If you’re looking for morning hacks to start your day, you’ve come to the right place!
As a work-at-home mom, my mornings are pretty hectic and chaotic, and one of my goals for the year ahead is to create – and stick to – a better morning routine. While we do a pretty good job of powering through all the things each morning without someone having an epic meltdown, it feels like we are constantly racing against time, and I inevitably spend the first 30 minutes of my workday making beds, clearing away dishes, and tackling laundry, which really hurts my productivity.
I’ve been experimenting with various morning hacks over the last 12 months or so, and we finally have a system in place that works. Everyone is pitching in, which means I’m not coming home to a disaster after school drop-off each day, and I feel more organized and accomplished than I ever have in my life. Now I just need to keep the momentum going and stick to it, lol.
If you’re trying to streamline your mornings , here are 9 of my favorite morning hacks to start your day off right!
1. PLAN AHEAD
I know this isn’t ground-breaking news, but spending 15-20 minutes prepping and planning each evening can save you heaps of time when you’re tired and in a rush. I pack school lunches, load/unload the dishwasher, and set out our breakfast items each evening before bed. I then select my outfit, put my shoes, purse, and coat by the front door, organize my workout gear, fill up my water bottle, and untie the laces of my running shoes so that nothing slows me down once my alarm goes off. I’ve also gotten my daughter into the habit of laying out her school uniform, picking her hair ties and accessories, and putting her school bag by the front door.
I know this may sound like a lot to do at the end of a busy day, but we’ve been doing this long enough that it’s become a habit. It only takes us 10 minutes, but I’ve learned the hard way that leaving these tasks until the morning can slow us down by 20 minutes because we’re not as focused and efficient at that time of day.
2. SLEEP WITH THE CURTAINS OPEN
Did you know that exposure to natural sources of light within an hour of waking up can help suppress melatonin production, increase cortisol production, and release serotonin, leaving you feeling energized and ready to take on whatever the day throws at you? A healthy dose of morning sunlight can also help ward off insomnia by re-setting your circadian rhythm, so if you’re looking for morning hacks to start your day off on the right foot, consider sleeping with the curtains open.
If you sleep in a room without a window, or simply cannot stomach the idea of waking up to a bright room, there are other things you can do. Go for a walk around your neighborhood when you wake up, eat your breakfast on your back deck, or invest in a light therapy lamp.
3. DON’T PRESS THE SNOOZE BUTTON
I used to press snooze an average of 7 times a morning. SEVEN TIMES! It drove my husband bananas, but I was convinced I couldn’t function without those additional bursts of sleep, and did it for years. It wasn’t until I started researching tips to help streamline our mornings that I realized I needed to ditch the snooze button once and for all.
While pressing snooze may sound luxurious when you feel too tired to get out of bed, it can actually make you feel more exhausted. After you’re jolted awake by your alarm clock, the act of pressing the snooze button tells your brain to go back to sleep, only to be jolted awake again a few minutes later. Keep in mind that you tend to fall into a deep sleep after pressing snooze, so the sleep-wake-sleep cycle can actually cause you to feel groggy and lethargic instead of awake and refreshed. A much better option is to set your alarm for the time you actually need to get up, allowing your body to benefit from uninterrupted, quality sleep.
4. DON’T CHECK YOUR PHONE!
Many of us (myself included) use our smartphones as our alarm clocks, and no matter how hard we try not to check our phones first thing in the morning, it’s hard not to see all of those notifications flashing before our eyes as we’re turning that darn alarm off. While it may feel beneficial to spend the first 5-10 minutes of your day checking your email and calendar, and scrolling through social media, it can cause you to feel stressed, anxious, and overwhelmed before you even get out of bed. This can cause you to feel irritable, impatient, and rushed, and can significantly impact how you interact with your loved ones.
If you’re looking for morning hacks to start your day off on the right foot, set your phone to airplane mode each evening before bed, or invest in an inexpensive alarm clock and leave your phone by the front door to avoid temptation!
5. START THE DAY WITH 16-OZS OF WATER
Our bodies are naturally dehydrated in the morning, and while it can be tempting to reach for caffeine and sugar first thing in the a.m. for a little energy boost, this can cause you to crash and burn a couple of hours later. Start the day with a glass of lemon water instead to help get your digestive system moving, and fill up on protein-rich foods to keep your blood sugar stable and ensure long-lasting energy so you can focus.
6. DO ONE THING YOU LOVE WHEN YOU WAKE UP
Another one of my favorite tried and test morning hacks to start your day is to do something you love when you wake up. This could be snuggling with your kids, Face-timing with your BFF, practicing yoga, listening to a podcast, or reading a good book. The point is to find something you’re passionate about, to schedule it into your morning routine, and to protect that time like a newborn child. The more motivated you are to get out of bed each day, the happier you will feel when that alarm goes off!
7. GET MOVING
Another one of my favorite morning hacks to start your day is to move your body for 30+ minutes. Morning workouts boost your mood and mental state and get you ready to conquer the day, leaving you feeling more energized, alert, and productive. I like to workout as soon as I get out of bed in the morning as I find that when I push it off until the afternoon or early evening, I inevitably find an excuse not to do it.
If you’d like to switch to a morning exercise routine but can’t make it to a gym that early in the morning, there are tons of great workouts you can stream for free on YouTube, allowing you to sweat in the comfort of your own home. CLICK HERE for our favorite morning workouts to kickstart your day!
8. LISTEN TO SOMETHING
Streaming an inspiring podcast, a juicy audiobook, or your favorite playlist is another great way to set the tone for the day ahead. We have Sonos speakers in all of the main areas of our home and stream music constantly, which helps to create a happy and upbeat atmosphere while simultaneously giving my energy and motivation a boost. Give it a try!
9. COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS
My final tip if you’re looking for morning hacks to start your day is to take a few minutes each morning to write down 5 things you’re grateful for. These don’t need to be huge, but you do need to be intentional as you think through and write down the items on your list. A warm cup of coffee, a good book, snuggles with your kids, lunch with a friend, and a lazy night watching movies with someone you love are all examples of small but meaningful things that can add a huge amount of joy to your life. Keeping a daily gratitude journal takes very little time but can make a huge difference in setting a positive tone for the day ahead and reminding you to count your blessings.
If you’re trying to streamline your mornings , I hope this collection of my favorite morning hacks to start your day off right prove as helpful to you as they’ve been to me! Remember to plan ahead, avoid the snooze button, get moving, and count your blessings daily, and ensure you’re taking the time to do something you love when you wake up each morning.