Live Healthier With a Morning Routine – How It Can Improve Your Well-being

The concept of a morning routine is actually nothing new – we know it from Hollywood movies and literature. Getting up at the same time each morning, drinking a cup of coffee, and reading the newspaper are typical examples of a traditional morning routine. However, the morning routine as we know it today is more than just an everyday sequence of actions. More and more people are aware of the impact a well-designed morning routine can have on them. Morning routines can be advantageous for your physical and mental health. They can increase your productivity and improve your quality of life when you incorporate certain rituals into your mornings.

Blog Author Elena Health Coach at CARE
Elena Iagovitina

Health Coach

Published in Mental Health
12 min read · Oct 30, 2023

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In this article, CARE explores the science behind a successful morning routine and showcases how you can start your day in the best way possible by taking specific steps to optimize your well-being and health for the long term.

What Is a Morning Routine?

A morning routine is a specific set of activities performed immediately after waking up in the morning. These activities, which vary from person to person, aim to start the day in a positive way and prepare the body and mind for the challenges ahead.

The word “routine” may sound monotonous at first glance, but in reality, it plays a crucial role in our health and well-being. Science has shown that routines and habits can have a positive impact on various aspects of our lives. [1] [2]

A morning routine can and should be individualized. However, for a positive impact on your well-being, it should include balanced elements that address both your physical and mental health.

What Are the Benefits of a Morning Routine?

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Why is a morning routine so important?

The benefits of a morning routine are numerous. By incorporating and performing certain rituals in the morning, you can reduce your stress, start your day with mental clarity, increase your productivity, and improve your physical health. [1] [2]

CARE has many clients who were able to improve their quality of life through a morning routine, and our healthcare professionals would be delighted to assess whether you could profit from incorporating a morning routine into your life, too.

Consequently, we would like to elaborate a bit more on these health benefits:

Stability for the Nervous System

Our nervous system and brain benefit from routines because they provide a form of stability and predictability. When we regularly perform certain activities at the same time, such as drinking a cup of tea each morning at the same time and in the same place, it signals to our brain that it is in a safe and controllable environment.

This can help lower the brain's alertness and calm our nervous system. [1] [2]

Stress Reduction

A well-planned morning routine can also help reduce your stress levels by giving you time for yourself and your needs. This can help you start the day on a cheerful note and stay happy and content throughout the day. [1] [2]

Improve Sleep Quality and Circadian Rhythm

One of the most important biological functions affected by routines is sleep. Our human body has an internal clock that regulates the sleep-wake rhythm. Regular bedtimes and morning routines help you maintain this internal clock, also called circadian rhythm.

When you get up or go to bed at the same time, you synchronize your body with the natural day-night cycle, which leads to better quality sleep. [1] [2]

Fuel Your Body With Energy

Getting into the habit of eating a healthy breakfast and drinking a glass of water every morning can help your metabolism and hydrate your body in the long run. [1] [2] Basically, you provide your body with the energy and nutrients it needs before it starts producing and burning energy.

Establish Mental Clarity & Mindfulness

Meditation and mindfulness exercises in the morning can boost your mental health as well as increase your concentration and mental strength. Meditation helps maintain what is known as “mental hygiene.” [1] [2]

Increase Your Productivity

A morning routine helps you structure your day and set specific goals, which can increase productivity. [1]

Strengthening Willpower & Discipline

Routines require self-control and discipline. When you stick to your morning routine, you train your willpower to make decisions and stick to your goals.

This has a positive impact on other areas of your life. The ability to maintain routines can strengthen your willpower, help you overcome challenges, and support you in pursuing long-term goals. [1] [2]

The importance of routines to your health and well-being cannot be overstated. Promoting stability, sleep quality, willpower, nutrition, fitness, stress management, and social relationships contribute to living a healthy and fulfilling life.

Routines undoubtedly are a source of structure and a key to long-term well-being. Therefore, we should value and maintain not only our morning routine but also other regular activities in our lives, like hobbies or mingling with friends. Studies show that these habits can have a profound impact on our health and well-being. [1] [2]

But back to the morning routine. What characterizes a successful morning routine?

What Makes a Successful Morning Routine?

It is definitely a challenge to establish routines in your life. Studies prove that it can take a long time for a person to create a routine and follow it on a daily basis. [2]

Therefore, CARE has compiled some morning routine tips that can help you establish a healthy morning routine.

Successfully establishing a morning routine is characterized by some basic features:

Consistency: a morning routine should be performed daily in order to feel its positive effects in the long run. Naturally, a routine needs to be performed regularly, in this case daily, to deserve its name.

Variety: Your morning routine should include a variety of activities to benefit your body and mind in a balanced way. If you do not include activities and practices in your routine that bring you joy, it will be difficult to adhere to it or establish it in the first place.

Time Management: A successful morning routine requires efficient time management to avoid stress. If the routine becomes stressful, you will most probably not be able to keep up with it, and it also loses its purpose of improving your life quality.

Individuality: Your morning routine should be customized to your personal needs and goals. Incorporate elements into your morning routine that reflect your personality and that motivate you to perform and maintain the routine.

Examples of Popular Morning Rituals – A Perfect Start Into the Day

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We have summarized some morning routine examples for you that have proven to be successful. The following morning routine ideas are particularly common rituals that are incorporated into the morning routines of numerous people because they can have a positive impact on your health and well-being.

Soul Food – Healthy breakfast

Show me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are. A healthy breakfast is the cornerstone of a successful morning routine.

Eating healthy in the morning provides your body with important nutrients and energy it needs to get through the day. Whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and proteins such as eggs or yogurt are a great way to nourish your body for the tasks ahead. [3]

Stay Hydrated – Drink a Glass of Water

Did you know that you lose about half a liter of fluid overnight? During sleep, your body loses fluid through breathing and sweating. Drinking a glass of water in the morning helps to balance your fluid levels and boost your metabolism. [4]

After all, at some point, we lived in the water, and our bodies are made up of 55-60% of water.

Cold Showers – Get Your Circulation Going

You should take a cold shower. No, you really should!

A cold shower in the morning or taking alternating showers with cold and warm water, will refresh and activate your circulation. These forms of showering can also help drive the sleepiness out of your eyes and give you an energy boost. [5]

The Early Bird Catches the Worm – Getting Up Early

Getting up early allows you to start your day calmly and without hurry or stress. This creates time for you and your morning routine.

Starting your day without time stress can positively affect your mood for the day.

No Screentime – Stay Off Your Phone in the Morning

Looking at your phone first thing in the morning can trigger anxiety and cause stress, according to studies. Avoid checking social media immediately after waking up. Scrolling through feeds and looking at reels or TikToks can overstimulate your brain and shift your focus to negative news and thoughts, even if this happens unconsciously. [6]

This Little Light Of Mine – Natural Light

Catching some sun rays and daylight in the morning or even a light alarm clock can help regulate your sleep cycle and reduce the production of the sleep hormone melatonin to make it easier to wake up. [7]

Meditation & Breathing

Meditation techniques, including breathing exercises and affirmations, can boost your mental health and provide a calm start to the day. [8]

Exercise & Walks

A short morning exercise session boosts energy, improves physical fitness, and promotes the release of happy hormones. [9]

Maybe take a walk with your dog in the morning or do a quick session of yoga to get in the right mood for the day and release those hormones. A short walk in the fresh air awakens the senses and clears the mind. It can also help get your circulation going. [9]

Practice Gratitude

Consciously practicing gratitude in the morning promotes a positive attitude and helps focus on the good in life – because there is plenty. A gratitude journal can be especially effective for this. Make a daily note of things you are grateful for to promote a positive mindset. [8]

Planning the Day

Planning your day is an important part of your morning routine. It helps you prioritize and organize your day effectively.

A good daily plan should include realistic goals and allow time for breaks to avoid stress and overstimulation.

Journaling – Self-Reflection as Part of Your Morning Routine

Journaling has been all the rage lately. Many people swear by the positive effects of journaling as part of their morning routine, which is why we will dedicate an entire chapter to this practice.

The practice of journaling, keeping a diary or journal, is more than just recording thoughts on paper. Journaling has profound psychological and scientific implications for your mental well-being. [10]

The Psychology of Journaling

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Journaling is a method that supports your psychological process to identify, process, and reflect on thoughts and feelings. This self-reflection has been shown to have numerous positive effects on our mental health. [10] [11]

Journaling often serves as an outlet for stress and emotional distress. Capturing thoughts on paper allows us to better process and gain a deeper understanding of our feelings.

Regular journaling enhances our emotional intelligence as it helps build a profound understanding of our emotional world and our emotional responses. This has long-term positive effects on our interpersonal communication and conflict resolution. [11]

Journaling thus also sharpens our self-awareness. By writing down our thoughts, feelings, and experiences, we raise an awareness of our personal needs, values, and goals. This enables us to make more conscious decisions and thus lead more fulfilling lives. [10] [11]

A journal can serve as a tool for problem-solving and goal-setting. When goals and challenges are written down, they can be better planned and achieved, which promotes self-motivation. [11]

Journaling is also especially good as an element of a morning routine because we process numerous emotions while we sleep. Every so often, we wake up in a certain mood. This mood can be good or bad, and writing down our thoughts and feelings after this psychological processing phase can be particularly insightful and valuable for our well-being and mental hygiene. [10] [11]

The Science Behind Journaling

Journaling is trendy at the moment, but science backs up the positive benefits that many people talk about. Research shows that journaling has numerous positive effects on mental health and well-being:

Reduction of anxiety and depression: people who journal tend to have lower levels of anxiety and depression. Writing down thoughts and feelings can help manage negative emotions. [11]

Improved sleep quality: journaling can increase your sleep quality, as writing down worries and thoughts before bed can calm the mind.

Strengthened immune system: writing about positive experiences and gratitude can strengthen your immune system function, leading to better health. [12]

Improvement of self-regulation: journaling promotes self-regulation by helping to track your goals and progress and strengthening self-control. [11]

How Do I Maintain my Morning Routine?

Maintaining a morning routine can be challenging, but with the following tips, you can ensure it becomes a regular part of your life:

No Exceptions

It takes about 21 days to develop a habit. So don't give up if you find it hard at first to adhere to your morning routine, and don't allow yourself to make exceptions when it comes to it.

Even one “not today” can ruin the entire progress you've made over the past few days, and you'll be starting all over again.

Share Experiences

Talk to other people, your friends, family members, or co-workers about your morning routine, and share how you are progressing or how it is helping you. Actively sharing with those around you can help you stick to your routine and find inspiration for new morning rituals.

Avoid Distractions

If you know cars will be honking in the morning or your cell phone is constantly ringing, close the window and put your phone on silent during your morning ritual to avoid distractions.

Prepare your surroundings for your morning ritual so that you can practice it undisturbed and in peace.

Always Get Up At the Same Time

An important aspect of your morning ritual is to always get up at the same time. If you have a specific time to guide you through your morning ritual, then it will be easier for you to schedule and perform it.

Why You Should Establish a Morning Routine

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A well-planned morning routine based on scientific principles can have a significant impact on your life. It helps reduce stress, promotes physical and mental health, increases productivity, and helps you start the day on a positive note. [2]

With the right rituals and persistence, anyone can reap the benefits of a successful morning routine, and so can you!

CARE, as a specialist in preventative healthcare and blood analysis, is a big advocate for morning routines because they offer numerous health benefits and allow us to optimize our wellness. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us about becoming a member of CARE and allow us to guide you through your health journey to become the healthiest and fittest version of yourself.

List of References

Blog Author Elena Health Coach at CARE

Elena Iagovitina

Health Coach at CARE Zurich

About the author

Elena is an enthusiastic Health Coach and blog writer at CARE, with a passion for holistic medicine and health. Previously, Elena worked for almost five years as a coach leading retreats, workshops, and seminars. These included mind-body therapy: breath work, meditation, and massage; as well as energy force therapy: reiki, and qi gong; and third expressive therapy: movement, writing and support groups. Elena shares exciting articles on the blog, on the topic of where the alternative and traditional medicine intersect with Western Medicine. Elena is also the driving force behind the CARE community. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, traveling to remote locations and dancing. You might also see her on the lake of Zurich as a coast guard. Join her on her journey to learn more about health and discover the world of preventive medicine! Visit all articles written by Elena!