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Designing a Stress-Free Morning Routine

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What you do first thing in the morning can set the mood for the rest of your day. Starting the day off with healthy habits for mind, body, and soul puts you in a relaxed state where you’re in control and ready to tackle whatever the day throws at you. Use these morning routine ideas to design your uniquely perfect start to each day.

What to exclude from your morning routine

  • Social Media: There’s no quicker way to kill 30 minutes in the morning than by immediately starting with mindless scrolling on Instagram.
  • Email: Give yourself time to ease into the day on your terms instead of someone else’s. When you open an email that warrants a response, you’re going to want to jump into that instead of taking a few minutes for yourself.
  • Snoozing the alarm: Snoozing the alarm is a sure way to miss out on any opportunity for some morning alone time. If you’re struggling to wake up, back up your bedtime by 5 minutes each night until you’re not feeling as tired come morning. This podcast episode by one of my favorite productivity experts, Laura Vanderkam, discusses other creative ways to quit snoozing.

Building blocks of the morning routine

My morning ritual has morphed and changed over the years, according to my personal preferences and seasons. Your morning routine should do the same. Feel free to grab one or more of the morning routine ideas below to incorporate into your ideal morning ritual to live your best day every day.

Drink Water

An article in Business Insider indicates the habit of drinking water first thing in the morning is shared by top executives to rehydrate and boost alertness. I started several years ago drinking 12oz of water when I got out of bed each morning and am now at the point where I do 32 oz each morning.  I’ll have a 24 oz tumbler of room temperature water, then 10 oz water with a fiber supplement* and electrolyte powder*.

Meditate

According to Psychology Today, “Research findings show that regular¬†mindfulness meditation, in which an individual practices detached self-observation, significantly reduces generalized anxiety and other anxiety conditions.” I initially started a meditation practice to try and calm my anxiety, and it has been one of the best things I’ve done for my mental health. Meditation taught me how to separate my thoughts and feelings and be able to recognize my body and emotions at a much deeper level.

Play brain games

The jury is still out on if brain games improve cognition and motor skills as we age, but if you’re competitive like me, it’s a fun challenge to try and get a high score on a game. I also love to see my progress over time and unlock new games and levels. I use a free app called Elevate to play three quick brain games each morning, which takes no more than 5 minutes.

Have a feel-good morning drink

This morning drink might be straight coffee for some or tea for others, but after a ton of water, you’ll be ready to mix it up. I do one cup of coffee in the morning with my unique combination of goodness: 1/2 tsp turmeric*, 1 tbsp MCT oil*, one scoop collagen powder, and 1/2 packet of mushroom coffee mix*. Essentially my coffee has become a vehicle for all my supplements, but this is the combination of things that make me feel peppy and ready to go in the morning.

Journal

An article in Happier Human about the benefits of gratitude indicated that “a five-minute daily gratitude journal can increase your long-term well-being by more than 10 percent. That’s the same impact as doubling your income!” If that’s not an incentive to start a gratitude practice, I’m not sure what is.

I am a huge fan of practicing gratitude in the morning and starting with 3-5 things that I’m grateful for each day. This daily practice helps me stay grounded and remember the small things around me for which I have to be thankful. I have this journal* which helps track habits, gratitude, and writing prompts, which is fun if you’re a bit more creative and enjoy free writing. I’m also a fan of Rachel Hollis’ journals. The journal is simple but helps you stay consistent by writing the same long term goals every day.

Move

Yoga has so many benefits, including the ability to help you relax and lower anxiety. Doing a bit of flowing first thing in the morning can be just what you need to get your body moving. I generally flow through some sun salutations or do a video in the Yoga Collective app like their 10 minute morning quickie.

Read

Real Simple cited a study that showed reading for only 5 minutes can reduce stress by up to 68%! I feel the calming benefits of reading for a few minutes in the morning, not to mention that it also enables me to read more books that would thrill any self-proclaimed book nerd. Check out my post Habit Stacking Your Way to Better Health to see how I pair reading with another practice to maximize success.

Remember, the above are only suggestions and some things that I’ve included in building my routine. Your perfect morning routine is going to be whatever makes you feel ready to take on your day. If you have other suggestions, I’d love to hear about them in the comments!

4 thoughts on “Designing a Stress-Free Morning Routine”

  1. Love this! I will have to try the mushroom coffee, I normally do the mushroom matcha latte, a spoonful of MCT oil and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

  2. There is no better way to start on the right foot in the morning than with a huge glass of water! What electrolyte replacement do you like? I use lemon and Himalayan sea salt with water from the Berkey Filter! Gotta start hydrated!

    1. Preach! Hydration is so key to getting your body moving and brain grooving for the day. I am a huge fan of Ultima Replenisher Electrolyte Powders (https://amzn.to/2yek1h4). I also love my Berkey! Definitely one of the best household investments I have made!

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