As a future grade school teacher, I have come to accept that not only will I never really leave school, but also I will always be getting up early. I have found that making a morning routine is a good path to becoming a more alert and efficient person in the morning.

The How-To
Step #1 – Have a Consistent Time That You Get Up
Choose a consistent time to get up in the morning so that your body knows what to expect. Try to get at least eight hours of sleep the night before. Plan accordingly!

Step #2 – The First Thing
Is there something you just have to do in the morning so that you are able to function in the near future? I am talking as simple as just going to the bathroom. Figure out what that one thing is and always make it a point to do it first.

Step #3 – Stretching (Or something more organized)
Stretching is a great way to increase blood circulation and enhance your energy after being in a deep sleep for hours! Try a few simple stretches or something more organized. Personally, I love to do about twenty minutes of yoga in the morning to start my day. It not only wakes me up and makes me more alert and ready to face the day, but I also feel good about myself after completing a yoga routine. I like to think of yoga as a gentle exercise (or rigorous depending on how intense you like your routines!) so it makes me feel good that I am doing it.

Step #4 – Drink Some Liquids
I know it sounds funny, but after a night of sleep, you may find yourself dehydrated in the morning. Make it a point to rehydrate yourself in the morning so that you are not uncomfortable throughout the day.

Step #5 – Exercise
Not for everyone but I encourage anyone to give it a try, even if it is just a light jog around the block. Exercising, like stretching, increases circulation and “gets the juices flowing” so to speak. If you are new to the working out thing, do not worry, take your time and ease into it. When I first started working out, I could not stand it. All of my friends boasted about how rejuvenated they felt after spending an hour or more at the gym. I, on the other hand, was ready to through in the towel after five minutes on the treadmill. However, as time went on, I found that my day could not start without exercising first, especially when I was at school and constantly having to use my brain!

Step #6 – Eat Something
If you are not a morning eater… become one. Eating in the morning is absolutely essential and can really have detrimental long-term effects if you try to go about your day without eating first. For the longest time I found that I could not eat breakfast in the morning– my stomach just could not handle it. I would feel sick to my stomach whenever I tried to eat in the morning. However, I no longer get that sick feeling in the morning. After several weeks of just telling my body, “No, you actually do need to eat right now,” it finally realized it did indeed need to eat in the morning. Start out easy… drink some liquids of course and try some dry solids, like cereal, crackers, or toast. As your taste buds hunger for more, you can experiment with other things (bagels, yogurt, eggs).

Step #7 – Write Down Your Thoughts
Some people call it a diary, some call it a journal, and others like the good old pad of paper and pen. I have found that I am the most alert and raring to go in the morning. My brain is just bursting with thoughts and ideas, whether it be for articles, something on my website, or otherwise. Not everyone works best in the morning, but perhaps with the above routine, thinking will be a lot easier.

Step #8 – Add the Small Stuff
If there are small things you want to remember to do, like take a shower, read the paper, drink some tea, do not be afraid to make a note of it. Sometimes we forget these simple pleasures that make us happy, but when we forget to do them, we feel unfulfilled.

Step #9 – Do It!
Stick to the routine! It is not a routine if it is not routine! I have had lots of success with having a certain rhythm I stick with in the morning. I can always count on my routine to wake me up and give me a good start to my day.

Erika St. Denis is a music education major and studies on the saxophone privately at Ithaca College. She has a considerable amount of performance and teaching experience and hopes to continue that trend. She enjoys practicing her morning routine. Check out Erika’s professional website at


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