A Morning Routine Checklist To Start Your Day off Right
What you do when you first wake up helps set the tone for the rest of your day. A consistent morning routine can help reduce stress, improve your mood, enhance your health, and set you up for a more successful, productive and healthy day. While your mornings should be personalized to fit your lifestyle and needs, this morning routine checklist can help you create and maintain a regular morning schedule that boosts your energy and sets up your mind and body to have a good day.
Benefits of a Morning Routine
One simple definition of routine is doing the same things in the same order every time. When you incorporate routines into your daily life, you reap a number of benefits you may not realize.
- Routines help ensure that you don’t forget something important, like the keys to your office or your morning meds.
- They help you organize your environment and your mind, making it easier to navigate the rest of your day.
- They can help reduce your stress levels by cutting down on the number of decisions you have to make.
- Starting your day off with a routine helps you feel in control of your day, making it easier to get to your daily tasks.
These benefits accrue whether your morning routine includes a high-intensity workout, a half hour of writing, or twenty minutes of meditation. Simply having and following a regular routine helps you be more focused, less stressed, and better able to face the day.
Create a Morning Routine Checklist
Checklists are innately satisfying. It feels good to tick off each task as you finish it, giving you a little boost of self-confidence and cementing your routine just a little more firmly into your life. This list isn’t a be-all and end-all, but it’s a good starting point of practices that can help you start your days off with a healthy mindset.
1. Plan for the Morning before Bed
By getting yourself set up for the morning before you go to bed at night, you reduce morning friction and tension. Lay out your clothes for the next day. Set up your coffee maker so all you have to do is hit the start button. Set your alarm and put it out of easy reach. Check your schedule for the next day and get everything together and ready to grab and go on your way out the door.
2. Get a Good Night’s Rest
One of the most important things you can do for your physical and mental health is to get a good night’s sleep. A consistent bedtime can help ensure you sleep well during the night. Cannabinoids like CBD and CBN support high quality rest so that you wake up feeling rested and refreshed.
3. Avoid the Snooze Button
It’s tempting to hit the snooze button for an extra 15 minutes of sleep, but research says that hitting the snooze button can actually make you sleepier and interfere with your body’s natural wake-up rhythm. If you’re not ready to leave the cozy cocoon of blankets just yet, try spending a few minutes stretching, going over your day in your mind, or practicing some creative visualization.
4. Stretch and Relax
Stretching gets the blood flowing to your muscles and joints, which can help reduce any stiffness or pain, and it prepares your body for the day. Beth Frates, M.D., of Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital notes that stretching can turn on the parasympathetic system, putting you in a more relaxed and calm state as you start your day.
5. Drink Water
After six to eight hours of sleep, your body is likely to be mildly dehydrated. Drinking a glass or two of water when you wake up will help rehydrate you. It also sends a signal to your brain and nervous system that you’re awake, which increases your metabolism and prepares your body for the increased amount of energy you’ll need.
6. Eat a Healthy Breakfast
Eating a healthy breakfast gives your body the fuel it needs to get things done. When you skip breakfast, your body goes into energy conservation mode, making you feel less energetic and sapping your concentration. Eating a healthy breakfast, on the other hand, is associated with better physical and mental health. A recent research review found that people who habitually skipped breakfast were more likely to report depression, stress and psychological distress.
7. Turn on the Lights
Light sends a message to the body that it’s time to wake up. When it’s time to wake up, open the curtains and let the sunlight in. If you use any type of home automation, set it to turn on the lights as part of your wake-up routine.
8. Get Physical
Mornings are a good time to fit in some kind of physical activity. Hit the gym, take a walk, or do a morning yoga routine to wake up your muscles and get some endorphins flowing.
9. Avoid Screen Time
Stay away from email, social media and phone messages first thing in the morning. They can distract you and draw you into a loop of reacting to what you read. Instead, keep the focus on preparing yourself and your mind for the day.
10. Focus on the Positive
Start your morning on a positive note. Spend a few minutes with some positive affirmations, or reflect on the good things you can do with your day. Turn on music that makes you feel upbeat and happy, spend some time reading for enjoyment, or write in your journal.
11. Plan Your Day
Make a plan for the rest of your day, focusing on priorities and setting up time blocks to keep you on track. Organizing your day at the start can help you stay focused and accomplish the things that are important to you.
When you incorporate healthy, calming and energizing practices into your morning routine, you’re setting yourself up to have a good day. These 11 tips can help you create a morning routine checklist that works with your lifestyle and helps you get every day off to the best start.
Deb Powers is a freelance writer who has been writing about wellness topics for nearly 20 years. Her work has appeared on Civilized.Life and on numerous industry websites and publications.
- American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine – The Importance of Creating Habits and Routine
- Healthline – How to Wake Up Happy and On Time
- National Alliance on Mental Illness – The Power of a Morning Routine
- Business Insider – 7 Things You Can Do at Night to Make Your Morning Routine Easier
- Sleep Medicine Reviews – Sleep Inertia
- South Dakota State University Extension – Benefits of Stretching
- Harvard Health – Try These Stretches Before You Get Out of Bed
- Healthline – 16 Reasons Why Water Is Important to Human Health
- Nutritional Neuroscience – Breakfast Consumption and Mental Health