The Power of Romanticizing a Morning Routine

Start the day doing something special for yourself.

Kate Hull

October 2023

In the morning your alarm goes off and another day begins. Every day you do the same routines to get ready. Sometimes it can seem like a huge hurdle to have things to do in the morning before you walk out the door. But remember, these routines are for you! Romanticizing the process makes it something you can look forward to. Romanticizing every day tasks and appreciating the little things means making the most of every day. This little recalibration of the way we look at the mundane can have huge effects on our outlook and overall feelings of optimism. Studies continue to validate that establishing a structured and intentional start to the day can improve your mood—No wrong side of the bed here!— increase focus, help regulate emotions, lower anxiety and stress levels, and even help ward off high blood pressure. The key? Anchoring your day with rituals that set you up for success, while making them simple and enjoyable enough to continue day after day. It’s all about romanticizing the little things we’d do anyway. A study from the peer-reviewed Journal of Happiness that explores advancements in well-being research found that people who participated in continual morning routines felt higher levels of overall happiness. Another study published in the journal Emotion found that a morning routine helped increase well-being, alertness, and energy throughout the day. We’re not going to be sleeping on this daily secret weapon anymore.

Positive Affirmations

The goal of starting your day off right is simple: to be and feel like your best you. So, start with telling yourself just that! Celebrities from Jonathan Van Ness to Alicia Keys have made news for regularly sharing affirmations with their social media followers. Take a note from their feeds and bring it home. Affirmations can be as simple as looking in the mirror and telling yourself “You are wonderful and worthy of joy!” or “You’ve got this!”


To help make this a habit, start by grabbing a journal or notepad. Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie at CITYCENTRE have an array of journals with prompts, cool designs, and chic styles to encourage the daily love. Wave off “the Sunday scaries” with a quick five-minute journal session to write your intention for the week. Each day, your daily affirmation can center around each intention. If you’re hoping to nail a presentation, your affirmations can be about your ability to achieve what you’ve set your mind to. If your confidence is at a little less than your norm, remind yourself of your worth. And make it fun! Use that pen that makes you feel like your writing a letter in a Jane Austen novel or use that color that reminds you of the water in a beach getaway. A little romanticizing goes a long way.

Unplug to Plug In

For better or worse, we are pretty glued to our phones. They hold our calendars, social media, emails, and more. And when we wake up with a screentime session, we can kick our brains into overstimulation mode before the day has even started. Scientific American reported that when we dive into screentime, we are forcing our brain to move into an alert state too quickly, which can cause heightened levels of stress. This is about more than not getting sucked into social media, too. Grabbing for your phone typically means you check emails, get notifications, and get dialed into the workday before you’re on the clock. And in most every scenario, that email can wait. Give yourself time to enjoy your morning before work mode takes over.


To nix the screentime habit, define what your morning looks like. If you wake up at 6am, give yourself one hour of screen-free time each day to drink coffee, go on a walk, or meditate. And make these little rituals an event. Go the extramile with presentation when you make the coffee in a favorite mug. Celebrate the ability to have a nice wake-up-walk. Light a candle from B Elevated Candle Bar at CITYCENTRE to breathe in fragrances of calm and set the mood for your day. Replace that screen time with something stimulating. Listen to your favorite podcast or a new book on tape as you get ready for your day. When the weather allows, head outside for a brisk walk while you listen. Get the gear at CITYCENTRE with a new pair of Nike Air Max shoes and a new favorite workout outfit from lululemon like the groove super-high-rise flared pant and an everywhere belt bag to keep it hands-free.

But First, Fitness

Whether it’s a brisk walk, a road ride on a nearby trail, or yoga and mobility sessions at The Hack in Memorial Green, hone in on your preferred fitness and make this a consistent part of your morning three to five times a week. Maybe there’s a class that calls your name at Life Time Fitness at GreenStreet or CITYCENTRE. You don’t have to be up before the sunrise to get in a workout. Even thirty minutes can help boost your energy for the day ahead and improve your focus and cognitive function like nixing that afternoon lethargic crash.


To start each week, give yourself twenty minutes over the weekend to look ahead at your schedule and plan what days work best to get in a class, bike ride, gym session, or a walk. Write it in your planner on Sunday. This will eliminate the stress of planning each day and help keep you accountable. It also gives you a little fitness treat to look forward to. Looking to log miles on the bike? CITYCENTREs Epic-Cycles can help you find nearby trails that meet your needs and get you fitted on a pair of two wheels. Or get a class in at OrangeTheory at Century Square

Now Make it Yours!

No matter what your morning routine consists of, the key to establishing a ritual is making it work for your needs. If savoring a cup of coffee is that extra bit of joy your day needs, add intention behind each cup. Pour it in your favorite mug that speaks to your style, sit in a cozy chair, and practice breath work. Anthropologie has a host of colorful ceramic beauties. If you already feel stressed thinking about your to-dos, choose a moment of meditation or quiet. Or if you feel best after a run, lay out your workout gear the night before to remind yourself of that “runner’s high” to come. Here’s to a good morning, every morning!