9 morning routine ideas to start your day off right

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If your typical morning is a blur of snooze button presses, phone scrolling, and hasty exits, might we suggest something different? Developing a deliberate routine that includes a few healthy habits can make your AMs feel less harassed and, in turn, set the tone for a more mental and productive day.

“Having a morning routine can do wonders for our health and mood,” says a San Francisco Bay Area clinical psychologist. Samia Estrade, PsyD. When people’s typical morning routines were disrupted at the onset of Covid-19, they reported feeling more stressed and exhausted, found a Staff psychology study. The good news? “When people started getting back into a morning routine again, they started to see positive changes,” Estrada says.

Finding a morning rhythm can you feel better too. While figuring out what works best may take some trial and error, these expert-backed ideas are a great place to start.

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Get up a little earlier.

Being an early riser can improve your mood. Getting up an hour earlier has been found to reduce a person’s risk of major depression by 23%, according to a recent JAMA Psychiatry study. More time can mean more opportunities to be mentally present during your morning activities rather than rushing through them, Estrada says.

This could mean paying a Cup of coffee and notice the sensation of the liquid warming your body or stay in bed a few more minutes and soak up the softness of your pillows and sheets. “It’s the art of savoring, rather than the actual activity, that gives you benefits,” she explains.

Open the blinds as soon as possible.

Or if not right away, at least within 20 minutes of waking up, recommend Michael BreusPhD, clinical psychologist and author of Energize yourself!. Morning sun exposure not only helps you feel more awake in the morning, but also promotes better sleep at night.

Direct sunlight triggers cells in your eyes to signal your brain to stop producing melatonin, a sleep-promoting hormone, Breus says. “It also sets a time when melatonin production needs to restart, which will determine when you’ll feel sleepy at night before bed.”

Don’t go straight for your phone.

If you are among the 80 percent of adults who grab their smartphone within 15 minutes of waking up, consider opting out. The overload of information from work email, social media, and the news is overwhelming for your brain when you first wake up, Estrada says. This overload causes your levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, to skyrocket and more easily flood your system throughout the day. This means that you not only feel more harassed when you first get up, but you are subject to more tension throughout the day.

Drink a glass of water.

Do not worry; we’re not saying you should skip your coffee. Start by sipping H20. Even mild dehydration can cause cognition and concentration to plummet, Studies show. And after seven to eight hours without fluids, you’re probably on the brink. “It’s normal to wake up slightly dehydrated,” says New York University assistant professor of nutrition Lisa R. Young, doctorate. “Your body functions through the night without hydrating itself, and even breathing and regulating your body temperature can lead to fluid loss.” If the idea of ​​drinking cold water at first thing sounds awful, a hot cup of herbal tea will also do the trick, says Young.

Make your bed.

Pulling the covers and rearranging the pillows takes two minutes flat. But it can give you a boost of motivation that lasts all day. Surveys show that three-quarters of adults who make their bed in the morning say they still feel fulfilled at the end of the day.

Not that they’re still delighting in their perfectly arranged covers, of course. Making the bed could make you more likely to attack other items on your to-do list. “Doing something productive activates the reward center in our brain. And the brain likes to feel that reward, so it seeks to complete more tasks so that it can be rewarded again and again,” Estrada explains.

Go outside.

Just 10 minutes of sitting or walking outside can give you a wellness boost, found a Frontiers in Psychology exam. Along with getting that boost of energy from sunlight, exposure to natural spaces is linked to better moods, less stress, increased focus, and even a greater ability to be empathetic and cooperative, according to the American Psychological Association.

And if you happen to notice a squirrel munching on a nut or a group of chirping crickets, even better. “Animals and insects typically flee or remain very silent in the face of danger, so it’s theorized that, evolutionarily, we intuitively feel safe when we see or hear them,” Estrada says.

Eat a protein-rich breakfast.

Having a morning meal with protein within two hours of waking up can help keep blood sugar levels stable and keep you from getting too hungry, Young says. As a result, you’ll be less likely to have a sweet mid-morning snack, but that’s not all. Regular breakfast experience lower rates of depression and have best memories compared to those who skip, research shows.

Don’t worry too much about getting a certain number of grams of protein, says Young. Focus only on food choices. Scrambled eggs with whole-grain toast and sliced ​​tomatoes, low-fat cottage cheese or Greek yogurt with fruit, or whole-grain toast with peanut butter and a banana are all healthy, rich choices. in protein.

To move.

You probably already know the near-endless benefits of regular exercise. But scheduling your workout for the morning can have additional benefits. Just 30 minutes of moderate-intensity walking done in the morning can improve cognitive performance throughout the day, found a British Medical Journal of Sports Medicine study of the elderly. AM training might also help burn more fat throughout the day (if done before breakfast) and even sleep better the night.

Lower the shower temperature.

Sometimes a hot shower hits like nothing else. But if you’re up for a challenge, consider turning the faucet on cold for a minute or two. Adults who reported taking hot to cold showers regularly experienced a 29% reduction in sick days compared to those who skipped cold bath sessions, a researcher found. PLoS One study. Experts are still learning about the benefits of cold water therapy, but it’s thought that cold showers could boost your immune system, according to the Cleveland Clinic. (But skip this one if you have heart disease, as the cold water can put extra pressure on your ticker.)

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