Allie Mitchell is an LA-based writer and yoga instructor with a passion for plant-based living. She also writes for the vegan media company, VegOut Magazine.
- Taking a daily vitamin may increase your energy, focus, mood, and immunity. It’s best to do it in the morning so you don’t forget during the day!
- Journaling at the top of the day can help clear mental blocks, reduce stress, clarify your thoughts, and reduce the symptoms of anxiety and depression.
- To jumpstart your day with a smile, workout in the morning! Physical exercise stimulates the release of endorphins or chemical messengers that reduce pain and stress and increase feelings of happiness.
Do you wake up feeling sluggish and unmotivated? Can’t seem to find the energy to get through the day? Mornings can be tough––especially if it’s a Monday. If you’re looking to kick off your day with more energy, here are a few simple mood-boosting activities to incorporate in your morning routine!
Mornings are like first impressions. Upon waking up, it takes just a few moments to predict how the rest of your day will go. So why not set yourself up for success? One of the best ways to start your day feeling good is by springing right out of bed (that’s right, no mindless Instagram scrolling) and getting your basic hygienic tasks out of the way. Brush your teeth, wash your face, moisturize––do whatever you need to do to feel fresh and clean for the day ahead. Did you know that it’s better to brush your teeth first thing in the morning instead of after breakfast? Based on a 2018 study, participants who brushed their teeth before eating experienced an increase in saliva production which helps to break down food and naturally fight off harmful bacteria in the mouth. 
Take your vitamins
While you’re getting refreshed in the bathroom, head over to your medicine cabinet to take your daily vitamins! One of the most common subjects discussed in the vegan world is nutrition. While fruits and vegetables are a great source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, there are a few deficiencies one can experience on a plant-based diet (or any diet for that matter). 
The Vegan Once Daily by Verb Vitamins is an easy and effective way to ensure you’re getting your necessary nutrients. This daily pill is small but mighty! Each capsule contains the recommended daily value of Vitamins B-12, D-3, and C as well as Zinc, Iron, and Omega-3. By adding this simple supplement to your morning routine, you may experience an increase in energy, focus, mood, and immunity.
Enjoy a balanced breakfast
The saying, “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” is popular for a reason! Not only is it nice to nosh on something delicious at the top of the day, but eating a nutritious meal in the morning increases mental alertness, jumpstarts your metabolism, and offers you sustenance so you can take on the rest of your day with more energy.  To experience these breakfast-eating benefits, it’s important to consume a well-
balanced meal that contains a combination of carbohydrates, fiber, protein, and healthy fats. A bowl of oatmeal topped with fruit and nuts, a plate of tofu scramble with veggies and avocado slices, or a smoothie with fruits, greens, and nut butter are just a few nutrient-dense vegan breakfast foods to enjoy. And what better way to boost your mood than with tasty food?
Do you ever feel preoccupied with your thoughts? Need some more organization in your life? The morning is a great time to process your emotions and organize your thoughts so you can start your day off on the right foot. One of the best ways to do so is by keeping a daily journal! Whether it’s about your current thoughts, reflections on the previous day, a list of things you are grateful for, or stream of consciousness writing, there really is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ to journaling topics. Just sit down for about 15 minutes and write––the benefits of doing so are endless! For starters, the process of writing accesses your left brain (the logical and analytical side) which frees up your right brain (the creative and imaginative side.) This helps clear mental blocks and allows you to focus more on your day-to-day experiences.  Additionally, journaling regularly is a healthy way to reduce stress, clarify your thoughts, increase self-awareness, improve memory, and reduce the symptoms of anxiety and depression.  And once you’ve been journaling for a while, it’s fascinating to look back on previous entries to reflect on your past experiences.
Another great way to boost your mood is by getting outdoors. From taking your dog on a walk or going on a light jog to journaling or sipping your favorite morning beverage outside on the porch, getting fresh air and sunlight works wonders for the mind, body, and soul! Some of the benefits of getting out in nature include increased vitality and energy , better sleep patterns , and improved mental cognition . And you’re probably already familiar with the benefit of vitamin D from exposure to sunlight, right? However you’re able to squeeze it in, spending some time outside is a very valuable and energizing way to kick off your day.
Move your body
There’s nothing more satisfying than completing a workout at the top of the day. You know that post-workout high that makes you feel like you’re on top of the world? That’s because physical exercise stimulates the release of endorphins as well as dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin.  Endorphins are chemical messengers (or neurotransmitters) that reduce pain and stress and increase feelings of happiness.  Aside from the invigorating feeling of exercise, there are many other mental and physical perks that come from moving your body. According to the CDC, physical activity increases brain health, aids weight management, lessens the risk of disease, strengthens bones and muscles, reduces short-term feelings of anxiety, and more.  Exercise may be a dreaded topic for you––but it doesn’t have to be! There are so many forms of physical activity, that we’d recommend finding one you genuinely enjoy. Yoga, Crossfit, hiking, running, tai chi, pilates, swimming, biking, bedroom dance parties, the list goes on and on! Before beginning a new form of exercise, be sure to consult your primary care physician to find something that works in tandem with your body and health.
Plan mood-boosting moments throughout your day
Now that you’ve commenced your morning with gusto, keep up the momentum by planning positive things to anticipate during the rest of the day! Set up a phone call with a family member, organize a Zoom happy hour with friends, cook your favorite meal for dinner, stop by Target to peruse the aisles, or do whatever else it is that brings a smile to your face. By sprinkling small uplifting checkpoints throughout the day, it makes mundane tasks seem much more enjoyable––because you have something to look forward to!
Whether you’re able to include one or all of these mood-boosting activities to your day, find a way to naturally incorporate them into your life. If something doesn’t feel right, listen to your intuition! There is not a “one size fits all” when it comes to routines. You know yourself better than anyone else. Try these on, see what fits, and notice how you feel when you are more intentional with your daily rituals.