Rise and Shine: Habits To Master Your Morning Routine

Key Points

  • A healthy morning routine kick starts your day.

  • Positive morning habits benefit your long-term mental, physical, and emotional health. 

  • Planning the night before helps you master your morning routine. 

Do you feel like you need more time to accomplish tasks? Do your days typically end with unfinished to-do lists? Are you tired of always skipping breakfast and feeling rushed? If any of these sound familiar, you need a morning routine.

Whether you’re a student, employee, or full-time parent, a morning routine keeps you from drowning in the stresses of life. Keep reading to learn healthy morning habits that set you up for success, confidence, peace of mind, and happiness. 

Waking up in the morning

Why Is a Morning Routine Important?

You awaken to the sound of your smartphone’s alarm clock. Your annoying device screams at you relentlessly while you struggle to find the snooze button. You moan and grumble against your pillow, irritated that you had to abandon your perfectly comfy spot. 

You fall back asleep until your second alarm goes off. Mumbling dramatically, you check your phone. Upon seeing the time on your phone, panic shoots through your body. You’re running 30 minutes late! 

You jump out of bed so fast that dizziness hits you at full force. Shaking off the sensation, you hobble around to get dressed, grab your things, and leave the house. You feel grumpy because you didn’t even get to shower or eat breakfast. Can today be over already?

Good news: Creating a solid morning routine helps you avoid this dreadful scenario.

A good morning routine sets a positive tone for your day, boosts your work performance and productivity, reduces anxiety and stress, and enhances happiness. 

Regardless of your daily to-do list's length and contents, healthy morning habits encourage stability and structure while putting your mind at ease. Building healthy habits allows you to engage more purposefully with each task instead of frantically reacting to the daily demands of your life. 

Establishing a productive morning routine makes you feel more accomplished and in control of your schedule. In addition, it makes it easier to absorb other healthy habits in the future. You gain more self-confidence, build impeccable resilience, and enhance your time-management skills. 

What Are Some Healthy Morning Habits?

Starting your day off on the right foot benefits your mental and physical health, social life, and career. 

You’re unique, so developing a morning ritual that complements your personality, behavior, and personal goals is crucial. Creating a routine that you love performing each day makes it easier to stick with it. This is not a one-size-fits-all process!

Here are 10 healthy morning habits to joyfully kickstart your day:

Express Gratitude

The moment you open your eyes, add a smile. Why? You’re alive; you woke up with a beating heart and air in your lungs. Smiling releases dopamine and serotonin, feel-good hormones that help regulate your mood.

Journaling for morning routine

If you have a pulse, you have a purpose; your story is far from over. Pick up the pen, start writing, and enjoy life’s blessings.

Create time to pause each morning to list three reasons you’re grateful. What about the people close to you? Do they live with you? Passionately kiss your romantic partner, hug your kids or snuggle your sweet fur babies. You’re in for a delightful endorphin boost. 

Move Your Body

Morning exercise gives you natural energy, helps you sleep better at night, and inspires you to eat healthier throughout the day. It clears your mind, allowing for more focus and creativity.

That post-workout endorphin rush is always worth the early alarm. Plus, working on yourself while most of the world still sleeps is very satisfying. You have the rest of the day to knock out other pressing tasks, and don’t worry about skipping a workout because you're too busy or tired after work. 

If your schedule allows, try stretching, yoga, running outside, or taking a fun group fitness class in the morning.

Eat Breakfast

Getting "hangry" — a state of simultaneous hunger and anger — is natural and happens to nearly everyone.

When you miss a meal, your blood sugar levels plummet. Hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, causes severe fatigue, headaches, difficulty concentrating, and irritability. 

Skipping breakfast is even worse. Your blood sugar is already depleted from your overnight fast, sending your body into pure survival mode. 

“People commonly feel an uptick in anger or aggression when they’re hungry,” explains Dr. Brad Bushman, a psychology professor at Ohio State University. “The brain needs fuel to regulate emotions, and anger is the emotion people have the most difficulty regulating.” 

The result? You direct your hangry frustrations toward those you love, who are often caught in the crossfire. 

If you’re not a big breakfast person, try consuming a light meal of lean protein, fruits, and whole grains. Short on time? Down a protein bar, banana, or some greek yogurt with strawberries to satisfy your stomach and brain until lunch. 

Eating breakfast in the morning

Wake Up Earlier

Although it is easier said than done, waking up earlier lets you ease into your day more peacefully. Ditch the crazy chaos, stress, rushing out the door, and feeling that you're probably forgetting something important. 

Uninterrupted “you time” is deeply cathartic. Whether that’s slowing down to get ready, cooking a delicious breakfast, or working out before the sun rises, you can release emotions and manage your needs before tending to the needs of others. 

Don’t force yourself out of bed at 6:00 AM, especially if you’re an avid night owl. Regardless of your preferred wake-up time, set your alarm at least 20 minutes earlier than usual. If your day usually starts at 9:30 AM, make the switch to 9:10 AM and gauge the difference.

Connect with your body’s internal clock and discern what feels right.

Pro Tip: Avoid the snooze button. Pressing it only makes you crankier and sleepier. To defeat this unhealthy habit, place your phone or alarm clock on the far side of your bedroom so you're forced to get up. 

Make Your Bed

Coming home to a clean, warm, freshly-made bed is one of life's simple pleasures. You get home, take off your shoes, set down your belongings, and experience an immediate sense of calm. All you have to do tonight is fall into your bed and pass out. Hallelujah!

Making your bed in the morning grants you a small but effective dose of pride. It takes less than five minutes, bolsters your organizational skills, and your bedroom becomes tidier.

Nourish Your Soul

Give yourself time to reflect, practice mindfulness, and let go of the things you can't control. Even if it’s just 10 minutes, you’ll relieve built-up tension. This practice nourishes your soul and supports robust mental health.

Do you prefer the tangibility of writing things down on paper? Meditate or pray, then journal your honest thoughts and experiences. If you enjoy internal reflection, try listening to a podcast, spiritual study, or uplifting music while you prepare for the day ahead.


Did you know that your body loses water and fluids while you sleep? That’s why you always wake up so dehydrated and thirsty.

Hydrating early in the morning helps clear your skin, prevent headaches, soothe muscle aches, and strengthen your immunity. It’s also the fastest way to flush toxins out of your system. 

Not a fan of the taste? Add lemon to spruce up the flavor and aid digestion. Flavored electrolyte powders such as Key Nutrients Electrolyte Plus and Liquid I.V. Hydration Multipliers are another great way to up your water intake.

Enjoy a Cup of Coffee

Don’t just drink the coffee; fantasize about the coffee.

Dreaming about that heavenly first sip is the motivation to get out of bed! 

Cup of coffee during morning routine

Coffee contains antioxidants, protects against heart inflammation, and provides quick energy and enhanced alertness. It also improves the quality of your workouts by stimulating thermogenesis, which raises your body’s temperature and helps you burn more calories. 

Unfortunately, you can have too much of a good thing. One or two cups of coffee per day is best. Side effects such as elevated heart rate, insomnia, anxiety, upset stomach, and nausea often result from too much caffeine. 

Prioritize Self-Care

Do you tend to feel anxious or overwhelmed by the simplest tasks? If so, you’re probably lacking in the self-care department. 

Self-care frequently gets put on the back burner when life’s responsibilities and tragedies hit hard. Prioritize self-care to ward off stress, burnout, and depression.

Self-care is a subjective phrase but a meaningful practice for everyone. Intentionally doing things that fill your cup supports your overall well-being.

Style your hair, apply a face mask, recreate your favorite makeup look, burn a candle, or take a relaxing hot shower. Prefer mental stimulation? Bask in the sun’s rays and read the next chapter of the book you're currently reading.

Rise and shine

Tackle a Tough Assignment

American writer Mark Twain said, “If the first thing you do each morning is to ‘eat a live frog’, you can go through the day with the satisfaction of knowing that it is probably the worst thing that is going to happen to you all day long.”

Before you take this quote literally, Mark Twain doesn’t want you to eat a frog. Phew, how gross!

He’s cleverly advising others to identify their most important task, or frog, and knock it out early. Your frog is the assignment or chore you secretly dread — the one that keeps you from thoroughly enjoying the day until it's finished.

“Eating a live frog” requires overcoming mental resistance and procrastination, which only prolongs your agony.

Whether it’s a morning workout, a work project, a sink full of dishes, a college essay, a challenging conversation, or space to declutter, tackling that tough assignment first puts you in the right headspace to conquer anything your day throws at you.

How Do You Master a Morning Routine?

Building a permanent habit takes time, commitment, and discipline. However, healthy morning routines help you feel more accomplished and energized daily. 

The most effective routines start at night.

To master your morning routine, prepare as much as possible the night before. Preparation frees up your mornings and makes them more pleasant. Prepping in advance also saves you from an overpowering mountain of decisions before brushing your teeth. 

Since you have limited willpower and decision-making abilities in the morning, waking up with too many tasks on your plate slows you down and drains your energy. Avoid this common pitfall by setting out your clothes before you crawl into bed. Struggle with indecisiveness? Pick out one or two backup outfits just in case to conserve time.

Purchase a daily planner and write down your tasks for the upcoming week. List them in order of importance, factoring in time for eating, exercising, sleeping, commuting, and socializing. This practice prevents your mind from racing at bedtime. 

Doing exercise in the morning

Turn off your electronics an hour before hitting the sheets. Establish a dark, cool, and comfortable environment for quality shuteye. Take melatonin, Valerian root, or Kava to relax.

Plan your breakfast meal the evening before. Overnight oats are a simple and tasty option. Put a protein bar or fruit in the fridge if you prefer to eat out of the house. 

When you wake up, refrain from checking your emails, social media accounts, and the news. These sources are often discouraging, depressing, and overwhelming for your brain.

Pro Tip: Turn off notifications to avoid the temptation of your phone. Open the apps after you get the important stuff done.

Rise and Shine

“Focused, productive, successful mornings generate focused, productive, successful days — which inevitably create a successful life,” says bestselling author Hal Elrod

Healthy habits nurture your mind, body, and soul and put you in control of your day.

Evaluate your current schedule and obligations, then determine how to implement these changes. Pick one habit that sticks out to you, and slowly add more to your life. A healthier, happier you is waiting on the other side.

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