Waking up for morning classes is difficult. I get it. Early on in my college education, I struggled with getting ready for my 8 AM classes. I would hit the snooze button at least twice just to get those extra minutes of ‘sleep’ before rolling out of bed. I neglected the fact that these extra minutes of laying in bed would inadvertently cause a cascade of delays in my morning routine, and subsequently lead to skipping breakfast and other vital morning rituals for starting the day. I was tired, groggy, and inattentive during lectures. It was certainly difficult to adjust, and I wish I had realized sooner that my morning classes weren’t the problem, but rather how I carried out my morning routine. 

With remote learning in session, we’re all tempted to completely forego our healthy routines. The truth is, how you start your morning sets the tone for the rest of the day. Whether you’re an early bird or a night owl, a healthy morning routine benefits everyone.   

Sometimes, getting started with the right morning routine may seem challenging as certain morning habits may not be ideal to incorporate into your daily life. We encourage students not to focus on finding the best morning routine, but rather building one that is specifically tailored to you. Do what makes you feel empowered. A morning routine is more than a commitment to starting your day on the right foot. It’s your kickstart to self-improvement, a catalyst for personal growth.  

Start here! 

Good morning! Did you sleep well last night? The first step for a positive morning routine is to get 7-9 hours of sleep the night before. Settle in on a consistent sleep schedule to ensure you’re getting good sleep quality. Having a good night’s rest will leave you feeling refreshed the next day, and make it much easier to wake up in the morning.  

Resist the urge to snooze

Don’t hit snooze! It might seem tempting, but convince yourself that the snooze button is your worst enemy. You’re already mostly awake thanks to the refreshing melodic sounds of your alarm, why hit snooze? Those 5 extra minutes of lingering in your bed will only hinder your schedule and fragment your mood.  

Make water a priority

Oftentimes, we grab a cup of freshly brewed coffee to start the day and don’t think much about it. Instead, make hydration a priority in the morning. Drinking plenty of water first thing in the morning jumpstarts your metabolism, flushes toxins, and increases your level of alertness.  

Break your fast 

Yes! Eating a nutritious breakfast provides a boost of energy to start your day, and improves memory concentration levels. If you don’t have much time in the morning, try preparing your breakfast ahead of time so you’re ready to chow down the next morning. For a quick and easy breakfast, try peanut butter and banana toast or a mixed berry yogurt smoothie! 

Visualize your day 

Take a few minutes to focus on your goals of the day and prioritize the steps needed to achieve them. The start of a new day always brings an exciting opportunity for a fresh start. Incorporating a little mindfulness into the start of your day promotes mental clarity and a positive mindset.  

Try these additional tips! 

  1. Still in bed checking your phone or scrolling through social media? Try to avoid these temptations by placing your phone far away from arm’s reach so that you have more time and energy to focus on your morning routine. 
  2. Touch your toes! Stretching improves your posture and decreases muscle soreness. It’s very beneficial especially for a long day of online classes! 
  3. Splish, splash, splosh! A splash of cold water on your face not only helps you wake up, but also revitalizes your skin! Additionally, a quick morning rinse makes you feel refreshed and energized.  
  4. Let there be light. Open your blinds and let in the morning sun. Natural light exposure can enable you to feel more alert after waking up.   
  5. Melodic alarm clock. The typical alarm tone might be a little irritating and obnoxious, consider changing it to something gentler to improve your mood in starting the day. 
  6. Get dressed! Wearing sweatpants and comfy loungewear have been the new wardrobe staples with distant learning. Let’s switch it up! Changing into a different outfit everyday will shift your mental state and boost your morale. 
  7. Make your bed. Seriously, it helps! Making your bed will give you a feeling of pride, as well as provide a burst of encouragement for you to tackle your goals for the day.  

For more information on resources and services to help support you in starting a healthy morning routine, check out Success & Wellness Coaching and our SWELL resources on time management, motivation techniques, goal-setting, and more!