For morning people, you already enjoy getting up and at ‘em, and you’re probably here trying to add some polish to your already near-perfect morning routine.
For the rest of us who may be a little less inclined to bounce out of bed and whistle along with bluebirds at our windowsills, there’s a lot of work to be done.
But part of why we might find it hard to get up and get cracking is that our morning routines aren’t anywhere near ideal.
With some small adjustments, we might be able to tweak things so that we feel better about getting out of bed in the morning and more positive about starting the day.
If you do these 14 things, your morning routine is basically perfect.
If not, choose at least a couple of these suggestions to help you improve your start to the day.
1) Get to bed on time
The best morning routine actually starts the night before.
If you can consistently get enough sleep, you’ll feel great in the morning. You’ll feel refreshed and ready to start your day without dread or procrastination.
How do you ensure that you’re getting to bed on time and getting a great sleep?
Adults typically need between seven and eight hours of sleep every night, so make sure that you’re going to bed at least this many hours before you need to be up in the morning.
There are many things you can do to help yourself get a great sleep.
Try to sleep in total darkness, as light can distract you and even wake you up.
Dim lights an hour before sleepy time. This includes turning off your phone and TV screens. Darkness triggers your body to start producing melatonin, which helps you get to sleep.
And keep distractions out of the bedroom – this room should be dedicated to sleeping, not eating, watching TV, or any other activities.
2) Wake up without an alarm
If you can wake up on time without an alarm, you’re doing great!
This means that you’re getting enough sleep unless it’s a child screaming or a dog barking that’s waking you up instead.
Human sleep cycles through 90-minute blocks on average, which means that you go from light sleep through stages to deep sleep every hour and a half.
If you wake up without an alarm, you’ll naturally wake at the end of a sleep cycle and feel refreshed.
However, if you’re using an alarm, it will probably interrupt you mid-cycle, and you’ll wake up feeling more groggy, disoriented, and confused.
3) Don’t hit snooze
If you do wake up feeling cobwebby, your first instinct might be to hit the snooze button and get seven more minutes of precious sleep.
The problem is that once you’re awakened by the alarm, you won’t get back to the same place in your sleep cycle.
The most important part of the cycle, delta sleep, is also the last part, and you can’t simply dive back into it.
So when you hit snooze, you’re just starting over from the beginning and just getting low-quality light sleep.
It’s much better to simply go to bed that much earlier the night before. You’ll get more sleep of better quality and won’t feel the need to snooze the next day.
4) Get out of bed
Many people wake up slowly and stay in bed doing various things.
Aside from hanky-panky, there’s really no other good reason to stay in bed if you want to start your morning off well.
Lying in bed and playing on your phone is a great way to waste time and diminish your motivation.
It’s much better to get up and make your bed.
You’ll get that instant jolt of satisfaction from ticking one small achievement off your list!
5) Don’t go straight to your phone
I know you have super-duper important business to take care of and people to stay in contact with at all times.
But if you really want your morning routine to be perfect, you need to keep it about you and being present.
So try to resist the urge to reach for your phone when you don’t need to.
That will help you be more conscious of what you’re doing and more effective with your time.
Your phone will always be there later anyway, so unless you have urgent business to attend to, just leave it be and get on with your day first.
Hopefully, you’ve just had eight hours of delicious sleep.
But that also means that you haven’t had anything to drink for the same eight hours, and by now, your body is dehydrated.
So it’s important to rehydrate in the morning, and starting out with a glass of water as soon as you get up helps get you on the right track.
Hydrating the night before also helps, but you have to be careful how and when you do it, or you may end up interrupting your sleep with frequent bathroom trips.
Try to drink only water in the late evening instead of sugary or caffeinated drinks (both diuretics), and stop drinking anything an hour before you go to bed.
7) Eat a healthy, high-protein breakfast
The jury is still out on whether or not it’s essential to eat breakfast.
Studies show that people who eat breakfast actually take in more calories during the day than those who skip it, so you’re not likely to binge later just because you missed your morning meal.
However, breakfasts high in protein can help you to lose weight.
This is because it takes more energy for your body just to break down protein.
Eating protein also helps you feel full and can help to reduce your eating later in the day.
8) Stretch or exercise
It’s important to get your body moving and your blood pumping in the morning, and the older you are, the more crucial this becomes.
Try to find time for some exercise, whether it’s weight training, cardio, or even stretching or yoga.
This helps you burn calories, improve circulation, lower your blood pressure, and generally just feel energized.
9) Plan out your schedule
It’s not only your body that you have to take care of in the morning.
Sitting down and thinking through your daily plan can help relieve stress and make your day that much more efficient.
This planning also helps you sort out what to wear, what to pack for lunch, what route to take when you leave the house, and much more.
10) Listen to your inspirational morning playlist
Though not 100% necessary, this is one thing you can do to really perfect your morning routine.
Make yourself morning playlists that inspire and energize you, and play them as you move through your morning.
They can be chilled out and relaxing, powerful and inspiring, or fun and electrifying.
But whatever music you choose, it’s a reflection of your own tastes, and that helps to nurture yourself and take care of your own needs.
11) Spend half an hour doing something you love
So many of us try to fit our hobbies and interests into parts of the day when we’re pressed for time, busy, stressed, or already tired.
But if you really want to take care of yourself, why not dedicate some of your best hours of the day to doing it?
If you can find at least 30 minutes to do this activity, whether it’s meditating, jogging, reading, journaling, or whatever, you’ll find a lot of fulfillment that will stay with you for the remainder of the day.
12) Take care of your skin
You only have one skin, and it’s the barrier that keeps you safe from the outside world.
So, the morning is the perfect time for a skincare routine that can keep your skin healthy and protected throughout the day.
Clean, moisturize, and UV protect your skin so it will literally last a lifetime in great condition.
13) Have a cold shower
A cold shower can really get you energized in the morning and apparently even help to protect you from diabetes.
You can still start your shower warm to help you get a deep clean, then turn the temperature down to take advantage of the bracing cold.
Just make sure you have a way to warm back up afterward.
14) Perform reflections
One of the best parts of a perfect morning routine is taking time to reflect.
This is deliberate quiet time that lets you think about the day(s) before and examine what went well and what didn’t.
This also gives you time to practice gratitude and do affirmations, giving yourself positive messages and focusing on what you’re thankful for.
If you do these 14 things, your morning routine is basically perfect, and I bet you’re happy as a clam.
If not, these are some great ideas to help inspire and enhance your mornings so you’ll look forward to getting out of bed and facing the day.