Wellness » The Importance of Establishing a Morning Routine

The Importance of Establishing a Morning Routine

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We get it: Not everyone is a morning person. While some people love to get up at the crack of dawn to get the most out of every waking hour, others struggle to get out of bed no matter how many times they’ve snoozed their alarm. Meanwhile, some people are night owls, finding that they’re most productive after traditional working hours have long since passed. 

Regardless of where you sit on the spectrum, you can – and should – create a morning routine that helps mentally prepare you for the day ahead. Whether this means that you get in a full cardio and strength training workout or simply take time for some mindful moments while eating breakfast or sipping coffee, creating a routine can help you reframe your mind to function better throughout the day. 

What is a morning routine?

In theory, everyone has a morning routine — even if you don’t formally call it that. The act of waking up, showering, grooming, getting dressed, and heading to work or school falls under the category of a routine. However, these activities can feel automatic rather than intentional. So, consciously creating a routine may make your mornings (and your entire day) seem more purposeful. 

A good morning routine doesn’t have to be time-intensive, but it does require that you be intentional. More importantly, you’re the architect of your own life — so the routine that works for you doesn’t have to be what your favorite social media guru uses. For example, you might opt for morning meditation, taking a few device-free moments before you start work, or even simply spending some time connecting with a significant other or child before you officially start your day.

Rethinking productivity

It’s no secret that many Americans live in a hyper-connected, nonstop world where “hustle culture” is not only glorified but has permeated almost every aspect of life. We’re constantly admonished for not learning how to capitalize on and monetize our passions. Even parents are often subtly shamed for not enrolling their children in multiple activities to ensure that their kids are well-rounded and productive. 

Meanwhile, creating a genuine work-life balance by establishing and adhering to boundaries is still viewed as revolutionary in a working world where being available during paid time off is often still expected. However, hustle culture and its glorification of nonstop grinding towards a future goal (usually centered around financial success) can be counterproductive. Research has shown that the endless pursuit of enhanced productivity by maximizing every waking hour almost exclusively results in burnout, loneliness, stress, exhaustion, feelings of low self-worth, and poor mental health in general. 

Why morning routines are essential

Coffee, phone, planner, and book on a table

Even if you want to give it a prettier name, research supports the idea that productivity can be enhanced with a morning routine. This is because it helps you focus your mind, which enables you to delegate, prioritize tasks, and avoid decision fatigue. 

How to create a morning routine

The biggest thing to remember when creating a morning routine is that it doesn’t have to be complex. In truth, the more complicated you make it, the less likely you are to stick with it beyond a few days. Your routine should include activities that you’ll look forward to. Likewise, be sure that you give yourself enough time to complete your routine by waking up a little earlier if necessary. 

Consider some of the following simple activities that can be incorporated into a morning routine: 

  • Listen to music. Whether it’s K-pop, trap, gong chimes, or upbeat dance tunes that get your blood pumping, listening to music can improve your mood and prepare you to greet the day. 
  • Exercise. You don’t need to engage in a HIIT exercise just to have a routine. While there’s nothing wrong with that type of intense workout, you can just as easily opt for yoga or a walk around the neighborhood.
  • Eat breakfast. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day — it’s hard to be productive when you’re distracted by a grumbling belly. 
  • Skip the screen time. In a hyper-connected world, it’s good to give your devices a rest. Take a few moments in the morning to let your mind wander or focus on the tasks ahead.
  • Practice mindfulness. Mindfulness doesn’t always have to be meditation. Maybe you’ll use the time to journal or simply enjoy a few moments in the sun before you head to work.   

Slow down to be more productive

Morning routines are meant to slow you down so that you can be more intentional. They help to clear your mind and allow you to focus when it’s time to work. While no two morning routines may look alike, they all support improved mindfulness and a reduction in stress or anxiety. Just remember to create a morning routine that’s compatible with your interests, time, and personality, ensuring you’ll be able to stick to it over time.