3 Tips for Creating a Healthy Morning Routine

I wanted to talk a little about morning routines. I’ve found that how I start my day can really impact how productive I am and how good I feel. I’ve had lots of different morning routines over the years, and I’m sure I’ll have many more, so I wanted to offer three tips along with a bunch of random thoughts/suggestions that may help you if you’re looking to change up how you start your day. I’d also really love to hear what some of you do, so please tell us in the comments!

In this post, we’re working with Care/of. They create personalized daily vitamin packs that I am a big fan of, and so excited to tell you more about them (and what I think) in my first tip below. So let’s get to it!

Tip One: Fuel Your Body

We’ve all heard that “breakfast is the most important meal of the day,” and although I’m not 100% sure if research really does show this, I still think the morning is a great place to put some healthy habits in place. One thing to think about is hydration. Are there any coffee drinkers out there? (You can’t see it but I’m raising my hand emphatically, ha!) I love to make a good cup of coffee for me and my husband every morning. I currently brew with a Chemex. And although I love coffee and have it as part of my morning routine, I try not to make that my only morning beverage, as it can be more dehydrating than hydrating. Adding a little lemon to a glass of water feels really refreshing to me in the morning, so I typically do that. And in the winter months, I’ll often warm my water first.

Other great options if you’re not a coffee drinker (or just want to change it up) are tea or chia seed water. It’s totally up to you and your preferences, but find ways to hydrate yourself! If you want to learn more about the role of water in our lives, check here.

And the second habit I’d really encourage you to make a part of your morning routine is taking your daily vitamins. Recently, we had two great articles about supplements from our Ask a Dietitian series (see here and here). Knowing what vitamins you should be taking can feel a little overwhelming, I know. And that’s the first reason why I really love Care/of. When I went to shop for my vitamins, I LOVED that they had an online quiz where you can explore what you may need—like if you’re a vegetarian (or mostly, like me), if you have trouble sleeping, how active you are, etc. From the quiz, Care/of will recommend a vitamin pack for you and your needs, which you can then change or add to if you want. This was SUCH a better experience than when I’ve been standing in the vitamins/supplement aisle at stores reading labels endlessly and ultimately just guessing at what I needed.

I also love that the vitamins come in little packs you open each day (complete with your name and a little challenge or quote on each package—too cute). And Care/of ships your vitamins every month, which creates this built-in accountability system, so you’ll see if you haven’t been taking them because they will pile up. (You can pause shipments in your account too, but I like the built-in accountability the system creates, so I wanted to highlight that.) Initially, I was skeptical because honestly they have the most beautiful branding, so I felt unsure if they were legit. (Maybe that’s a weird reaction? I don’t know.) But I love their commitment to transparency, that they tell you exactly where they source from, how much information and “levels of evidence” they provide right on their site, and all their products are tested by third party accredited labs for both safety and purity. Love all of that!

All this being said, taking supplements is not my favorite activity of the day (does anyone love swallowing pills?). So I like to do this first thing in the morning, so it’s done for the day. Added bonus: It naturally forces me to drink a glass of water before my morning coffee. Double win!

Tip Two: Prepare Your Mind

I think it’s super important to find something to do in your morning routine that gets your mind ready for the day. There are a million options here, so I thought I’d just share a few of the things I’ve done or currently do to get into the right mindset to have a really great day.

Meditate/Pray/Journal – For me, this is about gratitude. Some weeks, it’s easy to be and feel thankful, and some weeks are harder. Life is full of ups and downs, but taking a little time each day to say thank you to the universe for what you have can have such a big impact on your overall mood and happiness. Some other things you can focus on in addition to gratitude, or as needed, are opening your heart towards forgiveness and love to yourself and the world. For example, if I have a bad day on Monday, like I felt unproductive and wasted too much time during work hours, or if I snapped at Trey when he came home from work, or something else that made me feel mad at myself. The next day, I will take a minute in the morning to forgive myself and remind myself that today is a new day and it’s an opportunity to grow and do better.

It could be you only have time to do this kind of thing during your commute to work or for just a couple minutes while your coffee brews. But if you can take a few more minutes, make it even more intentional by adding other mini routines you like. You could add some light stretching or yoga to this time, diffuse some scents you love, listen to some music that gets you going, or whatever else feels right during this time. One tool I really love is the 5 Minute Journal. As the name suggests, it’s super quick, but a great tool to get in the habit of gratitude.

Tip Three: Wake Up Your Body

Some people like to get their workout in during the morning. I’ve gone through seasons of this, but currently it’s just not my thing (unless I have to for scheduling reasons). But if you’re a workout in the morning person, go for it, friend! Even though I’m not, I still like to do something that helps me feel more awake. This can be simple like taking my dog on a quick walk. Other options could include taking the stairs instead of the elevator (at a parking garage or at your office building), or sometimes even just a shower can do the trick. Keep it simple, make it fun, but find ways to get a little active or wake up your body to start your day.

So those are my three tips, which clearly can be changed up in lots of ways to fit you and not just me. 🙂 But I also really want to encourage you all as you think about your morning routine because I know a lot of people can feel like they don’t have any time in the morning to themselves. Maybe you have a super long commute to work, or you have young children who need basically all of your attention to get them ready for the day, leaving little room for you. Don’t be discouraged! I think the important part is to find a routine that can work for you in whatever season of life you are in. Some seasons you may have a very limited amount of time in the mornings, while other seasons you could do an entire crossword puzzle over a leisurely breakfast everyday. Don’t wish for a different season or compare your time to what others may have. Enjoy what you have by accepting its limitations as well as its gifts. One day you may long for those crazy, busy mornings getting the kids on the bus before school, so try to enjoy them as much as you can now. Anyway, would love to hear more about what you do (or wish you did) in your morning routines!

P.S. In case anyone is curious, here’s what’s in my daily vitamin pack: Multivitamin, Calcium Plus, Astaxanthin, and Rhodiola. And if you check out Care/of, be sure to use our code to get 50% off your first pack: BEAUTIFUL50

Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. Photos edited with A Color Story for Desktop.

    • Oh yes, fruit and vegetables (among other things) should absolutely play an important role in your diet! Supplements are just that, a supplement to make sure you are getting everything you need. Read the two articles I linked in this post from our “Ask a Dietitian” series because Lindsey breaks it down way better than I ever could.

  • Thanks for sharing! I totally agree that morning routines are so important to how you feel during the day. I also recommend this blog for reading about other people’s inspiring morning routines https://mymorningroutine.com/

    Although caffeine itself is a diuretic according to recent controlled and peer-reviewed studies coffee is not actually dehydrating so you probably don’t need to worry on that front. I’ve linked the journal article below

    http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0084154

  • Hey Emma! I’ve read about these supplements and interested! Do you feel differences, although probably subtle, after taking them for the time you’ve been taking them? Or know of any stories, blogs that talk about the “results”. thanks!

    • I’ve only been taking them for a little over a month, so I don’t think that would be long enough to say anything substantial. But one thing I like is all the information they readily provide on their website and via support if you email them. So I would email them and see if they have referrals or something along those lines that you could check out to decide for yourself.

  • that is such a cool supplement company! I love that it custom tailors your needs and offers evidence based research to support their recommendations. I appreciate that most of their supplements are free of common allergen ingredients like milk, wheat, eggs, etc..
    thank you for shairing!
    part of my morning routine always includes: walking the dog- I get to watch the sunrise and its so peaceful and relaxing. eating breakfast- It’s so important to kick start that metabolism for the day. Taking supplements- I bought a pill box like an old granny, haha, and I keep it on the kitchen counter so I don’t forget!

  • Awesome post! If I don’t get up at least an hour before I have to start getting ready, the day seems to be off. I use the time to drink tea, read, and gently wake up. It’s the best part of the day.

  • You are so right Emma, how I spend my mornings completely dictates how good I feel about my day. A good day for me would be a berry, almond milk smoothie, warm water with lemon, yoga or elliptical, and a crossword, but I only seem to get to all those things on days when I actually wake up at a good time! Right now I’m working on getting to bed early, and waking up early, but I swear, these screens make it so hard! Thanks for such wonderful tips!

    http://www.shessobright.com

  • I have been going back and forth on trying out Care/Of for months – I’ve recently gone vegetarian, and with that, really began diving into supplement research. I’ve been following A Beautiful Mess for years, and genuinely trust the suggestions you guys give – so I’m excited to feel that Care/Of is pseudo “validated” for me now, lol. Great post 👌🏻

  • I love these tips, especially heading into the new year. I do drink three cups of coffee a day though (not sure if I’ll give that up ha!), but I love the idea of hydrating with lemon water in the mornings. Definitely makes it easier to drink water in the morning.

  • I just purchased the gratitude journal!

    So excited to use it. I’ve been wanting to journal for a while but felt like it would be this tedious task that I would never have enough time for.
    Thank you for the recommendation!

  • Love your thoughts on forgiveness. Many of us are so hard on ourselves for not being perfect. all.the.time. What a nice way to remind ourselves that it’s okay and we can just start a new day.

  • I’ve had times where I wasn’t consistent with my morning routine and other times where I was very diligent and found that I feel a lot better overall (mentally and physically) when I follow a good routine (I mean it’s not surprising but if anyone wonders if it really works than, for me, I would say it definitely does). My routine has changed over the years but now that I moved in with my boyfriend who has two small children half the time, I’ve had to adapt and we’ve had to find a routine that works for both of us. I personally shower both in the morning (to wake up) and at night (to wash off the day before bed). So when we wake up, he goes downstairs to have cereal first (or wake up the kids and prep breakfast for them if we have them) while I shower and then he gets in when I’m done. I then get ready (makeup and get dressed), help the kids pack if they’re there or just pack my lunch and bag. I then get on the bus to work and listen to podcasts on the way. I get to work around 7:30 and start up my computer, make myself a coffee and prep my breakfast (I can’t eat earlier than that). Breakfast these days is usually either oatmeal or cottage cheese with fruits and nuts and a small drizzle of honey or a bit of sugar. Then I go to the gym at 10:00 (because I’m fortunate enough to work in a building where there is a gym I can access for free and the option of taking “my lunch” at any point during my day). never underestimate the power of a good morning routine.

  • I recently started taking daily multi-vitamins to ensure I am getting in all of the essential nutrients needed. I wish I had started sooner! I haven’t been into super intense workouts first thing in the morning, either, but walks or stretching are awesome. Great post!

    Mia | http://www.verymuchmia.com

  • I just love these ideas. Isn’t it funny how having a structure to our days actually can make us feel more liberated? There’s an interesting juxtaposition there! I’ll definitely check out the five minute gratitude journal. I’ve been reading lots about how there isn’t an “attitude” of gratitude so much as a “practice” of gratitude — there’s actually an awesome convo between Brene Brown and Oprah about this. The idea of working gratitude into the day in small doses is so powerful! All the best, Cynthia 🙂