Does your daily routine feel like a drag instead of something that gives your day structure? Or do you feel like your daily routine is missing something, but you can’t put your finger on what? Once we get stuck in our routines, it’s easy to forget the other possibilities. To help inspire you, we’ve rounded up 12 things that every daily routine should include, from anti-aging skincare products to a protein-rich breakfast:
Table of Contents
A Good Night’s Sleep
The most successful daily routines actually start the night before, with plenty of sleep. If you’re sleep-deprived, then even the best morning routine will be a complete drag and leave you feeling tired instead of energized. If your morning routine seems perfect on paper, but leaves something to be desired, then check in with yourself about your sleep schedule to make sure you’re getting enough zzz’s.
Many people drink caffeine in the form of coffee or tea first thing in the morning, but what you should really be doing is drinking a small glass of water as soon as you wake up. Not only does water help you stay hydrated, it also helps to soothe your stomach (which can be irritated by caffeine). Dehydration can also cause hunger pains, so if you wake up feeling hungry, drinking water will help you figure out if you’re actually hungry or just thirsty.
If you’re skipping breakfast because you think you can’t afford the time or the calories, think again. Eating a healthy, protein-rich breakfast jump-starts your metabolism and helps you to feel more full throughout the day. It will also help you to think smarter and faster since being hungry can cause brain fog and make it harder to concentrate.
Applying sunscreen in the morning is the most important thing that you can do to prevent signs of premature aging, so it should absolutely be part of your daily routine. Tailor your morning and evening skincare routines to your specific needs, whether that’s skincare for oily skin, dry skin, or combination skin to see the best results. Don’t forget to apply the products to your neck and decollete as well as the rest of your face!
Meditation can help you feel centered and increase your focus throughout the day, so many people like to include it in their daily routines. If you are new to meditation, you might find it easier to start with a guided meditation recording that walks you through the steps. Many of these recordings include specific prompts for each meditation as well as soothing music to create a calming atmosphere.
Breathing exercises can be done alone or paired with many activities on this list, including medication, stretching, and positive affirmations. There are many different breathing exercises you can choose from, but they are all focused on increasing your oxygen and building your lung strength and stamina. Breathing exercises can be either calming or invigorating, depending on what type of exercises you choose, so think about what effect you want them to have and what time of day you plan to do them.
Some people do their entire workout first thing in the morning before breakfast, but even if you can’t manage that, you can still benefit from doing some kind of physical activity throughout the day. Stretching or yoga will help work out any lingering stiffness while walking or running will get your heart rate up and make you feel more alert. Start with just 5-10 minutes of activity and then add onto it once you get used to being active every single day.
Repeating positive affirmations to yourself can help encourage good self-talk and set your intentions for the day. You can either repeat the same affirmations each day or tailor them to whatever is happening later in your life. For example, if you have a big client presentation that day at work, then you might want to repeat affirmations such as “I trust in my public speaking abilities,” “I express my ideas eloquently,” and “I thrive under pressure.”
Music or Podcasts
Music can influence your mood and help you wake up or get ready to sleep, so it makes a great addition to any daily routine. If you want to learn something instead of just passively listening to music, then put on an informative podcast about a topic that appeals to you. Both music and podcasts provide a perfect background for the rest of your daily routine or your commute to work or school.
Exposure to sunlight wakes you up in the morning and also helps your body create vitamin D — that’s why it can be so difficult to get out of bed on a cloudy day. To stay alert, open your curtains as soon as you wake up to soak up the sun’s rays. If you get up before the sun or live somewhere with a lot of cloudy days, then consider investing in a light therapy lamp, which mimics the sun’s UV rays. Just don’t use it in the evening, since the light will wake you up.
Reading broadens your mind, helps you learn new things, and sharpens your memory and creative thinking. If you want to read more, then incorporate a few minutes of reading into your daily routine. Even just a few pages a day will quickly add up over time, and you’ll get through an entire book before you know it.
You can journal about many topics: Your goals for the day or year, your feelings about the previous day, a favorite memory from the past, really anything that comes to mind. Getting into regular journaling practice will help you process your thoughts and emotions about the previous day and set your intentions for the upcoming day. Write by hand in a notebook instead of a laptop to cut down on screen time and help yourself feel more grounded.
Do you currently include these activities in your daily routine, or are you planning to add some of them? What are some other essential activities that you would personally add to this list? Let us know in the comments below!