How to energise your day with a morning routine 

A morning ritual can truly make all the difference to life

The perfect morning routine inspires you to make the most of the whole day. It’s easy to roll over and press snooze, especially in winter when it’s still dark outside.  

Setting a simple morning ritual not only helps your mental wellbeing but can also cement and improve your physical health as well. It sounds counterintuitive, but the more active we are, the better our energy levels.

Woman waking up in the morning and stretchingCredit: Shutterstock / RealPeopleStudio

A morning routine doesn’t have to be too difficult or too rigid. Just a few simple steps that you follow each day can make an enormous difference, but it’s important to give yourself time over the coming weeks for these steps to become a habit if you want to truly change your life. 

In his bestselling book, Atomic Habits, James Clear promotes ‘habit stacking,’ stacking a new habit on top of an existing one. An example of that might be “After eating breakfast I will write a to-do list for the day.”  

You can add more habits, until the whole routine becomes second nature. You might have heard it takes three weeks for something to become habit, but Clear writes that the reality is on average two months – so patience and consistency are key.  

Follow our tips to create a morning routine to energise your day. You might like to reorder them or add your own, but we hope you find some inspiration to start making material changes to your morning, and therefore the rest of your day. 

Man asleep in bedCredit: Shutterstock / Tavarius

Sleep well

Try and get a good amount of rest

Look, we know you’ve heard this a thousand times before, but it really is true – get the right amount of sleep and you’ll just have more resource to attack the day.  

Try to go to bed at the same time consistently and put away electronics at least an hour before bed. Avoid eating or drinking alcohol too close to bedtime as this disrupts your sleep cycle.  

If you have trouble unwinding or getting off to sleep, try a sleep app for some relaxing music or guided meditation.  The Sleep Foundation recommends between seven and nine hours sleep a night, though this does vary according to age.

Couple waking up in the morningCredit: Shutterstock / simona pilolla 2

Wake up at the same time

Find your circadian rhythm

If you have to be up early during the week, it can be tempting to sleep later on the weekend, but our bodies work better when we follow a circadian rhythm. That doesn’t mean rising before dawn if you’re naturally a night owl.  

Consider your own body and its needs and try and fall into a natural rhythm. You might need an alarm for consistency at first, but over time it will become second nature.  

Sleep expert James Wilson, AKA The Sleep Geek, is a sleep practitioner specialising in helping poor sleepers rest better:  

“If people are going to do one thing to try and create a healthy sleep routine, then a consistent wake up time is it. This is because it leads us to have a consistent time when we feel sleepy, as one of the systems that manages our sleep in our body is sleep homeostasis.  

“Simply put, this is a sleep pressure that builds during the day, driving us towards sleepiness in the evening. Finally, it works even better if coupled with exposure to daylight early in the day, and preferably within 30 minutes of waking up.” 

Exposure to daylight early in the day helps your body’s natural sleep rhythm; the light you are exposed to in the day effectively helps your body recognise when it’s time to sleep.

Hand pressing the snooze button on an alarm clockCredit: Shutterstock / Christian Delbert

Don’t press snooze

Use the 5-4-3-2-1 method instead

When that alarm goes off, the temptation is to hit snooze and grab an extra ten minutes. And then maybe ten more…  

The problem with that is we become sluggish and unmotivated, which doesn’t help our energy levels at all. As Wilson points out:  “Hitting the snooze button is not a nice way to wake up and for some people it becomes Snooze Button Syndrome, hitting the snooze button every five to ten minutes for, in some cases hours on end.   

“It leaves us feeling tired and lethargic, with us continuously falling back to sleep and being woken with a start, with adrenaline pumping as our body thinks it is under attack.” 

Motivational speaker Mel Robbins uses the five second rule to encourage getting out of bed when the alarm goes. It’s very simple: when you wake up, you have five seconds to move. Count 5-4-3-2-1, and up you get.  

Head straight to the bathroom, or to make coffee, or whatever you need to do, but resist the urge to get back into bed until you’re properly awake (there’s nothing wrong with a cup of tea in bed).  

This habit might take time and determination to build, but it is very effective. The 5-4-3-2-1 method can also be applied to multiple areas of daily life such as completing tasks we really don’t want to tackle, getting up out of the armchair, or making that phone call we’ve been putting off.   

Man and woman in kitchen drinking glasses of waterCredit: Shutterstock / Hananeko_Studio

Drink water

Good hydration is key

Start the day as you mean to go on by drinking a large glass of water. This will hydrate the body after eight hours of not drinking and help energise you for the day ahead. If you can’t stand plain water, try cutting up some lemon and keeping it in the fridge, ready to add first thing.  

Drinking water first thing also helps us remember to drink more through the day. How many times has it got to mid-afternoon and you realise all you’ve had to drink is coffee? This is one step in the right direction.  

Cold water, room temperature, even warm… it doesn’t matter, just drink it.  

Man sitting in a kitchen writing in a journalCredit: Shutterstock / Jacob Lund

Practise gratitude

Build a journalling habit and take time to reflect

Jenna Owen, yoga practitioner and owner of Joy Yoga studio, highlights how important it is to take time for reflection:  

“My mornings start with a cup of tea and a few minutes journalling. Journalling is a huge part of my life- it sets my intentions and aligns my thoughts for the day.  

“I start with a list of what I’m grateful for, followed by why the day might be great or challenging, and how I can overcome these challenges.  

“How you speak to yourself in those first few minutes of the day is so important as it sets the narrative for the whole day. Starting the day with gratitude, no matter how small – mine often involves being grateful for a hot cup of tea – can really bring a tonne of positivity to your day.  

“Journalling has no rules. You can just open a new page and start writing or use prompts. There are also pre-written journals or apps which you can fill in each morning if you are just starting out.” 

Male and female couple in cobra poseCredit: Shutterstock / Sahara Prince

Energise your muscles

Try some purposeful movement

After journalling, Owen moves to her yoga mat. Taking time to move your body first thing releases endorphins that leave you feeling energised for the day ahead. 

“There is a thought that your yoga practice must be an hour long but that’s not right. Often mine is between ten and twenty minutes. The key with morning movement is: just do it and don’t overthink it.  

“Physically it’s a wonderful thing to do as it gets the joints moving and lubricated for the day. It also sets you up right; if you start active you are more likely to continue with that mindset throughout the day. It can help with strength, flexibility and mobility depending on the type of yoga you do.  

“Mentally, morning movement is a wonderful thing as it reconnects us to these glorious bodies of ours. We have put them through so much over the years! It allows us to get out of our heads for a while and often acts as a moving meditation. Yoga is also known to activate our parasympathetic nervous system which helps us deal with stress better, aids digestion, and helps the body relax.  

“If you have any injuries or illnesses, or are new to exercise, it’s a good idea to consult a medical professional before starting. And if yoga is a struggle, try just sitting calmly and focusing on your breath for a while. This can have the same outcome.”  

Male and female couple talking and sharing breakfast at homeCredit: Shutterstock / Ground Picture
Intermittent fasting can help regulate weight

Eat breakfast

Fuel your body in the right way

Breakfast to you might mean a piece of fruit or toast. Or it might mean a plate of bacon and eggs. Whatever you like to go for in the mornings, it’s a good idea to give your body a boost of energy after it’s been fasted all night. 

Eating breakfast also boosts your brain power as it gives your body and brain the glucose it needs from a night of rest. It can prompt you to make better food choices throughout the day too, as you’re not ravenously hungry.  

If you really can’t face food first thing, drink a large glass of water, complete some of the other points on this list, such as journalling or a gentle workout, and aim to eat something within a couple of hours of waking.   

Try to aim for whole foods rather than processed cereal or pastries to avoid a blood sugar spike. Breakfast doesn’t need to take ages to prep, as a grab and go option (such as yogurt and a banana) is fine, but it’s a good idea to think of healthy choices.  

There is an abundance of choices. If you prefer a sweet breakfast then Greek yogurt with fruit and honey, or some granola, is a good shout. You might like savoury, so scrambled eggs on toast are a healthy but comforting choice. You could even add some spinach on the side for one of your five-a-day, combining that with filling, useful protein as you begin the day. 

Woman writing in notepadCredit: Shutterstock / Gabi Moisa

Write a to-do list

Get your priorities in order

The final step on our list encourages you to be more organised about the day ahead. It doesn’t always need to follow a rigid schedule, especially if you’ve spent years in the workplace following a strict routine and are keen to start living differently, but writing down a list of priorities can always help.  

You might have an important dental appointment you don’t want to forget, or maybe you need to get to the shop to buy ingredients for dinner.

Some people like to order their to-do list, others are happy with just having things jotted down. One thing we can all agree on, though; it feels good to cross tasks off.  

Male and female couple drinking coffee and talkingCredit: Shutterstock / – Yuri A

Anyone can be a morning person; it doesn’t mean rising with the birds, it just means setting a good routine to make the most of your day by boosting your energy first thing.  

Start by picking just one of the habits from the list above and focus on it solely for a few weeks until you feel they’re second nature, starting tomorrow – remember, it could take up to two months to work, but get to that point and you’ll have made a material change to your life.  

Then, when you’re ready, add one or two more. Before long you’ll have your morning routine down, leaving others wondering how you make it all look so effortless.  

Becky Fuller

Written by Becky Fuller she/her


Becky Fuller is a fully qualified Personal Trainer, specialising in strength and conditioning for over 50s. Becky’s focus is helping people to become stronger both in body and mind, and to move well without pain. Becky also has many years’ experience working as a freelance journalist, writing for a wide variety of publications such as Screen Rant, Geek Feed, and Daily Actor. She also regularly reviews theatre productions for UKTW.

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