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Revamp Your Morning Routine With These Daily Practices

These ladies wake up like this to ensure they have the best day ever for their mental and physical health.

We all know that getting seven to nine hours of sleep a night can do wonders for our well-being and overall health. How you go about starting the day once your eyes open is also crucial for our mind and body. “A focused morning routine is essential because it sets the tone for the day by establishing yourself as priority No. 1, which helps you have a clearer sense of direction and purpose for the day,” says Blythe Kuttler, a licensed psychotherapist in Manhattan Beach, Calif. “Morning routines have been shown to help people feel happier, to feel more in control of their day and to decrease stress and anxiety levels.”

For many of us, starting a new habit as an adult takes commitment and consistency, especially one that shifts the focus from immediately thinking about others or jumping into work for more self-reflection and prioritizing yourself. “Start by establishing a small and manageable behavior change. Wake up as soon as your alarm goes off and do not hit the snooze button. Wake up with intention,” Kuttler adds. “Take a minute to breathe, be grateful and focus on your goals for the day. Forming one small healthy habit will increase self-confidence and motivation in the first week and will hopefully lead toward creating other healthy habits.”

Once you have incorporated this regularly into your routine, you can add another daily change such as not checking your phone first thing when you wake up. “Do not check your phone/email/social media for the first 30 to 60 minutes of your day,” she explains. “This good habit will enable you to proactively focus on your goals instead of being forced to react to other people’s requests and demands from the start of the day.”

One final suggestion that will help keep anxiety and stress at bay is exercise. “Move your body within the first hour of waking,” she notes. “We all know exercise has profound physical benefits for your body, but exercise also helps us mentally by releasing endorphins, serotonin and norepinephrine into our bodies which lifts your mood. It also relieves stress, lowers anxiety levels and can improve focus and memory.”

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More from SwimLife

These are just a few ways to ensure a more productive, calmer day. Here’s how 2022 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit models Hailey Clauson, Georgina Burke, Katrina Scott and Cindy Kimberly start their mornings.

Hailey Clauson

“I have OCD, and it’s something that I have learned to live with over the last few years. It’s always something I will have to deal with, but I have definitely learned what helps like therapy, exercise, clean eating, reducing my alcohol intake, distracting myself with podcasts and taking ashwagandha (vitamin),” says Clauson. ”I used to have the TV on in the morning and that was not a good habit. I also used to drink coffee but stopped drinking it a few years ago because it made me jittery and that didn’t help with my anxiety. Usually, I will start my morning by making myself an iced matcha and slowly wake up. If I don’t have too much work that day, I love to start my day with a workout. Nothing helps my mental health more than doing some cardio. Mornings have definitely become my favorite part of my day now that I have these little routines I like to do.”

Georgina Burke

“Mental health is like anything—the more you practice good mental health, the better and easier it becomes,” says Burke. “I’ve found a routine that works for me and it’s helped me learn to be O.K. with who I am. If I’m not working, I will make sure I get to the gym [Rumble] as working out really helps me clear my head. Working up a good sweat helps me get ready to tackle anything by helping me release whatever has been bothering me. After a good workout, I enjoy taking time to have a leisurely coffee and reflect on what’s going in life. I often talk through what is bothering me with my mum and go to my dad when I need someone to play devil's advocate and help me see the other side of things I don’t want to see. I’ll take my dog on a long walk and then unwind by cooking a healthy meal at home.”

Katrina Scott

“I really believe in manifesting and starting your day with gratitude to help your mind shift. There’s so much noise in the world (in the news, on social media, with work, etc.), that beginning your day with your own affirmations and in your own mind and heart is super helpful” Scott says. ”I love to journal, even if it’s a few lines of gratitude and my intentions for the day. I like to wake up before the house wakes up, have my coffee and journal while the sun comes up. I will say though when we have a newborn, I may take time to journal in the afternoon or whenever I can get a peaceful moment.”

Cindy Kimberly

“I think having a self-care routine that works for you is very important in order to feel grounded in yourself no matter what may come,” says Kimberly. “When you develop a routine that you can stick to and follow through no matter what, you find a feeling of safety and normality that can be very helpful when things are turbulent whether that's in your feelings, emotions, work, life etc. I religiously stick to my morning routine because I find it to be my place of safety and home even when I’m traveling, working, dealing with my mental health. Journaling is probably my main, most important practice, checking back in with my feelings, seeing how I feel, what I want to do, change, what I’m grateful for. It helps me understand where I am and where I should go with the next few hours of my day. I also do some sort of stretch or yoga every morning. I think it's important to reconnect with yourself physically as well even just in order to be your best self mentally. Setting 15 minutes apart to stretch and thanking your body for everything it does for you improves your day tremendously.”