Magazine

How to Create a Morning Routine - and Stick to It

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How’d you feel when you woke up this morning? Refreshed? Exhausted?

For most of us, the answer is definitely the latter. We’re working hard, and it can be tough to get enough sleep each night to wake up feeling fresh and prepared to tackle the day. But your morning sets the tone of your day, so there’s no reason to let a groggy start fog up the rest of your waking hours. It’s important to create a set morning routine that you’re committed to follow, so you squeeze the most out of every day. Set your alarm a bit earlier so you’re not rushing out of the house—in just a couple minutes each morning, you can re-align yourself and kick off your day energized. Here’s how:

Sleep!

Maybe the most crucial part of your morning routine actually starts the night before. We know it can be tough to get to bed on time (damn you, Netflix!), but it’s important to pick a time to crash that leaves you with enough time for deep, sound sleep. You may not be able to fall asleep immediately, but set yourself up for success: get in bed, turn your phone on silent, open a book. Do whatever you need in order to sleep however many hours you need to hit snooze only once in the morning. And if you’re kept up working late, take it from us—chances are your best work won’t come when you’re exhausted. Take a breather and pick it up tomorrow.

A great morning routine starts with a good night sleep

Quiet Down

It seems like everyone is talking about mindfulness lately, but you don’t need to take a course or workshop. Mindfulness starts at home, and all you need is you. But first—if this is new to you, a free app like Oak, with guided meditations and breathing exercises, can be essential. Each morning, once you’ve gotten out of bed and shaken the sleep from your eyes, sit in a comfortable spot in your house or apartment. Grab a pillow, surround yourself with plants, find a space with sunshine, and close those eyes. If you’re an experienced meditator, great. You know the drill. If not, just try to quiet your mind each morning. Set an alarm for 5 minutes to start, and in that time attempt to think about nothing. Thoughts will float through your mind—don’t stress. Let them keep moving, like leaves floating down a stream. Let your brain start the day in a quiet, subdued mode before the rush of the day hits you.

Get Your Blood Pumping

You’re awake, you’re relaxed—now it’s time to generate some power. Exercising in the morning can elevate your heart rate but help you regulate your breathing so later in the day when work is heating up, you’re less likely to break into a whirlwind of stress. If you don’t have time for a run, walk, or bike ride in the morning, no worries. Set aside just 10 minutes for two sets of push-ups, two sets of sit-ups, and some basic stretching. Start on easy and dial up the intensity when you’re ready.

Eat, and Eat Right

We all grew up hearing that breakfast was the most important meal of the day. That may be true, but they left out the ‘healthy’ part. You may love bacon, sausage, and Cinnamon Toast Crunch, but try shifting to lighter, less meat and cereal-based breakfasts and see how you feel. We’re willing to be the answer is ‘amazing.’ A nut-rich bowl of granola and milk; yogurt and fresh fruit, or toast and jam—with some tea or coffee, naturally—will give you a much different feeling than a heavy, greasy breakfast. Habits are hard to change, so start with just one or two mornings a week and feel the difference.

Morning coffee

Get Fresh

You’ve already exercised, meditated, and eaten a delicious, healthy breakfast. It can begin to feel like you’ve had a whole day before your day starts, and it’s almost enough to forget that you’ve got to shower before you head to work. Showering and bathing aren’t just functional activities—they’re an important part of calming your mind and caring for your body. To vanquish any remaining drowsiness, we recommend our pine-scented Wedgewood Soap and Face Cleanser. After you’ve dried off, try out one of our elegant Beard Oils to keep your face moisturized and your beard looking fresh, and soothe your skin with our All Purpose Oil.

Get fresh

Leave Time to Look Good

Once you’re feeling fresh and clean, get your look in check—you want to look as good as you feel, right? Start with your hair. A simple Hair Cream will work if you’ve got easily-shapeable hair, but for thicker hair or curls, you’ll want to hold it with a stronger Pomade. Our Mustache Wax can give your look that extra edge, too—nobody wants a perfectly styled coif but a sloppy, scraggly mustache. Got everything in place? Good. Pick out the right outfit for the day and walk right out the door.

If these sound like a lot to tackle at the same time, start with one adjustment to your morning routine at a time. The more you start each day with intention and clarity, the better your days will be. Set your alarm for tomorrow morning—it’s time to get started!