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How to Develop a Morning Routine (Teens)

Three Parts:Creating Your Custom RoutinePracticing ConsistencySetting Yourself Up for Success

With school, mornings can be rushed and stressful. As a teenager, you need plenty of sleep.[1] Finding the motivation to get out of bed in the morning can be difficult. Creating a consistent routine can help you stay relaxed in the mornings and feel refreshed throughout the day.

Part 1
Creating Your Custom Routine

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    Determine your getting ready goals. Everyone’s morning routine will be different and personal. A lot depends on what you would like to accomplish in the morning.
    • Ask yourself questions. Do you want to shower in the morning or at night? If you’re going to shower in the morning, will you need to blow dry your hair?
    • Do you want to put on a full face of make up in the mornings or just wash your face and go?
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    Plan for breakfast.[2] Breakfast gives you energy for your day and is the most important meal in a day. Think you are doing yourself good by not eating breakfast, then you are wrong. It helps prevent a crash later on in the afternoon.
    • Know how long your breakfasts take. Would you rather make a big breakfast of eggs and bacon or have a bowl of cereal?
    • Give yourself a generous amount of time so that you won’t have to rush through breakfast and in that generous time, eat a generous amount of food like yogurt, egg, bacon, bread, fruits or any other home-made snacks. Don’t forget to add an extra three minutes to brush your teeth afterwards.
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    Add a few minutes of leisure. It can be nice to schedule in a few minutes to read a chapter in a book, check text messages, or scroll through Instagram. Break is important as it helps process the things learned, tried and done after a period of time.
    • This can help you ease into your day, and scheduling it into your routine will ensure that you don’t fall behind when getting ready.
    • Make sure you do this out of bed. Sit at your desk or kitchen table, so you don’t risk falling back asleep without an alarm to wake you up.
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    Create an order that works for you. An important part of the routine is the order that you complete the steps. Think about what will be easiest and most efficient for you personally. Make a timetable and stick to it, no matter what. It will keep things more organized and smooth.
    • For example, put on your outfit for the day before you eat breakfast. That way you’ll already feel like you’ve made progress getting ready, and you won’t feel rushed while eating.
    • Make your leisure time the ending of your routine. This will help motivate you and give you something to look forward to.
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    Calculate your official wake up time. Consider what time your school starts and how long it takes you to get there.
    • Think about all the steps you’ve decided to try to complete each morning, and estimate the time each will take. It can help to jot this down as you think through it. Subtract the total from the time you need to leave your house.
    • Add in a few extra minutes to just wake up.
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    Set your alarm. Setting your alarm as soon as you decide upon your new routine will help you to stick to it.
    • Of course, don’t set your alarm too late. However, also make sure you’re not setting your alarm too early just to give yourself an excuse to hit the snooze button.
    • You should set your alarm for the time that you plan on getting out of bed based on how long your routine will take.[3]
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    Write it down. Once you’ve determined the steps in your morning routine, write them down in a list. Make the list not just in the order of the steps but include accompanying times and other notes or remainders if you want.
    • For example, your list might tell you to take a shower at 6:00 and eat breakfast at 6:30.
    • Writing down your routine makes it concrete. Write down everything. Even though you’ve brushed your teeth your whole life, write it down so you can get used to it within your new routine.
    • Put the list somewhere that you can see it like on your bathroom mirror. This will help you get comfortable with your routine until it becomes a habit.

Part 2
Practicing Consistency

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    Modify, but don’t make exceptions. As tempting as it may be sometimes, try to do your routine every day, even if you’re not going to school.
    • On the weekends, try to wake up at the same time as you would on a school day. This will help your body create a sleep pattern and sync its circadian rhythms. It will also ensure that your usual routine is not messed up. Sleep and wake up according to your routine.
    • You might not do your routine the same way. For example, you might stay in your pajamas and watch TV, but even just waking up at a similar time can help you build the routine.
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    Set your alarm to repeat automatically. If your alarm allows it, don’t reset it every night before you go to sleep, as this might tempt you to make that time a little later or turn it off on a Saturday. Set it so that it automatically goes off at the same time each day.
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    Create a mantra. Negative self-talk is one of the main things that make it so difficult to get out of bed in the morning. Replace thoughts like “I’m so tired” with a pre-decided upon mantra like “I’m excited for the day.” Even when it sounds silly, it will help you change your thought pattern and make you think positive. Remember, optimism is the key to organization of your mornings.
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    Make up your bed.[4] If you make up your bed as soon as you get out of it in the morning, you won’t feel the urge to climb back in.
    • Making your bed can give you a small sense of accomplishment in the morning and make your environment feel more organized and soothing as sometimes cluttered spaces can cause distraction or overwhelm you.
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    Open the curtains. When you wake up, let the sunlight stream in. This will help signal to your body that it’s time to wake up.
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    Add a little luxury. If you get yourself excited for your morning routine, you’ll be more likely to stick with it.
    • Buy a breakfast treat. Get yourself a doughnut, some crusty sourdough bread, a special juice, or nice coffee.
    • Make a playlist. Create your own morning playlist full of songs that you love. Rock or pop tunes to help you wake up in the morning and slow, steady tunes to help sleep at night but mostly the choice is yours. Experiment around until you find what's best for you.
    • Allow yourself some time to watch a TV show, or work it into your existing routine. You could watch Netflix while putting on your make up.
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    Have a trial period. When you create a new routine, you’re going to need for it to be flexible. Commit to trying it exactly as you write it down for a month. At the end of the month, reevaluate and change the steps that haven’t been working and start over and try again until you succeed.

Part 3
Setting Yourself Up for Success

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    Give yourself a bedtime. No, bedtimes aren’t just for little kids. Great morning routines begin with your sleep schedule. Going to bed at a regular time can help you find a healthy sleep pattern.[5]
    • As a teenager, your natural circadian rhythm shifts. A healthy bedtime is around 10 or 11 at night.[6]
    • Try to schedule your homework around your extra curricular activities during the week so you aren’t struggling to finish it at the last minute each night.
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    Limit the blue light. Staring at the blue light from devices like your phone or laptop screen before you go to bed can disrupt your sleep as it sends a message to the brain that it is still day. If you want to use the devices lower their brightness to the minimum level.[7]
    • Try to turn your devices off at least an hour before you go to bed. Read a book to wind down, instead.
    • If you just can’t give up using your technology before bed, try a free application like fl.ux, which is designed to soften the light from your screen and adjusts automatically according to the time of day.[8],
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    Eat well. Eating well can help you feel more rested. Especially try to eat snacks before bed that will help you sleep rather than hinder the process but watch out some foods aren't good to eat before sleep at night:
    • Carbohydrates are heavy foods, like a bowl of healthy cereal, are great before bed because they can increase the level of tryptophan in your blood, which induces sleep. Avoid too much protein right before sleep, as it’s harder for your body to digest.[9]
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    Clean your space. Cleaning up your room and bathroom can help you relax and go to sleep more easily. In the morning, your clean environment will make you feel more prepared for the day ahead.
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    Place your alarm away from you. Even if it’s your phone, plug it in to charge on the opposite side of your room that your bed is on. Force yourself to get up to turn it off and avoid the dangers of the snooze button or if you have trouble waking up just put your phone in a glass cup or mug of any material to amplify the sound than its usual volume.


  • Don’t give up! Creating a habit takes perseverance. Don’t feel discouraged if you slip up in the beginning.Try again if you fail.

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Categories: Youth