If your morning ‘ritual’ consists of a splashing some water on your face, throwing on your clothes and running out the door with a cup of coffee in hand, this article is for you.
It’s also for everyone who has ever wished they were a morning person (but in reality finds most mornings unbearable … or at least unpleasant).
There’s an art to starting your day off right and when you do it correctly it can make the difference between having an average day or an extraordinary one. Over time, the right morning ritual can even help you lose weight, increase your mental focus, support optimal health and make you happier.
Best of all, your morning ritual should be simple and positive, making you look forward to mornings, perhaps as you never have before.
Ready to get started?
11 Steps to the Healthiest Morning Ritual
11. Wake up at the Same Time
Whether it’s a weekday or the weekend, waking up at the same time each day helps to regulate your circadian rhythm. This will make waking easier and you’ll feel more energized in the morning.
Waking up early is a habit shared by highly successful people, who often credit it with enhancing their productivity and giving them extra time to work toward their personal and career-related goals.
You can even do this before you get out of bed. It’ll increase your circulation and your flexibility while loosening up tense muscles.
8. Visualize Your ‘Perfect’ Day
What is it you want to accomplish today? How do you want your day to go? Visualizing it will help make it a reality.
7. Take 5-10 Minutes to Meditate
Meditation has been shown to increase well-being, mood and productivity while releasing stress.
After your meditation, grab a journal and write down your thoughts. Getting them out of your head and on paper can clear your head of clutter. If you’re not sure what to write, try making a list of five things you’re thankful for.
Water first thing in the morning helps to hydrate your cells, detoxify your body and may even support increased metabolism and healthful digestion.
4. Listen to Music
Music can relax you, relieve stress or energize you, depending on the type you put on. Try creating a morning playlist that makes you feel energized, motivated and happy, then play it while you’re getting ready or exercising (see #2 below …).
3. Do Something for You
Morning is the perfect time for ‘me time,’ because if you leave it until later, you probably won’t get to it. Spend 10 to 30 minutes doing something just for you — reading a book, soaking in the tub, or working on your novel.
Exercising in the morning is good not only because it gets it done and out of the way, but also because exercising before breakfast means you’re exercising in a fasted state. This has been shown to offer increased benefits, including improvements to insulin sensitivity[i] and weight loss, compared to exercising after you’ve eaten.
As an aside, you can fit in a work out in the morning even if you ‘don’t have time’ if you try the 4-minute No Excuses program (yes, it’s only 4 minutes!).
1. Eat Breakfast … Maybe
After you’ve exercised, if you’re hungry you can grab a bite to eat. Make sure your breakfast includes protein to keep you satisfied and energized (here are the worst and best foods to eat in the morning).
That said, if you’re not a ‘breakfast person,’ maybe you don’t have to fret about it after all. Despite the mantra that breakfast is “the most important meal of the day,” there’s emerging research that suggests skipping breakfast (so that all of your meals take place during an eight-hour window during the day) may actually actually help give your body a much-needed metabolic break that helps with weight loss and overall health.[ii]
So perhaps the best advice, as always, is to listen to your body. If you feel better in the morning after eating breakfast, then do so. If not, make a healthful lunch your first meal of the day.
Written By: Updated: December 16,2013