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The best morning routine for success and happiness

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I loved my morning routine while working from home for almost a year. No longer required to commute, I had plenty of time in the morning for myself. Reflecting back, I realize that I felt calm because I was not rushing to get anywhere. Once I found out that I had to return to the office, I was eager to find the best morning routine for success and happiness so I could keep up the momentum. This led me to contemplate what I did differently while working from home so I could start integrating those practices into my morning routine.

Reading is one of my favorite morning activities

In this article, I’m going to share the best morning routine that changed my life. I will share 18 ideas that you can incorporate into your routine so that you too can feel happy, relaxed, and intentional with your mornings.

The best morning routine for success and happiness is for anyone and everyone. Whether you’re a busy professional, working mom, or student, these practices will help you start your morning off right so you can feel calm, stress-free, and ready to go.

Why have a morning routine?

Are you a morning lark or night owl?

I’m somewhere in the middle but definitely not a morning person. However, following the best morning routine for success and happiness has made mornings something I look forward to instead of dreading them like I used to.

Remember, the way you start the day sets the tone for how your day will unfold. In addition, your morning routine will provide you with many mental and physical health benefits such as increased energy, lower stress levels, better productivity, improved happiness, and more.

Lastly, it enables you to start the day with a feeling of accomplishment and purpose and reach your goals in a more productive way.

The best morning routine for success and happiness

Remember that not all of us are alike and some practices may work better for you than others. What I recommend you do is to pick a few of the suggestions below and incorporate them into your current routine.

Or you can pick and choose tips so you can make your own best morning routine for success and happiness.

Whatever you do, keep in mind that you’ll feel happier and less stressed in the morning if you set aside time and avoid the morning rush.

1. Pack up everything you need the night before

The best way to ensure that your morning is organized is to get everything ready the night before. This can help you avoid last-minute rushing around. It can also help you mentally prepare for the next day.

“The biggest thing that has helped me is to prepare the night before-setting my alarm to wake up before the rest of the family and aim to get 7-8 hours of sleep at night, set out my workout clothes, and prepare anything else our family needs in the morning. I’ve also found that it’s not just about motivation, it has been about consistency and knowing my reason and why behind why I do all this.”

Alyssa Canada, LCSW and mother of two

Here are some suggestions of what to do the night before:

  • Select your outfit, shoes, and accessories
  • Pack your gym/workout bag and shoes
  • Gather your work bag or backpack with everything you need to take with you
  • Pack your lunch and snacks (meal planning helps too!)
  • Be sure your car keys, phone, wallet, and pocketbook are in the right place

2. Don’t neglect your sleep

Getting good quality sleep is a priority in order to have the best morning routine for success and happiness.

A common misconception is that you can learn to get by on less than 6 hours a night. However, research suggests that adults need at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night to be well-rested.

If you are in a chronic state of sleep deprivation, your brain is flooded with stress hormones like cortisol which cause inflammation in your mind and body. Over time, you put yourself at risk of becoming physically ill and possibly depressed or anxious.

A woman sleeping in bed wih her phone next to her

Adequate sleep, on the other hand, helps stabilize your mood, appetite, memory, energy and boosts your immune system.

You’ll notice a big difference when you wake up in the morning, energized and ready to go after a good night’s rest.

Sleep is critical for my mental wellness so I focus on getting at least 8 hours of sleep a night. When I don’t sleep well, my anxiety skyrockets, I’m irritable and I get triggered easily. I try my best to follow a healthy sleep routine.

If you want to learn more, check out how to put your racing mind to bed and sleep now!

3. Don’t hit the snooze button

To avoid feeling groggy in the morning, don’t press the snooze button. If you’re getting quality sleep then there should be no reason to click the snooze button.

The best way to do this is to keep your phone far away from your bed so that you’re forced to get out of bed and turn it off.

4. As soon as you wake up, do this

What is the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning? Let me guess, you look at your phone right?

If you want to have the best morning routine for success and happiness then try this activity instead.

When you wake up in the morning, I want you to take 5 deep breaths.

Inhale through your nose and out through your mouth.

After you take deep breaths, think about 3 things you’re grateful for.

It can be simple, like “I’m grateful that I have a soft, comfortable bed to sleep in at night.”

Or you can express your gratitude for something that happened the day before, “I’m grateful that I spoke with my mom on the phone last night.”

Lastly, I want you to set an intention for your day. You can say something like “I will spend time outdoors or I will work at a standing desk.”

Setting an intention helps you get clear on what you want your day to look like. I love what Julie Turalski says on Why Setting an Intention Every Morning Will Change Your Life.

5. Drink water

In the morning right when you wake up, drink a glass of room temperature water. This helps you wake up, get hydrated, flush out toxins and get energized.

Make it easy on yourself, and leave a glass on your nightstand and immediately drink it when you wake up.

Staying hydrated is critical for your overall health and wellness because you’re made up of 70% water and dehydration is linked to fatigue, headaches, and increased cravings.

6. Let the sun in

It may surprise you to know that exposure to bright natural light in the morning is one of the simplest things you can do to feel more awake and alert, and sleep better at night.

How to wake up feeling refreshed with a woman lying on her side smiling because she know how to wake up feeling refreshed in the morning

In the morning, turn on the lights, open the shades and expose your eyes to sunlight. Your body needs natural light to reset its internal clock.

7. Write down 3 things you are grateful for

My best morning routine for success and happiness includes a gratitude practice of writing down 3 things that I’m grateful for.

This simple practice has made such a positive shift in my life. I have noticed major improvements in almost all areas of my life including my work, relationships, and health.

Starting your day with gratitude will significantly alter your perspective and put you in a positive mindset.

This practice actually rewires your brain and creates a positive chemical reaction. To learn more, check out how to start a gratitude practice and change your life.

8. Follow a skincare routine

To feel healthy inside and out, the best morning routine for success and happiness emboldens you to take a few minutes on your morning skincare routine.

The best morning routine for success and happiness includes a skincare routine

Remember, your skin is the largest organ of your body, and it is your body’s first line of defense against bacteria, viruses, and other microbes.

Every morning I wash my face with a gentle cleanser from Cerave which two dermatologists I saw recommended. Afterward, I put on Drunk Elephant Vitamin C serum, Protini™ Polypeptide Cream moisturizer, and tinted sunscreen that gives me a sun-kissed look.

Various bottles of skincare products

If you want the most simple routine, then after washing your face put on moisturizer with sunscreen. My favorite is Cerave AM Facial Moisturizing Lotion with Sunscreen.

Sunscreen will protect your skin from sun damage which can cause premature wrinkles, moles, and all types of health concerns.

To find more tips read how my skincare tips make you look 10 years younger.

9. Make your favorite warm beverage

If you’re a close friend of mine, you know that I’m a tea aficionado. Perhaps it’s because I’m Persian and I grew up drinking tea every morning?

Having a cup of tea is my favorite part of my best morning routine for success and happiness. Since I am no longer rushing to get out of the house, I have time to make and enjoy my favorite warm beverage Tazo Earl Grey.

There’s actually something called Tea Therapy where you practice mindfulness when preparing and drinking a cup of tea.

If you’re not a big tea drinker, any warm beverage like a cup of coffee or an espresso is a great way to start your morning. Instead of rushing out of the house and driving to your nearest Starbucks, slow down and be mindful of the entire process.

In fact, according to Healthline having a cup of coffee not only helps you feel more energized, burn fat and improve physical performance, it may also lower your risk of several conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, cancer, and Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s disease.

10. Create peace and calm in your morning

My meditation practice is part of my best morning routine for success and happiness.

Taking a few minutes every morning to meditate before I start my day has had instrumental benefits for my mental health.

Meditation is a simple practice that is available to you at any time and has remarkable effects on your brain and body.

Studies have shown that regular meditation practice reduces stress, helps manage anxiety, increases calmness, and promotes happiness.

If you’re new to meditation, try the best meditation tips for beginners. If you’re looking for some great apps, check out the 5 best meditation apps that will make you calm and stress-free.

11. Resist checking your phone

Once you have opened your eyes and turned off your alarm, you probably grab your phone and start flicking through your missed messages, emails, and social media notifications, right?

To be honest, disconnecting from my phone was challenging to do but I noticed that I was rewarded with a precious commodity…time.

This practice was also one of the most effective self-care activities that I’ve integrated to have the best morning routine for success and happiness.

Ask yourself if you really need to scroll through your Instagram feed or Facebook and look through the endless posts or notifications. How does this add any value to your life?

Focus your time and energy on getting ready, stretching, showering, your skincare routine, and making your favorite beverage. Start checking your phone after you have meditated, set your morning intention, and organized your to-do list.

By doing so, if something stressful or worrying shows up on your phone you’re in a better position to tackle it and think of an action plan.

12. Make your bed

I’m not sure what it is about making my bed in the mornings, but it automatically makes my bedroom look tidier.

The best morning routine for success and happiness includes making your bed

It also makes it so that I don’t have to worry about making my bed when I get home from work.

If you haven’t been making your bed in the past, give it a try once you wake up. You’ll realize how much you love it.

13. Plan your day

One activity I like to do as part of my morning routine is to jot down some tasks that I want to accomplish that day.

A colorful monthly planner

This activity is beneficial because it prevents me from ruminating about my “to-do list” and helps me feel productive during the day.

It’s easy to do this, you can use a planner or just a piece of paper and just jot down everything that you have to do.

When you do this, you will be on your way to have the best morning routine for success and happiness.

Lately, I’ve been using the Panda Planner and I absolutely love it because the framework is all based on the science of positive psychology.

14. Stretch, take a walk, or exercise

In the morning when you wake up, take a few minutes to stretch your body before you get out of bed.

My morning walk is part of the best morning routine for success and happiness. This activity helps me feel energized, and get exposed to natural sunlight.

Exercising in the morning can also help encourage self-discipline and routine, as well as increasing your metabolism.

Most importantly, you’ll feel more energetic, positive, and euphoric since your brain has released mood-boosting endorphins during your workout.

15. Get your kids to get organized

If you have kids, you know that getting out the door in the morning can be a serious struggle.

“Do as much prep the night before as possible. Pick outfits, pack lunches, and have an idea of what the kids will need for the day.”

Kimi Cohn, LCSW and mother of two

To avoid the morning rush, get your kids organized the night before. Just like adults, kids benefit from structure and will feel happier and less stressed if they have a good morning routine.

16. Eat a nutritious breakfast

A lot of people skip breakfast and rush out the door, however, eating a nutritious breakfast will give you the energy boost you need to help you have a productive morning.

After fasting in your sleep, it’s vital to fuel your body when you wake up with a healthy breakfast. You can eat overnight oats, Greek yogurt with fruit, or even a piece of toast with peanut butter.

Breakfast is important because it kick-starts your metabolism and gives your body the proper fuel it needs for optimal performance.

17. Listen to something motivational

I love starting my mornings by listening to podcasts or audio books.

Recently I listened to the Power of Vulnerability by Brené Brown while getting ready in the morning. Hearing her voice and stories inspired me to be my true authentic self.

You can also try podcasts or even TED Talks. To find some suggestions head over to my resources page.

18. Tackle your hardest tasks

Did you know that a common trait found in the morning routines of successful people is that they plan to tackle their most difficult and least favorite tasks of the day first?

I know this sounds counterintuitive, but it has a positive long-term effect. I’ve tried it and have noticed that I don’t procrastinate, and my day is more enjoyable when I’ve already finished the hardest part.

Pantea Rahimian standing on a rock with her arms raised in a V
A morning hike in Big Bear

Try this, and you’ll notice that you have more willpower and motivation in the morning. Take advantage of this energy to seize the opportunity and use your brainpower for important tasks.

For quick reference, here are the best steps for a morning routine for success and happiness:

  • Pack up everything you need the night before
  • Get enough sleep
  • Wake up to natural light
  • Don’t snooze your alarm
  • Make your bed
  • Plan your day
  • Drink water
  • Write 3 things you’re grateful for
  • Take deep breaths and set an intention
  • Follow a skincare routine
  • Stretch, walk or exercise
  • Get your kids organized
  • Eat a healthy breakfast
  • Practice meditation
  • Drink your favorite warm beverage
  • Don’t check your phone until you’re ready for the day
  • Listen to something motivational
  • Act on your hardest tasks first


What I have learned is that the way you start your day is probably how your day will flow.

You might be thinking, “This is ridiculous, and I don’t have time for all this.”

You don’t have to do all 18 suggestions chronologically. While you wait for your warm beverage to cool, you can practice meditation, write in your gratitude journal or listen to a podcast. You can pick and choose what practices work well for you and which ones you don’t need.

Overall, I have noticed that when I am more intentional and mindful about my morning routine, my days go more smoothly and I feel better. Taking the time to work on my mindset, outlook and goals allows me to feel more grounded and focused.

As a result, these practices are integral to my mental and emotional health. It may take some time for you to figure out your best morning routine for success and happiness. I hope I have laid the groundwork to inspire you and make the journey easier.

Now, it's up to you to take action!

  1. Share this article on social media to support me in publishing more high-quality content in the future
  2. Get started now and include what you’ve learned throughout this article in your daily routine
Pantea Rahimian

Take control. Feel better.

Start your Self-care Journey.

Take control.
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Pantea Rahimian

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