6 Ways to Build a Better Morning Routine
A wellness expert shares her magical morning tips
There are lots of ways to practice self-care—a relaxing bath or shower, an afternoon with a favorite book, drinking chamomile tea — but here’s one that might surprise you: an effective morning routine, one that you stick to daily. It’s a way to bring together several wellness practices simultaneously, and it can help you stick to healthy habits, too. Plus, it can really, truly set your day up for success.
Dana Kofsky, Wellness Stylist, agrees. Through Wellness Styled, she supports people by helping them foster habits that create the life they desire. And morning routines definitely fall into that category.
She says, “The most successful people have some sort of routine in their lives even if they don’t know they do. Starting your day off with a good routine will help set the tone for the day. Think of it as setting your intention for what you want to see happen. There are fundamentals to establishing a morning routine.”
She outlines those fundamentals here, practices that can act as building blocks to a morning routine that’s beneficial to the mind, body, and soul.
When your eyes first flutter open in the morning, your first thought might be, Where’s my coffee? Your second thought can be the intention you wish to set for your day, visualizing the best possible outcome for the day’s events.
Dana does this through visualization. She says, “I spend a few minutes before I get out of bed visualizing how I want my day to go,” adding, “The way to make an intention into a reality is taking the necessary steps to achieve your desired outcome.” Be clear and concise when visualizing your day and the steps it will take to get there.
Focus on Gratitude
Before your feet hit the floor, take a minute or two to ponder the things you’re thankful for. Dana suggests keeping it simple, and says, “Make a list in your head of what you’re most grateful for.”
These positive thoughts can lead to additional positivity in your day and throughout your life. Dana says, “Everything is possible if you believe that it is. It’s creating positive thoughts around what you’re working on accomplishing.” Instead of focusing on those goals you haven’t yet reached, center your mind each morning on the good things that are already going on in your life.
Another morning practice that can take place even before you get out of bed is stretching. As Dana says, “Before you get out of bed, it’s so good to stretch your body. This helps increase the blood flow and allows your body to move and feel better.” We can’t think of a better way to beat grogginess first thing in the morning.
Eat Something Nourishing
Put away the sugar-coated cereal (even though it’s super-yummy) and pick up some oatmeal, organic fruit, or whip up a smoothie instead. Make sure you’re nourishing your body as a part of your routine each and every morning. Dana says, “Taking the time to fuel your body can help with focus and concentration, creating a more productive day.”
Even if you’re strapped for time each morning (and hitting that snooze button is so tempting), it’s key to get up early enough to break a sweat. It can be as simple as using a yoga app on your phone, pulling up a YouTube video, or even doing a few jumping jacks or running in place.
Dana believes that working out is essential to setting up healthy decisions for the rest of the day. She shares, “Doing this in the morning can help increase optimal choices with food, sustain your energy, help you sleep better, and feel more alive.”
Cool down after your workout and get your mind ready for the rest of your day through meditation. “Spending just a few minutes daily clearing your mind can help you stay present during your day,” Dana says.
It might feel overwhelming to start a new morning routine all at once, but Dana advises taking it step by step, starting with one habit before adding another. And when you do land on your routine, don’t rush through it or think about everything you have to do that day.
Dana says, “Be present when you’re in the routine. When you stay present to the experience and how good it makes you feel, it’s a lot easier to carry that feeling with you throughout your day.”