How to Create a Daily Morning Routine for a Less Stressful Day

Woman reaching for an apple
Our mornings set the tone for the rest of the day. Here's how to start a daily morning routine that can help you and your day become more productive and organized!

I have never been much of a morning person. In fact, I spent most of my life dreading getting up at any reasonable hour. (We can debate what constitutes a “reasonable hour” another day.)

Over the years, this has actually led to my mornings being more stressful and frantic. And to be honest, it started affecting the rest of my day. How? Well, when your morning is a hectic, frenzied mess, it can throw your whole day into chaos. Keep doing it, and you are looking at stress building up for weeks on end.

Having a good daily morning routine can make a world of difference for your entire day. With just as little as 30 extra minutes each morning, you can boost your mood and set the tone for the rest of your day. It can help you become more productive and organized in your day-to-day life, while also reducing the amount of stress you normally experience.

So let’s stop snoozing the alarm, skipping breakfast, and rushing out the door while screaming about being late. Did you forget to grab your coffee again? Oh, and then having a terrible commute, because we’re frazzled and stressed.

Getting into a daily morning routine is going to be exactly what you need to get in the right mindset to tackle the challenges of a busy day! Here are suggestions for habits that you can use to start your day off right.

Related: 9 Healthy Habits to Add to Your Morning Routine Right Now

Leave the Curtains Open


I know that no one wants to hear this, but pulling the blackout curtains shut is not going to help you in the morning. They are designed to help you sleep longer, after all. By blocking out the rising sun, they are going to make it much harder to get going when your alarm goes off.

Which is more pleasant: waking up in a pitch-black room to an alarm clock beeping loud enough for the neighbors to hear, or waking up to natural sunlight gradually filling the room? And even if you don’t wake up with sunlight alone, the gradual sunlight can make waking up a little less jarring, even if you do still wake up with an alarm.

This is also the concept behind those sunrise alarm clocks that have been rising in popularity. If sleeping without blackout curtains isn’t possible – like say, you have flickering lights or a street lamp outside your window all night – a sunrise alarm clock could provide similar benefits. The light gradually increases in brightness leading up to your alarm time, mimicking sunlight coming in through the window.

Make Your Bed Each Morning


I know that no one actually cares what your bed looks like. In fact, I am willing to bet that most people you know won’t ever even see it. That’s why it is so easy to resolve that making your bed is a waste of time. Why put in the work if no one sees it but you, right?

Hear me out, though. Making your bed isn’t as much of a waste as you might think it is. In fact, it can be the very first task that sets the tone for the rest of the day.

Making the bed is a simple, easy action that you can do each morning to start your day feeling accomplished. It is something that you don’t even need coffee to do – but hey, I won’t judge if you wait until after you pour that cup. This small task will give you a sense of pride, and will encourage you to do another task. Eventually, it will snowball into a string of tasks. And once you take charge and complete simple tasks, it will provide the foundation for a whole day of accomplishment.

As an added bonus, regularly making your bed will lead to less stress throughout the day and into the evening. It will encourage you to keep your room a little more tidy. Having a less cluttered room will be much less overwhelming and stressful in the long run, and can even lead to better sleep at night!

Drink a Glass of Water

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Everyone knows that staying hydrated is pretty important. As a general rule, we should be drinking plenty of water throughout the day. It helps flush excess toxins, keeps your organs and cells in your body functioning properly, and it is a good way to keep your skin healthy and glowing.

Start your day off on the right foot by drinking that first glass of water. I know you’re ready to reach for that cup of coffee, but do yourself a solid and have water first. After being asleep for several hours, it is time to perk up your body with a boost of hydration! After all, you’ve just spent the last several hours not drinking any water at all. Add some fresh lemon to your water to help remove toxins from your digestive tract, get a little extra vitamin C, and stimulate your metabolism.

Always Eat Breakfast

woman smiling and holding two halves of dragon fruit in front of her eyes with various fruits on the table

I know you have heard the old cliché about breakfast being the most important meal of the day. As it turns out, it has become a cliché because it is absolutely true. It’s your first meal to break the overnight fasting period. That means it replenishes your body’s supply of glucose to boost energy levels and alertness. It kick-starts your metabolism for the day, too.

Make time to eat a healthy breakfast, and you will find that you have more energy throughout the day. It will also be easier to focus and concentrate while you are out there taking care of business!

When choosing something for breakfast, it’s important to pay attention to what you’re eating. Stay away from the empty calories of sugary cereals or pastries. They’re not any better than eating a slice of cake, to be honest. Healthy fats, lean proteins, and whole grains will give you the morning boost that you need. Foods like eggs, greek yogurt, oatmeal, fresh fruits, and whole wheat toast are all easy options.

Get In a Little Physical Activity

woman stretching on yoga mat at home and looking at laptop screen

I am not telling you to hit the gym for a strenuous weightlifting session or anything, but getting in a little physical activity is a great addition to a regular morning routine. It just needs to be something to get yourself moving and get your blood flowing. That means it doesn’t even need to be for more than ten or fifteen minutes.

You can cycle through a few yoga poses or other stretches, or just do a few reps of jumping jacks and push-ups. If it is nice outside, why not step outside for some fresh air and a walk around the block! And hey, going to the gym for a strenuous workout is also a great option, if that is more your speed. Like I said, anything that gets you up and moving!

Do at Least One Thing You Love

woman writing in journal at window, drinking coffee or tea in mug

Mornings can be hectic, to say the least. You are rushing around, trying to get dressed and get breakfast in your body on your way out the door. That is not a great way to start the day.

Take a few moments to squeeze in some time for yourself before the rest of your day sets in. It can be as simple as listening to a favorite song, hanging out with your pet for a few minutes, sitting in a quiet spot to enjoy your coffee or tea, or writing in your journal. Sometimes I enjoy playing a word game, or I set aside a little extra time to draw.

I know that adding extra time for yourself in your morning routine likely means getting up a little earlier, but it is worth it. While you may lose 15 or 30 minutes of sleep in the morning, that extra bit of time can do wonders for the rest of your day. It will definitely boost your mood, and help bring some positivity to your day.

Go to Bed Earlier

restful sleep

Okay, I know this one is technically something you do the night before, but it affects your morning routine. And I also know that literally no one wants to hear this, but you know as well as I do that it’s pretty important.

If you really want to become more productive and organized, while also reducing the stress of day-to-day life, you are going to have to go to bed earlier. You don’t have to shave several hours off your night or anything, but staying up late into the night is not helping you get up the next day. Focusing on good sleep habits will have you feeling less cranky, have your mornings looking less stressful, plus it’ll be easier to just get out of bed.

If going to bed earlier seems impossible, do it gradually. Start with a simple 15 minutes. Once you get adjusted to going to bed 15 minutes earlier, you can move it up another 15 minutes. Before you know it, you will be adjusted to an earlier bedtime.

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