Early Classes? Here’s Your Guide to a Healthy Morning Routine

Chances are good that at some point in your college career, you’ll have a class at a shockingly early hour of the morning. Depending on if you’re a morning person or not, early mornings can feel invigorating—or they can feel like death knocking at your door. They can be particularly challenging if you’ve gotten in the habit of pulling late nights studying or doing homework and doubly difficult if you live farther north and it’s winter outside.

If early mornings are challenging for you, rest assured—you are not alone. And there are several things you can do to get yourself up and at ’em with relative ease. Early mornings don’t have to make you feel like a walking zombie, and they don’t have to ruin your day. Read on for some morning routine tips, and get ready to greet the day.

1. Create an actual routine

The beauty of a morning routine is that it can be as unique to you and your tastes as you like! Obviously, there are certain things you’ll have to do that the rest of your college campus (hopefully) does as well: get dressed, brush your teeth, put your shoes on. But the beauty of creating a person routine is integrating intentional practices that help you launch your day in a way that feels especially meaningful to you.

This could include working in a healthy habit or two that you’ve been meaning to add to your life, or it could be something simple, like standing in the hot shower for ten minutes, just to get your blood flowing. Whatever it is, be intentional about it, and make it your own so it feels like something you can look forward to and depend on in those early hours.

2. Wake yourself up

While it’s tempting to press the snooze button and linger in bed in that in-between state of half awake and half asleep, you’re not really doing yourself any favors by drawing out the painful process of waking up. Instead of dawdling in bed, take some measures to wake yourself up a little more quickly. As soon as the alarm goes off, sit up in bed and switch your light on. If need be, get out of your bed entirely, and head straight to the coffee maker. Do some jumping jacks, or jump right in the shower.

The less time you can spend in that super sleepy state right away in the morning, the less painful it will be to wake up.

3. Journal or pray

The morning is a perfect time to do some deep thinking and prep your heart and mind for the day. It’s worth waking up fifteen minutes earlier in order to have some time to do your devotions, or process what your day is going to look like and what you experienced the day before. Sit at your desk, sip your coffee, and look out the window while you write, or switch on some cozy twinkle lights and a bit of soft music (if your roommates are already awake—otherwise, use headphones). Ask God to guide you through your day, to give you wisdom and discernment, and to help you with the tasks set before you. Connecting with the Lord right away in the morning can give you an entirely different outlook on your day.

4. Eat breakfast

For many people, it’s easy to skip breakfast in the morning because they’re rushing or they simply don’t feel very hungry. Breakfast is important for a number of reasons: it fuels you up and gives you energy, it can give you a clearer head for class, and it jumpstarts your metabolism. If you’re looking to have better memory and concentration and avoid overeating later in the day, making space in your morning routine for a healthy meal is essential. If you’re on your college’s meal plan, make an event of it: meet a few friends for breakfast or grab your roommates and head down to the dining hall.

Starting the day off with some healthy fuel, along with a little socializing and connection can help you clear your mind a bit and ready you for the day. Not only that, but it can double as quick study session if you have a quiz or test in a class that morning!