Did you know that your stress levels can be at their highest as soon as you wake up?
Yes, mornings can be challenging for a lot of people. Research shows that cortisol, the body’s primary stress hormone, surges when you wake up. This is why most people feel grumpy, anxious, or stressed in the morning.1
However, a healthy morning routine can help you start the day on the right foot.
Giving your body enough rest, hydration, nutrition, and keeping the right mindset in the morning can benefit the rest of your day. It can brighten your mood, give you more energy, calm your mind, and boost productivity.
10 Things To Include In Your Healthy Morning Routine
Here, we listed ten routines you can do in the morning to keep you physically and mentally healthy. We also explained each routine’s reasons and health benefits to you.
So, rise and shine! Try these simple habits that can change the way you face your mornings.
- Let The Sunshine In
- Adjust Your Alarm Clock
- Drink Water
- Eat A Good Breakfast
- Get Moving
- Make A To-Do List
- Reach Out To Loved Ones
- Take A Cold Shower
- Do Something You Enjoy
1. Let The Sunshine In
Studies show that sunlight helps your brain release more serotonin, a hormone that boosts your mood and makes you calm and focused. It also protects you against seasonal depression, reduces stress, keeps you healthy, and can even prolong your life.2
Sunshine can help control your circadian rhythm, your body’s internal clock regulating rest and activity.
During the day, sunshine puts you into wakefulness, giving you more energy. With regular exposure to sunlight, your body learns to produce the sleep hormone melatonin at night, leading to good sleep.
Go for a short walk or bike outside in the morning. If you can’t, let the sunshine in by opening the curtains and window as you start the day.
2. Adjust Your Alarm Clock
Your alarm clock may seem like a modern-day nuisance. However, it can be a good tool to keep your mood and anxiety at bay in the morning if you use it properly.
Set your alarm clock earlier to have more time to prepare. At night, set it at a time that you can sleep early. Practicing good sleeping habits will give your body more time to rest.
Even the sound of your alarm clock matters! A 2020 research shows that it’s better to use soft melodic sounds like instrumental songs, birds chirping, or nature sounds in your alarm clock. It helps your body slowly transition from sleep inertia, or morning grogginess, to a state of wakefulness.3
Read More: Things Not To Do Before You Sleep and Why!
3. Drink Water
By replenishing your body’s hydration, you improve your mood and mental performance. Studies show that proper hydration can boost your memory, attention, and cognitive skills.4
Rehydration also improves your mood, positive thoughts and can keep you away from fatigue. Water fires up your body’s metabolism in the morning, so you feel energized.
4. Eat A Good Breakfast
Breakfast refuels your body’s glucose level, the primary energy source for the body’s cells. It boosts your energy and prepares your brain for wakefulness and alertness.
Studies show that eating a good breakfast leads to good health, better memory and focus, and lower risk for diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and obesity.
You don’t need to eat a big and heavy meal, but it’s best to keep it healthy and varied. You can have small portions of food rich in carbohydrates, fiber, healthy fats, and protein.
5. Get Moving
You can run or bike to enjoy the sunshine. You can also just stay inside and do aerobics, stretching exercises, yoga, or any physical activity you’re confident you can do consistently.
If you’re not into fitness exercises, you can even do household chores like sweeping, cleaning bathrooms, or tidying up the bedrooms. These chores may seem simple, but they can help you break a sweat.
Regular exercise can help boost your energy and control the surge of cortisol hormones in the mornings.
It also calms your mind and keeps your anxiety at bay. It can also improve cognitive functions like better focus, memory, concentration, and decision-making.5
Morning is a good time to clear your mind from anxiety and fill it with positive thoughts. Set the tone of your day by breathing in and creating a positive mindset.
Morning meditation sets a calm and productive tone before the rest of the day’s activities. It helps activate your parasympathetic nervous system, putting you into a deep state of relaxation.
It can improve mood, focus, productivity, and helps your cope with stress and anxiety better.
You can start meditation or follow a gratitude meditation. If you’re more into writing, you can clear your thoughts by keeping a gratitude journal.
7. Make A To-Do List
For many individuals, a to-do list relieves them of the cluttered mind and keeps them focused in the morning.
When you feel agitated with your tasks ahead, write down all the things you need to do along with their deadlines. It can motivate and encourage you throughout the day.
8. Reach Out To Loved Ones
Connecting with your family, peers, or special someone in the morning can be good. Studies show that good relationships can make you live a healthy and longer life.6
Loneliness and isolation are often linked to depression and a higher risk of high blood pressure.
Give your mother or best friend a quick video call in the morning. If you prefer a quiet alone time in the morning, give your friends a short chat greeting.
9. Take A Cold Shower
A cold shower offers more benefits than just waking you up. It also improves your blood circulation, boosts your immunity, and can even help you lose weight.
A cold shower has an anti-depressant effect because it stimulates the sympathetic nervous system, making you more alert and energized. There’s a surge of happy hormones like endorphins in the body when this happens.7
Read More: Cold Shower vs. Hot Shower – What’s Best?
10. Do Something You Enjoy
Whether listening to music, reading a book, playing crosswords, or gardening, doing something you love in the morning can lift your spirits and beat stress.
When you do something you like, there’s a sense of accomplishment that boosts your confidence and self-esteem. If you feel confident, you foster a positive attitude that can improve your overall mental health.
Healthy Morning Routine – In Short
I hope this list will help you jumpstart your morning with ease and less stress! Starting your day with positivity and healthy activities can benefit you mentally, physically, and even spiritually.
Gloria Mitchell, life coach and host of the podcast Living a Phenomenal Life, explained that a healthy morning routine means “being in control of your day instead of your day controlling you.”