft a morning routine based on mindfulness and adapted to its lifestyle.
What are your favorite rituals to start the day meaningfully?
Melanie Manard is the founder of The Conscious Insider, a digital platform for sustainable and ethical lifestyle. You can usually find her reading, cooking or riding her bike.