Morning routines are important, right? Asking about a person’s morning ritual is like asking if they ate breakfast. It doesn’t matter when you eat breakfast or when you start your morning routine; rather, it matters more so that you partake in both. So, how do you start your morning?
Studies show that 80% of people check their phone within the first 15 minutes of waking. This habit can result in triggering stress responses and inability to prioritize tasks throughout the day. In fact, those who check their phones in the morning may suffer from decreased productivity. As writer and founder of Wealthwise, Jari Roomer says: “Immediately, external stimuli are pulling for your attention, giving you no time and space to start your day calmly.”
Reason 1: Increased Productivity & Improved Mood
Rather than checking your phone, exposing yourself to sunlight, having breakfast, journaling, or a light workout can help increase energy and generate momentum for productivity later in the day. Incorporating a few of these activities into your morning routine can result in increased energy and serotonin and norepinephrine production, both of which help the body become more resilient to stressors. Morning activities that provide the most energy and positivity are:
- Morning Run
- Writing ‘To-Do’ Lists
Reason 2: Reduced Stress
Morning routines usually coincide with a gratitude practice and nourishment. Gratitude practices can help promote feelings of happiness, a sense of belonging, and contentment. Gratitude can also help one appreciate living in the moment, rather than hyperfocusing on regrets of the past and expectations of the future; therefore, reducing symptoms of stress, anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues.
Properly nourishing the body within an hour of waking is important for managing mood fluctuations and maintaining energy throughout the day. Some mental health experts say eating a proper breakfast is one of the most important aspects of a morning routine:
“licensed mental health counselor Nicole Urdang, MS, NCC, DHM recommends getting something to eat. “Eating something within an hour or so of rising brings your blood sugar level up and prevents crankiness. You’ve been fasting all night. Eating something, especially something with complex carbs, fat and protein, will not only improve your mood, but will give you an energy boost to carry you through your morning activities,” she explains.”
Reason 3: Integration Healthy Habits
A morning routine can act as time reserved just for your needs. It is time to feed the mind, body, and soul unique to your experience. In this way, morning routines can assist in building healthy habits for your lifestyle. Research suggests that morning routines, and routines more generally, aid in cultivating the discipline necessary for consistency in fostering healthy relationships, eating healthy, exercising, personal hygiene, among other aspects of self maintenance. Furthermore, experts specify the importance of different types of routines and their impact on our health:
“Primary routines are behaviors necessary for maintaining livelihood and biological needs, such as hygiene, sleep, and eating. Secondary routines reflect individual circumstances, motivations and preferences, and include exercising, leisure/social activities, and practices associated with work or study, including keeping oneself on time and meeting goals and targets. […] Because primary routines regularize the overall structure of daily living, disruption and termination of primary routines have a more pivotal role in mental health during acute stress.”
Incorporating a morning routine into daily life serves as a proactive measure against physical and mental maladies. Finding a routine that works best for you is key. Although this article provides basic information on why having a routine is important, listening to your body and emotions is the first step toward understanding what should be included in your morning routine. Often suffer from body aches? Try yoga. Scattered mind in the morning? Try having a nutritious breakfast and creating a to-do list for the day. Starting your morning off right can keep the momentum going for the rest of your life.