7 Habits for a Happy and Healthy Morning

Ugh, morning. So many of us hate getting up in the morning. It’s so easy to end up in a really cranky mood!

For a long time, I was one of the haters. I set my alarm for the latest possible time, and then I hit snooze about a billion times before I finally dragged my annoyed (and probably late) self to the shower.

After years of dreading the sunrise, I decided to make some big changes in my morning routine, although it didn’t happen immediately. I knew I needed to make changes in my mornings, but I held on tightly to the idea that I needed those extra 20 minutes of sleep! Of course, this came at the expense of rushing around to get out the door and stressing myself out in the process!

Until this year, I had to leave the house by 7am, and I was determined to get up at 5:45. Now I realize that some of you are thinking, “An hour and 15 minutes? That’s plenty of time! What’s the big deal?” Well, for me, it’s a big deal. I’m not a get-up-and-go kind of girl!

Now I have to leave by 7:15am, and I’ve decided to get up at 5:15. That’s a whopping 2 hours to get myself ready for the day, and missing out on that extra 30 minutes of sleep is completely worth it.

Of course, this means I have to be more mindful of my bedtime, or I won’t be able to function during the day.

According to WebMD, the average adult needs 7.5-8 hours of sleep each night. Some people can get by on less, and some will need more, but this is a good average.

In order to have a productive and fulfilling morning, you’ll need to make sure you get enough sleep. I know it’s hard to go to bed earlier than you want to, but honestly, just do it. You’ll feel so much better if you actually wake up rested!

Why do mornings matter?

You know that cliche about waking up on the wrong side of the bed? Well, there is some actual truth to that often-used accusation for the grumpy girl. If your morning starts out wrong, you’ll have a harder time redeeming your day.

The first 10 minutes after you wake up are the most influential time, so it’s important to have a mindful routine and ritual in place to make sure your mind and body are happy from the start.

“You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.” -John C. Maxwell

Here are 7 super easy habits you can create to have healthier mornings.

Don’t hit snooze.

Just don’t do it. Choose a time to get up, and tell yourself that the snooze button isn’t even an option. Hitting snooze and going back to sleep makes your brain start its sleep cycle all over again, and when your alarm goes off again, you’ll be in a deeper sleep than you should be; this will actually make you feel much worse.

Stretch first thing.

Stretching first thing in the morning has several health benefits, including muscle and joint flexibility, stress relief, and improved circulation. So take some deep breaths and stretch for a minute or two before you get out of bed.

Drink water before your feet hit the floor.

About 60% of your body is made of water, and after sleeping for 7-8 hours without water, your parched body is practically begging to be replenished. Appease it!

Eat a healthy breakfast.

I used to think I couldn’t eat a hot breakfast during the week, but now I do it every day. What’s the secret to having time for a healthy, hot breakfast when you don’t have a lot of time? Meal prep. You can easily make a week’s worth of sweet potato hash or sauteed apples over the weekend. Add some fresh fruit or a couple of fried eggs, and you can have a great breakfast without being late to work!

Play music while you’re getting ready.

Music changes moods. You might want to start your morning with upbeat music, or you might prefer something calming and relaxing; whatever you choose, be sure it makes you feel good and charges your morning!

Turn off your phone notifications.

This one has really surprised me. On mornings I leave my notifications on, and I reply to text messages, I am always late to work. I never realized just how much a minute here and a minute there adds up! Before you know it, you’re fifteen minutes behind! If you’re worried about emergencies, just flip your phone over to its “do not disturb” mode; the people who need you will be able to reach you.

Read something positive.

Reading some kind of positive, encouraging book is a practice that makes a big difference. Turn off the music and the phone, and take a few minutes to soak your mind in words.

“When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive- to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.” -Marcus Aurelius

You should get to know yourself and your needs so that you can create a morning routine that works for you.