Sponsored Content

3 positive habits to add to your morning routine

Sponsored by
A moving sunrise.

Pro tip: Set a consistent, reasonable time to wake up each day.

GIF by the COLAtoday team

The way you rise can help you shine. Your morning routine sets the tone for your day — and it can have a lasting impact on your mental health. Studies show that having a morning routine can increase energy, productivity, and positivity.

In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, here are three activities to help you create your own morning routine:

Start the day with direct sunlight

Exposure to sunlight is said to increase the brain’s release of serotonin, a hormone associated with boosting mood, providing a sense of calm, and improving focus.

It’s also a natural way to increase vitamin D. Did you know? About 70% of Americans are vitamin D deficient. Vitamin D helps keep our bones strong and is known to help heart health and regulate blood sugar — so spending time in the sun not only benefits your mental health, but your physical health, too. (Remember to wear sunscreen, of course.)

A photo of the sun rising at the river.

Small daily habits can go a long way when it comes to creating a routine you love.

Photo by the COLAtoday team

Add movement to your routine

Whether it’s taking a walk around the neighborhood, hitting the gym for a morning workout, or finding your zen at a local yoga studio, starting the day with movement not only stimulates the body — there’s also a host of benefits for emotional wellness.

“Physical exercise is strongly linked to a healthy mind. A little bit of daily exercise can go a long way,” said Dr. R. Shea Fontana with Prisma Health’s Psychiatry department.

Benefits include sharpened memory and improved mood and self-esteem. We’ll take it.

Set aside time for meditation

In our fast-paced world, it’s important to make time to be still and just be. Adding meditation to your routine is the perfect way to channel mindfulness, a state of being aware and fully in the present moment.

“Mindfulness meditation has been shown in research to change neuroplasticity, or brain connectivity, to enhance one’s ability to be more resilient in the face of stress,” says Prisma Health Psychiatrist, Shilpa Srinivasan, MD.

Pro tip: Need help getting started? Check out a few meditation strategies.


Which activity are you adding to your routine? Let us know.

Good news for Columbia.
Get the best local news & events sent to your inbox each morning, for free.