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Creating the Perfect Morning Routine for You

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A wonderful morning routine doesn't need to be elusive. Here's inspiration to find one thing you can do every morning to set the tone for an amazing day.


Each morning, Jodi Helmer and her husband drink tea, review their social media, and cuddle with their dogs in their Charlotte home. Helmer, 43, is the author of "Growing your Own Tea Garden: The Guide to Growing and Harvesting Flavorful Teas in your Backyard," also writes in her journal and plans her day.


Not everyone has such a Zen morning. But evidence suggests that the right morning routine empowers your day and, over time, can help create a mindset that contributes to your ability to be your most productive.


In fact, a study in the journal Emotion suggests that creating and following a morning routine decreases stress, depression and anxiety, and makes your to-do list seem less daunting.


Helmer, a busy author, finds the routine helps her stay on task and get in the zone for productive work.


Create a Personal Morning Routine

Helmer's Zen routine may not be a fit for your personality, and that's OK. A helpful morning routine starts with knowing yourself and creating a schedule that makes sense for you.


Try ideas on for size. Choose activities that energize you and you look forward to. Maybe that's coffee with your favorite creamer, tea, or a nice breakfast. 


It could be a walk with the dog or sitting outside on the patio with your family, as natural light snaps you out of morning grogginess and actually helps you sleep better later that night. You could play the piano, dance to a song you love, etc.


If morning exercise sounds good but you can't make it to the gym early enough, move your workout to lunch time or early evenings. Likewise, if it's too hectic to journal while the kids are getting dressed, subtract it from your morning and try before bedtime.


Starting your day with passion pursuits, things that make you feel good, healthy or give you a sense of accomplishment makes you more likely to stick with them. Consider reading, writing, outlining your day, blending a fresh smoothie, or sending connection/networking emails with family, friends or colleagues. Select only options you think could become a constant.



Your routine shouldn't look like anyone else's but be cultivated especially for you. Start by identifying what's important to you. Set a few goals, whether you need more stimulation to wake up, a less hectic start to your day, more focus or greater productivity. Then brainstorm the activities that align with your goals.


Your routine could look something like this:

  • 9 p.m.: Lay out clothing and make lunches to reduces morning stress

  • 6 a.m.: Set a wake-up time and stick to it (waking up at the same time every morning helps your body get into a natural rhythm that will help you sleep better in the long term)

  • 6:15 a.m.: Coffee or tea, plan your daily tasks

  • 6:30 a.m.: Write in your journal

  • 6:45 a.m.: Exercise, walk the dog, stretch, or practice yoga

  • 7:15 a.m.: Meditate, read, write email connections

  • 7:30 a.m.: Get dressed


Think of stacking your routine as a buffet of activities and choose only the ones that work with your lifestyle and personality.


Other calming morning rituals could include taking care of plants, brushing your teeth, or doing the dishes mindfully while trying to stay in the moment. 


You might take a few minutes every morning to consider a word that represents a theme for your day, such as accomplish, kindness, or cultivate.


Not every idea will fit your morning routine but experimenting can help you create a routine that will leave you pumped and productive.


Helmer says her calming routine fits her and her husband's personality and sets a mindful tone to the day. "It keeps me balanced and productive," she says.


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