Morning routines. You’ve probably seen the photos (or reels, if you’re on instagram) of morning routines that start with meditation and end with a hot cup of tea while journaling your intentions for the day. Yes, this is a lovely (albeit idealistic) way to start your day. But if you’re anything like me (hi, I’m a working mom of two kids under the age of four), a successful morning is just getting everyone out the door on time. Bonus if I’ve had a couple of sips of hot coffee!
How you start your day can impact your mood and productivity for the day. And there’s certainly a middle ground between chaos and an hour-long zen session. A morning routine is really just a way to start your day to feel ready to take it on. Here, I’m sharing top tips to make mornings a little less hectic so you can set your day up for success.
It all starts with the night before
A successful morning means a little bit of prep. Anything you can do to get ready for the following day before your head hits the pillow allows more time for yourself in the morning. This might include:
- Making lunches
- Setting out your clothes
- Packing your bag (if you go to an office)
- Pre-setting the coffee
- Prepping breakfast (or creating a plan for it)
Also, getting to bed on time (turn off the TV, stop the scrolling) is key to a feel-good morning.
Put the phone outside of your bedroom
This not only helps support quality sleep (so you’re not scrolling in bed), but it also prevents you from jumping right into emails or social media upon waking. If you use your phone as an alarm, try setting some boundaries for yourself for when you start opening up those apps.
Be realistic with your alarm
If you’re a snoozer, make sure you’re setting the alarm for early enough to snooze a few times and still get up on time without having to rush out the door. Overestimate the amount of time it takes you to get ready by five to ten minutes, especially if you find yourself constantly rushing.
Know what you need to feel centered
Do you need 10 minutes to yourself to slowly sip coffee or tea or do you prefer to get up before everyone else and knock out a little work so you can ease into the rest of your morning? Or perhaps starting your day with some movement, whether that’s gentle stretching or a HIIT workout, helps your day feel your best. If you’re not sure what works for you, try some of the following to build your ideal morning routine:
- Make the bed
- Take 5 minutes to enjoy a hot or cold beverage of choice such as coffee, tea, lemon water, or green juice
- Write down the top 3 things you want to accomplish during the day — personally or professionally.
- Spend 3-5 minutes either journaling or practicing deep breathing (the calm or headspace apps are helpful guides).
- Enjoy breakfast without distractions
A morning routine can be as simple or intricate as it works for you and your schedule, and it may change from one season to another.
Sarah Gold Anzlovar, MS, RDN, LDN is a registered dietitian, certified intuitive eating counselor, and the owner of Sarah Gold Nutrition, a virtual private practice and nutrition communications consulting business in the suburbs of Boston. She empowers busy women to ditch diets and learn to eat to feel their best without the stress.