5 Healthy Ways to Start Your Day in 5 Minutes or Less


You don’t need a rigid schedule or even a lot of time to get each day off to an energetic and healthy start. Try a few of these quick and easy tips to improve your vitality, your mood, and your well-being. These tips are also great to try any time of the day for an extra boost of energy.

1. Drink a glass of water.

It’s not unusual to wake up dehydrated after not consuming any fluids for eight or more hours during sleep. Drinking eight to 16 ounces of water first thing in the morning rehydrates you, keeps your brain alert and operating at its best, and helps keep your body functions running smoothly.

2. Move your body.

If you don’t already have a morning exercise routine, at least move for a few minutes to get your blood circulating, your muscles and nerves fired up, and oxygen pumping to your brain and lungs. Marching in place while brushing your teeth, dancing to the radio, or going up and down a set of stairs a few times should do it. Play some upbeat music while you move to make it more fun and energizing.

3. Do a few simple stretches.

Your joints can get stiff after lying motionless for most of the night. Take a few minutes to flex your ankles and wrists, roll your shoulders a few times, stretch your arms up over your head if you can, and bend at the waist (hold on to a chair if necessary for balance) to stay flexible. Consider learning a few simple yogic stretches that you can do sitting in a chair.

4. Read something inspirational.

While many people start their day with news from the Internet, TV, or newspaper, that info is usually filled with murder, mayhem, and tragedy. Instead read a short passage from an inspirational book by a favorite author or poet. I love to read the daily essay from Sarah Ban Breathnach’s classic book Simple Abundance–A Daybook of Comfort and Joy. It lifts my spirits and helps me to start my day on a positive note.

5. Write down three things that you’re grateful for.

Reflect in writing each morning what you are most grateful for, such as a warm, dry bed to sleep in; a roof over your head; and friends, family, and loved ones. Research has shown us that those who adopt an attitude of gratitude tend to take better care of themselves and enjoy better health.

Incorporate these simple steps into your morning routine and have a great day every day!


Donna Cardillo, RN, CSP (Certified Speaking Professional) is The Inspiration Nurse. She travels the world helping women and healthcare professionals to be happy in their lives and careers and to reach their full potential. Donna’s clinical experience includes emergency and psychiatric nursing, and she holds a diploma in nursing, a BS in Health Care Management and an MA in Corporate and Public Communication. She is the author of several books, including her most recent, Falling Together: How to Find Balance, Joy, and Meaningful Change When Your Life Seems to be Falling Apart, which can be found here:

The views and opinions expressed by Perspectives contributors are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or recommendations of the American Nurses Association, the Editorial Advisory Board members, or the Publisher, Editors and staff of American Nurse Journal. These are opinion pieces and are not peer reviewed.

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