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FITNESS

Wellness

Why you should establish a morning routine for the new year

There is no better time than the new year to establish new habits. Creating a morning routine is the perfect way to start the year off on the right foot. Not only do morning routines boost productivity and set a positive tone for your day, but they also are known to lower stress and increase your energy levels, according to a study by the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine. If you've been feeling like your life lacks structure lately (we totally get it—online school can *def* make you feel a little disorganized), try adding some of these steps to your morning routine.

Stay off your screens

The urge to pick up your phone immediately after waking up is real, but scrolling through Insta for the first half-hour of your morning isn't the best way to start your day. Social media floods your brain with external stimuli and makes it *really* hard to begin your day on a calm and mindful note. Try to stay off your phone and laptop until you're fully awake and alert.

Get moving

You don't need to immediately hit the gym and go hardcore with a HIIT workout, but stretching your muscles is a great way to get your blood flowing. Whether it be taking your dog for a quick walk or doing a quick yoga flow, try to dedicate a few minutes of your morning to some light exercise.

Drink water

It might sound trivial, but starting your day with a glass of water rehydrates your body and boosts digestion. If you're feeling particularly sleepy, a cold glass of ice water might help you feel more alert.

Practice mindfulness

With all the distractions of our day-to-day lives, it's easy to get overwhelmed. The morning is the perfect time to refocus on what matters most. Take some time to practice mindfulness after you wake up. You might meditate, pray or write in a gratitude journal.

Set aside some time for yourself

What's your favorite relaxing thing to do? Maybe it's reading, coloring or listening to music. Whatever it is, set aside a few minutes of your morning to do something you enjoy. It'll bring some much-needed positivity and fun to the daily grind.

Create goals for the day

Before you begin the rest of your day, set some goals to accomplish. It will help you stay productive and make intentional choices. Your goals don't have to be anything extreme—they could be as simple as cleaning your bedroom or studying for one hour for your Spanish test.

And remember, your morning routine doesn't have to be as *aesthetic* as the ones you see on YouTube or TikTok. (Although if it is, you go girl!) You don't need a fancy coffee pot or a fluffy robe to have a productive morning. As long as you create some fulfilling habits, you can experience the amazing benefits of a morning routine.

What steps are you adding to your morning routine in 2021? Let us know on Twitter @girlslifemag!

All GIFs via Giphy

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by Kathleen O'Neill | 12/30/2020
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