Start a Daily Routine to Support Your Health & Wellbeing

A routine is a sequence of actions regularly followed, or a fixed program. A little bit of daily structure, or routine, can help support your wellbeing in all its dimensions. Creating a wellness routine can make it easier to stay on track and keep your wellbeing at the forefront of your mind.

A wellness routine is a daily schedule that incorporates all of your healthy habits, such as your movement, sleep, meals, work/study/social life balance, and self-care activities. The best wellbeing routine will support you on the tough days and give you some extra energy and good feelings on the best days.

Then, mix and match ideas from the list below to create a wellbeing routine that fits your goals and lifestyle.

Start your day on the right foot

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Stretch. Before you roll out of bed, try this stretch: Reach your arms above your head, stretch your legs out as straight as you can, and expand your rib cage with a deep inhale. As you exhale, relax. Give your wrists and ankles a roll, and then get out of bed.

Hydrate. Drink a glass of water as soon as you get up in the morning. This simple habit makes it easier to hit your hydration goals.

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Meditate. Even just a few minutes of meditation each day can benefit your overall wellness, so this definitely deserves a spot in your routine. Try a guided meditation app — like Headspace — to help you calm your mind and body and feel more balanced.

Eat breakfast. When you head to the fridge in the morning, it can be tempting to grab the first, most convenient thing you see. Create a healthy breakfast with a balance of protein, healthy fat, and complex carbohydrates to keep you energized until lunch.

hand holding seedling plant iconGrab your refillable water bottle. Not only will it help you meet your hydration goals, but using a refillable water bottle, thermos and/or coffee mug helps reduce the amount of waste generated by single use containers.

Beat the midday slump

Keep moving. Your workout shouldn’t be the only activity you get during the day. Take short movement breaks throughout the day: walk a few laps around the block, do a few squats at your desk, or take a stretch break wherever you are.

Don’t skip lunch. When your day gets hectic, it can be tempting to work right through lunch. Your body will feel better if you stop and eat a well-rounded meal.

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Schedule in mini-breaks. Sure, you could work for 10 hours straight and get up only to use the bathroom. But is that truly what’s best for your mind and your body? When creating your afternoon wellness routine, build in short breaks throughout the day to increase productivity and creativity. Make a specific plan for how you’ll spend your downtime — one study found that engaging in physical activity or relaxation exercises during your break seems to offer a more effective energy boost than an unstructured break (or no break at all). And another study found that walking, in particular, has a positive effect on creative thinking.

Create an anxiety- or stress-reducing strategy. If you find yourself feeling anxious during the day, have a few tools on hand to help you manage your feelings. Check out the Headspace app for relaxation and calming techniques, as well as breathing exercises.

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Take time to be social. Just like you need movement, water, and sleep, it is also important to support your social wellbeing. Take time to connect with other humans for conversation, laughs, support, and pleasure. It doesn’t have to be a huge effort — share a meal, make a phone call, or run an errand with a friend.

Take care of yourself after a long day

Restore. When creating your personalized wellness routine, think about adding in some gentle or restorative movement at the end of the day — like foam rolling, stretching, or restorative yoga.

Power down. The blue light emitted by phone, computer, and TV screens can disrupt your sleep cycle. Your wind-down routine should be about preparing your mind and body for sleep, so schedule a time to shut down your devices for the night.

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Practice gratitude. A gratitude practice is a great way to acknowledge your accomplishments from the day and refocus your mind. For example, you might make it a habit to write down three things you’re grateful for in a gratitude journal before you end your day.

heart icon with pulse pressure waveformGet a solid night’s sleep. When you don’t get enough zzz’s, it’ll be harder to accomplish the rest of your wellness goals — so make it a priority in your wellbeing routine.