Is your idea of a morning routine hitting the snooze button three times and then dragging yourself out of bed in just enough time to slide into work as the clock strikes 9:00 a.m.? You may get some extra sleep, but let’s be honest: A frantic race to work, whether at home or in the office, is probably not the best way to start off a productive day.
“Yeah, sorry—I will never be a ball of energy in the morning,” you might say. To which we would reply: You don’t have to be. All you need in order to find a routine that sets you up for success is to find a routine that suits you. And we have some tips to help you do just that.
You don’t need to bound out of bed at 4:00 a.m., exercise for an hour, meditate and whip up a nutritious fruit-and-veggie smoothie to create a productive morning routine. Just aim to start your day in a more intentional way that will help you feel in control of your day rather than letting the day control you. Here are some simple suggestions to get you started (literally):
Some advance planning for the day—When you know the evening before what you need to accomplish the next day, from getting kids off to school to the work meetings on your schedule, you can prevent meltdowns and stress that result from rushing from one thing to the next. You don’t have to plan down to the minute; just have a handle on what’s coming and when.
A consistent bedtime and wake-up time—Even if it’s not possible to stick to it every day, a fixed sleeping and waking schedule can help reset your internal clock and set you up for restful sleep (without the snooze button). You’ll likely also find that you have more energy during the day.
A few morning stretches—Morning exercise isn’t for everyone. But you don’t need to do a full circuit in a gym. A few gentle stretches when you get out of bed (with a glass of water beforehand for hydration) will help warm up your joints and muscles, get the blood flowing, and get your body revved up for the day ahead.
A decent breakfast—Not eating in the morning can make your metabolism sluggish and set you up for a low-energy day. (If you exercise in the mornings, eat something small first to fuel your body—e.g., an apple with a bit of nut butter.) Be sure to work with your dietary needs and preferences to come up with a selection of breakfast choices that contain some fiber and protein to keep you going strong.
These are only suggestions to get you started. You may choose other activities, like a 10-minute snuggle with your family, making your bed every day or taking a morning walk. The most important thing to remember is that the only way a routine will stick is if it works for you and your lifestyle—not for the fitness magazines, not for the morning show talk gurus and not for your favorite Instagram influencer. For YOU.
Some days will be easy, while other days you may face a screaming toddler or a cat with a queasy stomach that will send your schedule right out the window. But hang in there. Start small, and if something isn’t working, consider switching it up a bit. We have faith that you’ll find a morning routine that works for you!
Of the many things America does well, taking vacation time isn’t always one of them.
People do lots of things during the summer—take vacations, grill in the backyard, attend ball games and go to the beach, among other pursuits.
Ahh, summer. Those long, lovely, lazy days are almost here—and for many of us, that means one thing: Lots and lots of beach or backyard reading.