Morning Routine Ideas
Happiness throughout the day
The best morning routine is the one that’s perfectly tailored to you. Creating a routine of healthy habits that you can follow in a 40-60 minute window will aid your mental health, physical health and personal growth. Be sure to follow these morning routine ideas for health and happiness.
Here is My Morning Routine: 20 Proven Tips for Mental Health Happiness
In today’s blog I am going to share with you my top 20 proven tips for a successful morning routine.
Every single one of us can relate to the feeling of being without a healthy morning routine that sets us up for success. Most of us know how it feels even worse to try out a new morning schedule, and for one reason, or a few, it fails. As a result, we feel like we have failed, all within the first hour or so of waking up – definitely not what we were going for as we were optimistically drafting up our new morning routine checklist.
The difference between today’s blog and many of the articles you read online that emphasize success (as if success is defined the same by every person) is that this blog prioritizes your happiness. I advise creating a morning routine based on steps for mental health happiness because you may find that a routine that prioritizes this over “success” sets you up better for a day filled with more wins anyway – of all kinds. What exactly those wins are is up to you to define.
So, you can call it whatever you want to call it – a successful morning routine, a healthy morning routine, a good morning routine, the best morning routine – the point is that a morning routine that works for you won’t look the same as the next person, and that’s okay. My morning routine that addresses my mental health needs won’t look the same as your routine for morning depression or anxiety, and that’s okay. What matters is that you have one, and you have plenty of options to create it.
While every one of us knows what it’s like to lack a positive morning routine or to fail at following through with one, it’s those that dare to fail, time and time again, who eventually find something that sticks because they have weeded out the things that don’t – the things that don’t resonate with them and help them start their day off on the highest possible note.
It wasn’t until I not only failed over and over but started getting real with myself about what I needed for my morning routine and my mental health that the tips I applied came together into a routine that finally stuck. I’m here to help you cultivate a start to your day that empowers and aligns with you and your goals and needs. Soon you’ll be proud to call it “my morning routine,” and not just proud because of your newfound success but proud because you made the critical choice to carve out a piece of each day for yourself.
How do I start a morning routine?
Starting a morning routine is a matter of writing it down step-by-step, which will save you time and questioning that can contribute to anxiety. Of course, it will take some time for your steps to become habitual, but writing it down in order is the best way to start.
What is a good morning routine?
A good morning routine is one that addresses all your needs, whether mental, physical, emotional, or spiritual. All of these are important, and ideally, your morning routine checklist will include elements that address more than one at once, especially if you don’t have time for them all (and who does?).
Over time your morning routine will need to adapt as you change and grow. Parts of your morning routine that were necessary at the beginning will be switched out for new areas that feed your desire to focus on, and this is okay.
Below is the very first routine I put together in 2018 after my father passed away, without this routine I wouldn’t be in the position of growth I am today.
The mental health side of creating a morning routine
When your day starts with morning depression, it can really set a sad tone for the entire day ahead. There was a time in my life when I just couldn’t accept a life of living with the overwhelming depression I had. I always knew that our morning moods and mindsets could be key factors for how we feel the rest of the day, which is why I became curious about how much of an impact a morning routine could have on my morning mood. That curiosity eventually turned to hopefulness once I started making decisions to support my self-care and feel less stressed.
The other aspect of a morning routine that’s enabled me to feel calmer is that I repeat it daily, so I don’t experience anxiety or waste time wondering what to do next. Once these steps or healthy habits become like second nature, you’ll feel much less scrambled in the morning.
I’ve learned over time that willpower can become harder and harder to maintain as the day goes on. This means it becomes easier and easier not to make the best decisions for ourselves and our well-being. It also becomes easier to skip important “appointments” we’ve made for ourselves and our self-care. It’s important to accomplish some healthy steps for our mental health first thing in the morning before enough time passes by to make excuses. A morning routine founded on self-care and mental health happiness is like restoring our personal energy reserve. You might find a healthy morning routine makes you feel like you have a bit more to give throughout the day.
All that said, it’s important to start small and build up from there. I mentioned, in the beginning, a bit about how “failing” can make you feel like a failure, and more often than not, routines fail because we try to add in too many steps.
Start with one or two things, get familiar with them, notice how they make you feel. After some time, you will be able to tell if you need to expand on them, replace them for something else more helpful, or adjust them in any ways necessary before adding more to your plate. You might be surprised at how making one seemingly small task into a habit can encourage you to keep creating more, but there’s no need to rush it – enjoy the process.
What should my morning routine be?
Your morning routine should include habits that fit your lifestyle, needs, and goals. For instance, you don’t have to do a 6 a.m. fitness class if that’s just not in the cards for you. Create one that grounds and revitalizes you, setting a firm foundation for the day ahead.
What is the best routine for a day?
The best routine for a day is one developed around mindful, deliberate, and purposeful choices as to where you will focus your energy and time. Your best routine is one that you are in control of and doesn’t involve other people or things setting the tone for you.
My 20 Mental Health Morning Routine Ideas
There’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all morning routine for success and happiness, so consider the following a la carte options for you. Choose what makes sense and seems the most helpful for you, keeping a thoughtful eye out on your energy levels as you get used to completing your morning ritual. The completion should leave you feeling calm yet energized to take on the day.
Wakeup with a plan
The start of your morning routine must begin the night before by creating a path for success the instant you wake up. Waking up at the same time, Monday through Friday will allow your body to find a happy rhythm. Also, having a regular waking time will force you to take more control of when you go to sleep. Don’t hit the snooze button!
Buy a stand-alone alarm clock instead of using your phone alarm. When you use your phone, it’s easy to say, “I’ll give IG a quick peek and then get off.”
Don't look at your phone
Leave your phone on the charger until your whole routine is complete. This may be 15 minutes at the early stages of putting together your routine or 60 minutes. The idea is not to allow the stress of social media, emails, or anything else to spike your angst or derail your focus.
The best practice to make sure this happens is to leave you phone plugged in across from your bed or in a different room completely.
Grounding is a practice that can help with your anxiety and stress levels. Even though you have just woken, you may already be on ‘edge.’ Take a few moments and practice this technique.
Before getting out of bed, slowly rise up and let your feet touch the ground. Stay here for a few moments, noticing how it feels to be supported.
Make Your bed
Start each morning off with an easy win. Making your bed should take only 30 seconds max! Unless you have a Gravity Blanket, to help calm your stress and anxiety while you sleep, then I admit it might take a bit long to smooth out the weighted blanket.
The idea behind making your bed is so you can get that positive feedback of accomplishing a task within five minutes of waking up. Positive vibes are contagious, get the ball rolling right away.
I have used a Gravity Blanket for a few years now to help me sleep better. I first started using it when I was riddled with anxiety and depression, which affected my sleep immensely. With the use of this blanket and other tools I was able to change my sleep from 5 hours with seven or more wake-ups to over 7 hours and waking up less than two times each night. I wrote this Gravity Blanket Review for anyone interested in purchasing one.
Take a cold shower
This probably sounds a little crazy, but there is a good reason for this. When I was depressed, I kept thinking I couldn’t beat it. Whenever depression or anxiety took over my body, it stuck around until it decided to leave. When I chose to finish my hot shower with a blast of cold water for 30 seconds, the same feeling of anxiety and fear came over me.
The big difference was that I had a set time limit for this feeling, and I knew that I would win if I could last 30 seconds. Add this to your routine so you too can purposefully add anxiety into your life and prove to yourself every morning that you can overcome it.
Wash your face
Well, you guys know all about me and my cold showers by now, but they’re not for everyone. Following a skincare routine is a great way to get grounded through self-care, even if all it involves is some face wash followed by SPF moisturizer. Plus, it’s refreshing to at least splash your face with cold water, and it feels nice knowing you’re removing all the dirt, pollutants, and dead skin from that charming face of yours.
Drink lemon water
Drinking hot lemon water helps regulate natural bowel movements. Our gut’s health status can correlate with our mental health happiness. Before you grab that coffee, put this in your system to get things warmed up.
Get outside or open up the blinds
As soon as you wake up, welcome in some natural sunlight. Your internal clock is regulated by light exposure, and the biggest, brightest, and most powerful of these light sources is the sun!
For the first year of meditating during my morning routine, I would sit in the quiet of the morning with my eyes closed (sometimes open) and allow myself to take in the sounds around me while focusing on the moment. You don’t need to be perfect. You just need to try.
Welcome the quiet time and be at peace with yourself for a few minutes. If you need help getting started, we looked at both the Calm App and Headspace meditation apps.
Wim Hoff breathing
Wim Hoff is leading the movement in a lot of practices that we can do by ourselves that will strengthen our mental will and overall health. One of them being the Wim Hoff Breathing Method which improves your energy level and reduce stress levels with a focused breathing technique for 5-10 minutes. Check out Wim’s full instructions to practice this properly.
Attitude of gratitude
The morning is a great time to allow yourself to think about all that you are grateful for. Take this quite time to sift through the good and the bad that is happening in your life at this moment, and bring forth the things that make a smile cross your face.
Take the time to say them outloud, bring them into reality to prove to yourself that you recognize there is an area to be happy about in your life. Another practice you can do at this time is bring to light a few morning affirmations.
Coffee or tea
Instead of hopping onto the Starbucks app or popping a pod into your coffee maker, allow the process of making your first coffee or tea to add a therapeutic value to your morning routine. Grab the tools needed allow yourself to create your drink from start to finish, taking pleasure in the time it takes. There is also value in learning how to be patient as we wait for perfection.
Taking a few minutes of your morning to write down all the thoughts in your head before the day starts is a valuable tool. Being mindful of what affected you yesterday and coming up with a plan to address it the next time it happens will help your mental health struggles.
Find a journal that connects with you and use it solely for your morning journaling. You can put anything into the journal, but a few things I write on are:
- Positive things that happened the day before
- Negative things that I can change that happened the day before
- What is on my schedule today
- A particular emotional event that occurred the day before
Reading at night is great, especially if you have anxiety because it can help you fall asleep. But that means you might not always get very far. It’s a different feeling reading in the morning – great for your mental health because it takes your brain on a creative detour. Or, if your reading preferences are more in the inspirational realm, you can acquire new insights that could alter the course of your day and, ultimately, your life.
Do a puzzle to help get your brain moving and centered at the same time. It doesn’t have to be a complicated crossword puzzle, but maybe you do a Wordsearch. Or, set a timer to spend a few minutes working on your beach scene or cozy cabin jigsaw puzzle. Puzzles can be quite therapeutic.
Morning stretch routine
Exercise isn’t for everyone in the morning, but we are all capable of doing one or two stretches. But even if (or especially if) exercise were for everyone, we should definitely be stretching beforehand. If you want to feel more grounded, try one or two static stretches. If you want to energize your body and mind, do some dynamic stretches.
Your first movement of the day doesn’t have to be anything high intensity. While there are many morning exercisers out there showing us up, many people prefer to wait until the afternoon or evening for anything more upbeat after their bodies have had the day to warm up. That said, it still helps you feel happier and more focused if you get your blood flowing in the morning, so consider 10-20 minutes of a grounding activity like yoga or Pilates.
Cuddle your pet
Elevate your mood from the moment you wake by doing something your pet also loves – cuddling. Hugging increases your serotonin and oxytocin levels, but if you don’t have a pet, hug a family member or your spouse. If you don’t have one of those either, maybe hug your roommate? This doesn’t have to be weird, right? Just make sure they know what’s coming and why.
Eat a real breakfast of superfoods like eggs and berries. This will fuel your mind as much as it does your body. Be conscious of what you put into your body at this time, eating a heavy meal or something that is loaded with sugar will do the opposite of waking your gut and brain up. These types of meals will slow you down as your body works hard to digest it.
Seek daily inspiration
Inspiration is everywhere, and I’m sure by now there is at least one person on Instagram or a YouTuber you follow that you could afford to learn more from. Maybe there is a blogger you like, so you sign up for a daily email newsletter you can read for inspiration. This tip is a broad one because it could be anything – maybe it’s someone who is into fitness that inspires you to get moving, or someday you want to travel more, so you watch a travel YouTube video that inspires and excites you.
My Morning Routine Conclusion
I hope this has helped give you some ideas to put together a ‘my morning routine’ of your own.
Did one of the morning routine ideas above stand out to you? Leave it in the comments below, I would love to hear which you chose to start your morning routine with.
If your still looking for some guidance, I created a Free Morning Routine Course with a PDF file to help you plan your routine out for optimal success. Just click the link above and sign up for the free 10 step email course.