How do you get your day started off right? Maintaining momentum throughout the day begins with a healthy morning routine and these helpful tips will help you establish a morning habit that will improve your focus, energy, and disposition.
Before we dive into what makes a great morning routine, let’s talk about why you even want one. Your morning routine is what sets you up for success for the whole day. A routine is something that you put a lot of work into when you first get started, but after only a few weeks, these actions become automatic and you don’t have to think about them.
You can build your routine around small habits that keep you healthy and sane during those long busy days, or larger habits that will propel you towards a greater goal. The idea is to create something sustainable, that works for your individual life and that you can stick with indefinitely, until you decide you need to change something. The below ideas are meant as inspiration, to give you a starting point to build your personal morning routine.
The Most Important Elements in your Morning Routine
It's important to think about the day's goals first thing in the morning, and think about what you want to accomplish over what the rest of the world wants to you to do. A well-balanced morning meal, regular tidying, and adequate sleep all contribute to better health and are part of a smart routine. And don't forget to factor in the tasks that truly make your morning ritual your own, like quality time with pets or time for journaling.
Having a set routine first thing in the morning will help you feel more in control of your life and boost your ability to get things done. More importantly, this will enhance your life in general. Let’s dive in.
1. No Snoozing
Sure, you want five more minutes curled up in bed. Maybe you want to hit the snooze button 5 or 6 times and stay cozy. Some people even set multiple alarms so they are sure they can sleep later, leaving just barely enough time to get out the door.
And yet, this slowdown of your morning impacts your approach to the whole day. To have the best day, choose a wakeup time that you can be consistent with, and stick with it every day of the week, and as close as possible on the weekends.
Hitting the snooze button multiple times doesn’t get you additional quality sleep, and it takes away time you need for other tasks in the morning. If you find you want to snooze every morning, consider an earlier bedtime so you can get more of the deep, restorative sleep that happens earlier in the night, instead of trying to doze off more in the mornings. You’ll be more energetic all day, and having more time in the morning means you can stack other smart habits like the ones listed next.
If you keep wanting to hit snooze and need an extra way to break that habit, move your alarm clock farther away from the bed so you have to get up to turn it off. Better yet, set it next to the coffee maker to give you a kick start to the morning.
2. Tech-Free Mornings
Your phone will start screaming at you as soon as you look at it, and you’ll start your day thinking about whatever you’ve doomscrolled to. Work emails, social media updates, shipping notifications, and especially the news can wait until you decide what you want your day to look like.
Your early mornings are the perfect time to focus on you, and the people and pets you share your home with. Connect to loved ones and think about what you want to do with this day. How can you be the best version of yourself? What are the top 3 things you want to do today?
Picking up your phone first thing in the morning immediately puts you into your sympathetic (stressed) nervous system, and puts you on alert for threats. You want to stay in parasympathetic (not-stressed) as long as possible, which will open up more creativity, peace, and joy in your life.
Consider not only keeping your phone in another room while you sleep, but also keeping it in airplane mode until you’re ready to get to work. You can even turn off all notifications except for certain periods of the day so you maintain greater control over where you put your attention.
3. Brush your teeth!
Is this obvious? Probably. Could we all do with a reminder? For sure. Brushing your teeth before you leave the house is an essential step not only in avoiding giving offense to the people you encounter through the day, but promotes better oral health. It just feels better after you brush!
Ayurveda, an ancient Indian medical practice, places a strong emphasis on cleanliness. It is believed that the body naturally detoxifies itself overnight by exhaling toxins via the mouth using these methods. If you start your day by chugging a cup of coffee, you might get energized, but you’re also swallowing the toxins that were released overnight.
4. Hydrate before caffeine
The best way to start the day is with rehydration. During the night, you’re exhaling water with your breath, and you’re not taking in fluids during the night. After a night of rest, our bodies require a replenishing drink of water, and it’s even better if you include electrolytes.
Half an hour after brushing your teeth (because you don’t want to mix flavors with the minty freshness still in your mouth…) drink a glass of Key Nutrients Electrolyte Recovery Plus. You can mix a scoop of your favorite flavor in cool water, or you can make a warming drink with either hot water, or hot tea. Try a hot English Breakfast tea with the Lemonade flavor for a hydrating and caffeinated pick me up.
5. Get sunlight on your eyes and skin
The greatest signal to your body that it's time to start the day is exposure to sunlight. The specific wavelengths of light that are present at dawn trigger a hormonal cascade in your brain causes more alertness. It’s a natural way to shake off the cobwebs and get yourself going.
If you’ve ever gone through a whole overcast day at home with the lights dim, you know the feeling of not being really away, even if you’ve had coffee. The bright sunlight will help you get moving. Staying in a dim room tricks your body into thinking it’s dusk or night, and you might get greater melatonin production when you don’t want it, during the day, so it becomes less effective at night, when you need it to sleep soundly.
Starting the day with bright sunlight resets your circadian rhythm into a natural cycle, which will support restorative sleep later in the day. If you aren’t able to see actual sunlight when you first get up, try a lamp that matches the same color of light that you would see at sunrise. These lamps are usually bright enough to do the trick, and can even help you maintain a stable mood through the winter, when there is less light available to see.
Sunlight is also how your body produces Vitamin D. This critical hormone-like vitamin is produced in the skin from exposure to sunlight. In the winter, and for those who are inside all day long, it can be difficult to get enough sunlight to produce the quantity of vitamin D we need to stay healthy. Consider adding Vitamin D2+K2 to your morning stack to support healthy immunity, heart health, and moods.
6. Keep your space neat
If the first thing you see when you get up is a big mess in the kitchen, papers stacked all over the table, and laundry all over the floor, you might not start the day in the best mood. The mornings are best for small tidying-up, like cleaning up the dishes from breakfast and making sure the living room is neat for relaxing when you get back home later.
Many of us are profoundly affected emotionally and mentally by our immediate environments. There is a strong correlation between the way you wake up and the quality of your day. Because of this, take a day or two to completely straighten your home, getting all the things where you like them. Once this is done, it’s much easier to breeze through the house in the morning to keep it neat. Remember to make your bed first thing in the morning as well, since this one habit can keep your mind clear all day.
7. Find your inner peace
A morning practice of mindfulness meditation will do wonders for your brain, especially if you have a full day ahead of you.
In the same way that delaying looking at your phone first thing in the morning keeps you centered on what you want to accomplish with your life, meditation can help you center your mind to decide what, exactly, those desires are.
Plan some time each morning to have a quiet time for yourself, where you can empty your mind and let your own inner guidance speak. If you can’t quiet your mind, you have still succeeded, because you chose to take the time out of your morning to try. That’s why it’s called a practice: you will get better over time, and not every meditation will be easy. Starting with five minutes is perfect, and you can work up to as long as you like. Half an hour is a common and healthy goal, though some people swear by a whole hour. Choose what’s best for you.
8. Movement practice
Engaging in any form of physical activity first thing in the morning is a great way to kickstart your day with a sense of purpose and energy. You can get your blood pounding with just twenty minutes of yoga, a light jog around the block, or some morning stretches.
You don’t have to do hard training like crossfit or weightlifting first thing in the morning unless you want to. But some kind of movement practice will keep you flexible and strong, as well as energize you for the day’s activities. It will also help to reduce pain and stiffness if you have a job that keeps you sitting at a desk during the day. While daily activity is important, starting off with movement every day will be a great benefit.
To set your day up right, have a hearty breakfast that will keep you full until your next meal. Some people eat 3 or 4 regular meals a day, others eat only once or twice. No matter when your next meal is, you’ll get the most bang for your nutritional buck by making sure your breakfast is nutritious.
This is because breakfast is when your body will have the most time to digest and assimilate nutrients from your food, and will also burn these calories through the day so they’re less likely to be stored as fat on your body. An ideal way to fuel up in the morning is with MCT powder, like Keto Cocoa. MCT powder is made of fats that skip digestion and go straight to the liver to provide fast fuel for your body. Keto Cocoa can be made into a hot or cold drink, and some of our customers make a mocha latte by adding it to their morning coffee.
Focus on eating at least 20-30 grams of protein at breakfast, and more if you can manage it. Eggs are a great source of protein and other nutrients, and can be paired with other foods like peppers or avocados. You can also have a protein shake, though many people feel like drinking their breakfast doesn’t keep them full so consider adding shakes to a solid meal for additional protein.
Your morning routine can also include things like journaling, reading, or prep cooking for the rest of the day. Make your morning routine your own by choosing the tasks that will improve your life and your health day by day.