How to Craft a Mindful Morning Routine (With Checklist)

Waking up to multiple snooze alarms, rolling out of bed, and scrambling out the door may be what your morning currently looks like, but it’s time to make a productive change. A healthy morning will lead to a healthy day, and following a healthy morning routine will lead to healthy and productive months. Learn how to craft a mindful morning routine that’s designed around your own needs.

We’ll discuss the importance of morning routines, what it takes to build a positive morning routine, and strategies for making your healthy habits stick. Continue to the end of this article for our free downloadable morning routine checklist.


 

The Importance of Healthy Morning Habits

Good daily habits begin as soon as you wake up. This is when you will set the tone for your entire day. You may not even realize how detrimental your scattered mornings have been to your effectiveness and productivity until you develop a healthy morning routine.

Morning Routine Image

A morning self-care routine might seem like a waste of time, especially for those of us who don’t like to wake up early. But the opposite is true. A healthy morning routine will actually end up saving you time because you’ll be able to go through your day with more energy, awareness, and direction. A morning routine designed around your needs will ensure you have time to relax, ready your mind, prepare for the workday, eat a nutritious breakfast, and even do something that’s just for you.

Below we’ll break down the elements of a mindful morning routine that will get your day off to the right start.


 

How to Craft a Mindful Morning Routine

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Design a Routine Around Your Own Needs

There’s no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to morning routines since everyone has different needs in the morning. Some people wake up filled with energy and sunshine in their eyes, while night owls struggle through the first few hours of the day.

What’s important is that you design your routine around your own needs. If you want to spend time with your family every morning, carve out time for that. If it takes you a while in the morning to become fully aware of your surroundings, consider stretching or exercising before you begin your day. If you don’t like eating a big breakfast, choose a big glass of water and a healthy snack instead.

Don't be afraid to experiment. Try new things, track your progress, and make adjustments if something isn’t working for you.

 

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Avoid Technology

If you’re like most people, you spend a great deal of your day on your devices, ready to be distracted by notifications at any moment. Take some time in the morning to unplug before the stress of your workday.

Don’t check your phone as soon as you wake up. Your emails can wait a couple of hours. Plus, you’ll have trouble focusing on yourself and your healthy habits if you check on work first. Put your phone on airplane mode or invest in an alarm clock so that you don’t need to have it nearby throughout the night. If you struggle managing your notifications or are tempted by your phone in the morning, it’s best to keep it out of the bedroom entirely.

Be intentional in the morning about how and when you use technology or allow notifications to interrupt your morning groove.

 

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Drink a Glass of Water First Thing

It’s time for the hydration lecture again. Water is incredibly important for both your body and mind. Even a slight bit of dehydration can lead to fatigue and low blood pressure, as well as impaired memory, mood, and general brain function. Up to 60% of the human body is composed of water, which means for your body and mind to function optimally, staying hydrated isn’t an option—it’s a necessity.

When you wake up in the morning, your body is depleted of water. Get a head start on your water intake for the day by drinking at least one glass of water in the morning. If you choose to exercise as part of your morning routine, make sure to drink even more. Drinking water first thing in the morning increases your alertness, fuels your brain, boosts your immune function, and kick-starts your metabolism.

 

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Get Moving

Get moving in some form or another in the morning. Depending on your AM preferences, you may choose to stretch, practice yoga, work out, or go for a walk. Choose what works best for you, but do something to get your body moving.

If you find you have trouble waking up in the morning, you might want to include a more intensive workout or walk outside to help yourself wake up. Exercising in the morning fills your body and lungs with oxygen and increases blood flow after hours of being immobile. This increase in oxygen improves your clarity and focus.

If exercising in the morning doesn’t sound appealing, stretching also helps increase your blood flow and energy levels, it improves your brain activity, and it helps to relax your muscles, which tighten up overnight. If you have back pain or poor posture, stretching eases tense muscles, helping you stand and sit up straighter.

If you find you enjoy stretching and want to improve your mindfulness as well, yoga increases energy and focus, alleviates stress, improves strength and flexibility, improves heart health, and more.

💡 Learn about the many benefits of yoga in the morning.

 

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Be Mindful

Part of the reason we recommend unplugging from your devices in the morning is because our smartphones inhibit our ability to be mindful. Mindfulness isn’t something that’s just for yogis. Mindfulness simply refers to a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, physical sensations, and our surrounding environment.

By checking our phones first thing, we distract ourselves from that awareness. Instead, we end up reacting to some stranger’s purposely inflammatory tweet or scrolling through the photos of a former high school frenemy we haven’t spoken to in five years.

A morning meditation routine ensures the only thoughts and feelings we’re focused on are our own. Meditation lengthens our attention spans, reduces stress and anxiety, boosts positive feelings, decreases blood pressure, and increases our memory. Essentially, the effects of meditation are the exact opposite of the effects of scrolling through social media.

There are many forms of mindfulness you can practice, including meditation, yoga, breathing exercises, walking, and coloring. Journaling can have the same effects as meditation, as it requires us to sit and focus on our own thoughts and feelings.

💡 Journaling can be utilized for reflection, self-discovery, and self-improvement. Learn about The Benefits of Journaling and How to Keep a Work Journal.

 

Breakfast

Eat a Brain-Healthy Breakfast

Whether you’re a fan of breakfast or not, you need to fuel your body in the morning. Remember that whatever you consume will affect how you feel and perform throughout the day.

Drinking sugary drinks or only coffee for breakfast will cause you to crash midday. Eating a lot of sugar-filled and processed foods will hinder your ability to focus, and they will lead to adverse health effects in the long term. Food is fuel for your body, so if you’re not powering your body right, it’s not going to function at peak performance.

Simple, healthy breakfast options include:

  • Oats
  • Nuts
  • Eggs
  • Yogurt (with little or no sugar)
  • Whole grain breads or cereals
  • Bananas
  • Small portions of berries
  • Avocados
  • Vegetables

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Prepare for the Day Ahead

Take time in the morning to prepare for your day. If you need to travel to work, prepare your bag with everything you need, pack a lunch, and check the weather reports to make sure you are dressed accordingly.

💡 Learn how to organize your day at work and at home with our 10 actionable strategies.

When you get near the end of your morning routine, review your daily planner to see what you have planned for the day. Check for any meetings, important deadlines, or events. Make sure you don’t do this when you first wake up—give yourself time to ease into the day with mindfulness and other healthy habits.

 

Track

Track Your Progress

The best daily habits are maintained long-term through ongoing tracking. How will you qualify your progress or determine when you need to improve if you don’t track your habits? Habit trackers, whether physical or online, will help you monitor and store data on the habits you want to build and maintain.

💡 Learn more about why you need to track your habits and download our free habit tracker printables.

 

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Build a Matching Bedtime Routine

The success of your early morning routine begins before you wake up; it depends on the length and quality of your sleep. Much about why humans need a good night’s sleep every night is unknown, but what’s certain is that everyone needs adequate sleep to function optimally.

Lack of sleep leads to slowed reaction time, hindered memory, reduced attention span, and irritability, as well as more serious long-term health concerns, including cardiovascular disease, obesity, diabetes, mental health disorders, Alzheimer’s, and an overall greater risk of death. 😳

💡 Learn How Lack of Sleep Affects Work Performance and What You Can Do About It

You can aid your morning routine by also building a healthy bedtime routine that helps you get a quality night’s sleep. Consider turning off your phone an hour or two before bed to avoid blue light, reading before bed, meditating, or journaling. Going to bed at the same time every night will also help you get to sleep faster.


 

Free Downloadable Morning Routine List

Craft your own miracle morning routine with our free downloadable checklist. Use our pre-designed list or our blank printable list  to fill in your own morning habits.

Don’t hit the snooze button

✅ Don’t look at your phone as soon as you wake up

✅ Drink a glass of water

✅ Stretch, exercise, or walk outside

✅ Meditate or practice mindfulness

✅ Eat a nutritious breakfast

✅ Review your daily schedule


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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jordan's passion for travel led her to design a career as a remote content marketer. Nearing 1000 published articles, she's spent the past decade using her interdisciplinary education to research and write content for a wide variety of industries. Working remotely, Jordan spends half of the year exploring different corners of the world. At home, she's content exploring fictional lands—Spark an immediate and detailed conversation by mentioning Game of Thrones, Red Rising, Star Wars, or Lord of the Rings.

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