Your Step-by-Step Guide to a Perfect Morning Routine for Summer

Fact checked by Olga Sadouskaya, MD
Clinical Pharmacologist, Chief Medical Officer

The days are longer, the weather is warmer, the sun is shining… The world feels full of possibility. Summer is a great opportunity to adopt new habits and make healthier lifestyle choices, and a good morning can set the tone for the day ahead, helping you tick a lot of things off your to-do list.

But how do you start your day off on the right foot? We have a few ideas to help you build the perfect morning routine to make the most of your day in the summer.

How to build healthy habits for summer

Want to make some positive changes to your lifestyle in summer, but don’t know where to start? One thing you need to remember is that change doesn’t happen overnight: it takes time to build a new habit. It’s unrealistic to come up with a completely new morning routine for summer and expect your new healthy habits to stick all at once.

To build new habits you need to make them part of your regular schedule. Start with smaller, more achievable goals. For example, if you want to exercise more in summer, move a little bit every day — when it slowly becomes part of your routine, you can increase the intensity and duration of your exercise.

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Writing down your plan for the day can help you integrate the new habits into your daily life. Also, try setting reminders on your phone to help you stick with your new routine!

Here are a few tips to make your new habits stick:

  • Decide what you want to change.
  • Write down a few simple steps or actions that will help you achieve your goal.
  • Include these in your daily plan — writing them down helps you remember to actually do them!
  • Start slow — allow yourself to adjust to the new routine.
  • Take time to congratulate yourself when you accomplish your goal. Tracking your successes encourages you to keep going.
  • Plan for obstacles. Things don’t always go according to plan: don’t be too hard on yourself if you miss a day, just pick up where you left off next time.
  • Be patient. Remember that whatever you’re doing gets easier with time and practice.

Kick-start your day with this summer morning routine

A good morning routine can set the mood for the rest of the day. Let’s take a look at a few steps you can take to be productive and healthy in summer.

1. Wake up with the alarm

Without a doubt getting a good night’s sleep is crucial for your well-being and is the first step to a productive day. Unfortunately, it’s not always possible: many things can interfere with your sleep — stress, noises from the street, and the summer heat, just to name a few! In the U.S., 70 percent of adults say they don't get enough sleep at least one night a month. So, you’re not the only one that finds it hard to wake up in the morning!

But tempting as it may seem, hitting the snooze button may actually make it harder.

Have you ever wanted to just rest your eyes for 5 more minutes and then ended up waking up half an hour later, feeling sleepier than ever? Unfortunately, the poor quality of those 5 minutes won’t bring you much rest. Instead, it may confuse your body's natural process of waking up — chemical signals from the brain releasing hormones like cortisol — and have negative effects on your sleep cycle.

A young woman stretching after waking up in the morning

Luckily, there are several things you can try to help you get up the first time your alarm goes off:

  • Count to five. Instead of “five more minutes” in bed, start counting to five when your alarm goes off and get out of bed when you get to five.
  • Put the alarm away from your bed. In this case, you will actually have to get out of bed to turn it off or hit the snooze button. Once you’re already up, it’s easier to get the day started.
  • Turn on the lights and open the blinds. When you hear the alarm, reach for the light switch. Light (especially sunlight) makes it harder for you to fall back asleep.
  • Smell the coffee. This one is for coffee drinkers — you can program your coffee maker to finish brewing a couple of minutes before your alarm. So when it goes off, you can smell the coffee already waiting for you and be motivated to get out of bed.

If you often have difficulty waking up and feel tired in the mornings, it’s probably a sign that you’re not getting enough sleep. Try these tips for sleeping better in summer!

2. Make your bed

It may seem like an unnecessary step, but it makes a huge difference. Making your bed and generally keeping your place tidy helps you to feel organized, focused, and ready for the day. It serves as a signal to your brain that you’re done sleeping and reduces the temptation to crawl back into bed. This is a particularly crucial step for those working from home who find it difficult to switch to work mode.

It will only take a couple of minutes, so why not start your day by tidying up your bed and see if it makes a difference?

3. Drink a glass of water

Drinking water is essential for staying healthy and feeling good year-round, and even more so in summer — you can quickly become dehydrated when it’s hot and humid. Starting your day with a glass of water is a good idea; after all, your body hasn’t been hydrated for 8 whole hours!

Drinking water first thing in the morning can help you wake up, fill you with energy, and prepare for a productive day. If you want a bit more flavor, add a slice of lemon to your water for a refreshing zing.

4. Take a cold shower

What better way to shake off the sleepiness and get an energy boost in the morning than have a cold shower? It may take some adjusting, but cold water can be incredibly good for you. It can stimulate blood circulation, relieve muscle soreness, and get your hair and skin glowing.

But don’t just jump straight into the icy cold shower — it can be a shock for your body. Try this technique to allow your body to get used to the cold water:

  • Start with the lukewarm water and slowly make it colder.
  • Rinse your legs with cold water first.
  • Then move onto your arms and gradually work your way up towards your shoulders.
  • Now that your body has adjusted, you can have a full-body cold shower.

5. Have a healthy, balanced breakfast

You’re probably tired of hearing that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but it’s true. A wholesome breakfast fills you with energy to take on the day and keeps you full for longer.

Coffee and a bowl of oatmeal as part of a summer morning routine

Summer is probably the best season for eating healthy — there are just so many fresh fruits and veggies to choose from. A simple bowl of oatmeal with summer berries and fruits or a delicious yet quick-to-make smoothie can provide your body with much-needed nutrients and give you enough energy to stay focused and productive for longer.

6. Plan your day

Set aside some time in your summer morning routine to write down a daily to-do list that prioritizes your tasks. This can help you focus, reflect on your schedule and achieve more during the day. If you are easily overwhelmed and struggle to manage your time efficiently, try focusing on one thing at a time. Start with the most important — or the most daunting — task on your list and complete it before moving on to the next. This helps you feel better about yourself — you did the hardest thing first! — keeping you motivated for the day ahead.

7. Apply sunscreen

Spending time in the sun is an excellent way to get a healthy dose of vitamin D and lift your spirits but be sure to protect your skin — too much sun can lead to sunburn.

Applying sunscreen should be the last and possibly the most important step in your summer skincare routine, even if you don’t bask in the sun or spend a lot of time outside.

It’s a great habit to take with you for the winter months too — remember that even when the sun’s not shining, you are still exposed to UVA rays that can damage your skin and cause premature aging. Keep an eye on the UV levels with WeatherWell!

A broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher should be your go-to if you’re heading out in the sun. Make sure to reapply it every two hours or after swimming or sweating a lot.

8. Get outside

Summer is a great time to be more physically active without too much effort. Just going on a long walk is enough to boost your overall health and well-being, and being surrounded by greenery and nature can also lower stress and improve your mood.

If you often feel unmotivated to be active in winter when it’s cold and dark out, longer summer days can encourage you to work on your fitness. And there are many options to get your body moving when the sun is shining — you can go on hikes, go for a morning jog, enjoy a refreshing swim, or do yoga in the park. If you live in an area with particularly hot summers, early morning or evening is the perfect time to get outside when the temperature is a bit lower.

March 6, 2023