There’s a lot to be said about morning routines. We’ve been told to set our alarm clocks earlier and to hit the ground running (literally) with a workout the moment you wake up. But the truth is, sometimes you just need to hack your way into results.
That’s where these expert-backed wellness tips come in. We’ve got everything from cold showers to an acupuncture trick that will have you up and at ‘em.
Get ready, because these hacks put the good in “good morning!”
start with a short meditation
Get in the right headspace the moment you wake up by taking at least 5 minutes to meditate.
After all, the benefits are pretty hard to ignore. According to Lynne Goldberg, Meditation Coach and Founder of meditation app, Breethe, meditation can keep you feeling zen.
“Use this snooze time to meditate instead — your morning meditation is then finished, and you can begin your day,” she says. “We have a ‘5-minute Intention’ meditation on our app that’s perfect for this. It will really help you to get your day off to the right start.”
You could also do some deep breathing, says Dr. Bethany Tennant, a Naturopathic Physician and Certified Nutrition Specialist.
“Deep breathing helps to support a calm focus instead of a rushed routine. A great structure is 4-7-8 (inhale 4 seconds through the nose, hold for 7 seconds and exhale through the mouth for 8 seconds), repeat 3 times.”
try the morning cup practice
Coffee isn’t the only kind of morning cup that will start your day off right. You can also try the morning cup practice, recommended by Goldberg.
Like meditation, this move encourages you to be mindful by tapping into different senses.
“What you can do while you’re making your morning cup is to really notice the aroma,” says Goldberg. “Then, notice the different shades of brown as you pour it into your cup. How many can you see? Think about the different flavor notes you’re experiencing as you take that first sip. Consider how the nice, warm mug feels in your hands.”
When you do have your actual morning cup of Joe, be sure to incorporate Vital Proteins’ collagen into the mix. It’s what Teona Ostrov, Founder of Teona Ostrov Public Relations, does each morning to start her day off right.
“I start every day with a cup of the Vital Proteins Matcha Collagen with a scoop of Collagen Creamer™ and while my water is boiling, I do my morning skincare routine. That really helps me wake up and I feel motivated to start the day because I feel so refreshed!”
Cosmetic Acupuncturist, Stefanie DiLibero, swears by this hack whenever she needs an extra boost of motivation to get out of bed.
Have a habit of waking up in a grumpy mood? In addition to raising those energy levels, this trick also keeps the morning grumps at bay.
“I stimulate the acupressure point GV 20. It's located at the top of the head, at the intersection of the midline of the face and the highest point of the ear.”
If you’re wearing a headband, this would be around where the headband intersections with the midline of the face, she says. “I like to take my 8 fingertips and lightly tap around the area.”
try a cold shower
Sure, it may feel like 2014 and you’re doing the Ice Bucket Challenge, but those who do this every morning swear by its benefits.
Here’s how you do it, according to NYC-Based Registered Dietitian, Catherine Sebastian: “Take a shower in the morning at your normal temperature, then switch the water to cold for the last 30 seconds. The initial shock to the body will help tighten pores and the body will have to work harder at a cellular level to maintain an internal temperature.”
If you’re having enough trouble getting into the shower in the morning, let alone cranking it to the North Pole (again, for a good reason!), entice yourself using essential oils.
Lindsay Malachowski, Esthetician and Director of Operations at SKINNEY Medspa + Wellness, likes to take a spa approach by putting a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil in the shower.
“It helps to wake me up and reminds me of being at a spa. This also works in reverse, you can put a few drops of lavender essential oil in your bath at night to relax and unwind.”
get a dose of sunshine
Unless you’re a vampire, you shouldn’t be avoiding the sun in the morning! According to Dr. Tennant, enjoying sunshine supports your CAR (cortisol awakening response).
“CAR is light driven and so to support your bodies and cortisol (adrenal) function you also reduce inflammation … and increase energy!”
So go ahead and let the sunshine in. You can do it through exposure to full-spectrum lights or sunshine for 5 to 30 minutes. Eating your breakfast or drinking your coffee outside is an easy way to achieve this.
make your morning routine musical
Don’t let your alarm clock be the only sound you hear in the morning. Let good vibes in instead with an upbeat morning playlist. Opt for songs that have a “tackle the day" attitude, says Dr. Tennant.
She also recommends adding music to your morning in other ways: “Hum, gargle or sing. These activities impact vagal tone, supporting your ability to handle stress, and improves heart rate variability.”
refrain from using your phone
“Allow your mind to adjust to the day before you begin to take in and absorb outside energies,” says Kenya Jackson-Saulters, MS, Wellness Coach and Founder of Outdoor Journal Tour and Merrell athlete.
Instead of checking email and social media, use this time to practice gratitude or set your intentions for the day.
“Either of these will put you in the mindset of appreciation and excitement. Both of which will act as magnets, drawing positive experiences to you throughout the day.”
create a beauty routine you look forward to
A beauty routine is self-care, so be sure to fill yours with products that you look forward to using.
Makeup artist Jenny Patinkin starts by exfoliating with a couple of her Organic Bamboo Cosmetic Rounds to wipe away last night's skincare and wake her skin up.
“Then I will use my Rose on Rose Face Roller to help drain away inflammation and any toxins left over from the night before and to boost my circulation for a radiant look.”
She loves the energy-healing properties from the rose quartz, as she finds them uplifting and mood boosting.
drink some water
Get ahead of your H20 goals the second you wake up by leaving a glass of water next to your bed.
Vital Proteins Collagen Water™ is an easy (and delicious) way to reach your hydration goals! There’s 10g of collagen in every serving and our line boasts 6 light and refreshing flavors: Lemon Slice, Blueberry Mint, Strawberry Lemon, Blackberry Hibiscus, Lemon Ginger and Peach White Tea.
Liz Sprinkle, CBD Expert and Founder of Love Always Liz, CBD aims for 16 oz. in the morning to jumpstart her digestive system.
Prefer your water warm? Ashley Gullotta, Operations Manager at SKINNEY Medspa + Wellness, likes to drink hers with lemon, turmeric and honey. “It’s really good for alkalizing the body. You can also add cinnamon which is also great.”
do some light stretches
Go beyond that morning stretch and yawn by incorporating some gentle stretches into your day.
You can even implement a foam roller or some deep breathing exercises into the routine as well. This is something that Dr Lucky Sekhon, an NYC-based Fertility Specialist and Board-Certified OBGYN does.
“This acts as a form of meditation and allows me to clear my mind before tackling the day ahead.”
Even two minutes will make a big difference, says Sebastian. “You do not need to do a whole yoga flow, but if you can get your joints stretched, this can help wake the body up gently.”
don't skip breakfast
“The body has been fasting and restoring overnight at the cellular level, you need to properly fuel your body to prepare for the day and wake your system up,” says Sebastian.
If you’re not usually hungry in the mornings, she recommends something light, such as a slice of toast, small apple and a hard-boiled egg. “This will activate your metabolism and help you burn more calories throughout the day. This will also help prevent unwanted snacking later on in the day.”
While you’re at it, consider eating your way to better skin, too. After NYC dermatologist, Dr. Hadley King starts her day with a warm cup of earl grey green tea, her skincare routine and some exercise, she’ll whip up a smoothie with lots of skin-loving ingredients like greens, carrots and more.