What does a typical morning look like for you? Do you have a habit of pressing the “snooze” button one-too-many times, then scrambling to get cleaned up and dressed before dashing out the door to work?

You may have noticed that, when you rush out the door without giving yourself a moment to think, the rest of your day tends to be a bit rushed and frantic, too. That’s why having a well-established morning routine is so important.

Morning routines help minimize feelings of stress, depression, and anxiety throughout the day, making room for you to feel happier and more productive.

They also can help you feel more energetic and focused, and they can even make it easier for you to exercise self-control (i.e., it’ll be easier to say no to that afternoon doughnut or second glass of wine that you always seem to find yourself pouring in the evening).

If you’re convinced that a morning routine would be good for you but aren’t sure where to start, keep reading. Listed below are five simple things to include in your morning routine to boost your productivity and help you feel more positive all day long.

1. Drink Some Water

One of the easiest things you can do to start your day off on the right foot is to simply drink a big glass of water after you wake up.

Think about it -- you just spent the last seven or eight hours not drinking anything -- you’re most likely dehydrated. When you’re dehydrated, you’re going to have a hard time focusing and having consistent energy throughout the day. Chronic dehydration can also cause a number of health problems, including:

Kidney stones
Cholesterol issues
Liver damage
Joint and muscle pain

Of course, one glass of water isn’t enough to stave off all these issues. But, if you start drinking water right when you wake up, you’re more likely to continue drinking it throughout the day.

2. Movement

Getting up and moving your body first thing in the morning can do wonders for your mood and productivity.

Are you already balking at the idea of lacing up your sneakers and going for a run right when you wake up? Well, don’t worry. You don’t have to do anything intense for your morning movement to count.

The goal here is just to get you up and get your blood flowing so that you can feel a bit more energetic. Spending just 5-10 minutes stretching, or doing simple bodyweight movements like squats or push-ups, is a great way to start your day off on the right note.

3. Meditation

After you’ve done some gentle movement, take a few minutes to sit quietly and calm your mind before the day begins.

If you feel like it would be impossible for you to sit still and meditate, that’s a major sign that meditation is probably good for you.

One of the biggest hurdles that people face when it comes to meditation is the idea that they don’t have enough time. Here’s the good news, though -- you don’t need to spend a lot of time sitting cross-legged on the floor to experience the benefits of meditation. You don’t even have to sit cross-legged on the floor if you don’t want to.

Start with just five minutes of mindfulness meditation every morning. All you have to do is find a relatively quiet place where you can sit comfortably (on the floor, in a chair, at the kitchen table, etc.).

Close your eyes and focus on the feeling of your breath entering and leaving your body. That’s it. No chanting, no wind chimes, no crystals (unless you’re into that, of course).

4. Positive Affirmations

Many people also find it helpful to repeat positive affirmations to themselves first thing in the morning. After your meditation is a great time to do this.

Affirmations can feel a bit cheesy at first, and you might feel uncomfortable when you start repeating them. But, similar to meditation, if you’re hesitant to say nice things to yourself, that’s probably a sign that affirmations will benefit you.

If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to repeating affirmations, consider trying one of the following examples -- you can always tweak them to make them fit your particular situation better:

I have everything I need to have a great day
I am enough
I am worthy of love and success, and my confidence is building
I am courageous and have everything I need to face my fears

If saying these affirmations is too much for you at first, try writing them down. Over time, when you’re more comfortable, you can start reading them out loud.

5. Reading/Writing

In addition to writing your affirmations, you can also try dedicating a few minutes in the morning to writing other things for yourself.

Whether it’s goals, a to-do list, or a summary of your dreams from the night before, putting pen to paper (or fingertips to laptop keyboard, if that’s more your speed) is a great way to get your brain going as you ease into your day.

Not into writing? What about reading.

Reading for 10, 20, or even 30 minutes in the morning will help you gain new knowledge and set yourself up for success for the rest of the day. You don’t necessarily have to read a physical book, either -- consider listening to an audiobook while you get ready for or commute to work.

Final Thoughts

A morning routine is a great tool to help you feel more productive and at ease throughout the day. Even if you don’t implement every one of these tips right away, trying just one or two will make a big difference to the tone of your whole day!

Author's Bio: 

Natalie Thongrit is a freelance writer who focuses primarily on fitness, health, and wellness-related content. You can connect with her on Twitter or LinkedIn, or check out her portfolio to read more of her work.