By Lisa Elaine Held
Some experts’ morning routines inspire eye-rolling. As in, “Sure, that’s great that you’ve got two hours to dedicate to working out, meditating, dry brushing, oil pulling, and blending 53 powders into your smoothie, but I’ve got to get to work.”
Instead, we turned to wellness pros who have figured out how to both take the frenzy out of the a.m. and set you up for a less stressful day overall.
“For me, the morning routine is all about setting up my mind and my body for the day. If I begin frantic, my day will be frantic,” says chef and wellness pro Seamus Mullen. “As best as I can, I try to ease in and out of the day and leave the hustle for the hours in between.”
To kick off our #AMinuteForMe series with Youtheory®, we asked Mullen and a few of our other favorite wellness gurus to share easy ways they work energy-boosting practices into their busy mornings. Check out their tricks below, and stay tuned for more ways to live healthier and happier and love yourself one minute at a time.
1. Soak up the sun
Your body’s natural sleep-and-wake cycle responds directly to light, so it makes sense that Mama Glow founder Latham Thomas says taking in some rays right away can set you up for a brighter day. “I start off the day sitting upstairs on my roof for a brief meditation and allow the sun and natural elements to ground me,” she says. To get a similar effect, stand by a window for 60 seconds while you sip your coffee.
2. Choose a gentler wake-up tone
Think about it: Do you really want to start the day feeling “alarmed”? “One moment you’re in deep sleep and the next minute a jarring, digital beeping, buzzing sound is violently waking you up,” Mullen says. He recommends taking a minute to find a more gentle option. It could be as simple as choosing a less harsh sound on your iPhone or downloading an app. You could even try something like yogawakeup and be roused by the soothing voice of a yoga teacher.
3. Move for a minute (or two)
No time for a full workout every morning? No problem. Mullen says moving for even a minute or two makes a difference. He recommends a simple breathing exercise followed by some primal movement flows or a few sun salutations followed by 30 seconds of vigorous movement like push-ups or air squats. “This just reminds the body of what it means to move,” he says. “Movement is key to a productive day. It helps maintain a high level of energy, which in turn leads to productivity.”
4. Add an adaptogen to your routine
If you haven’t jumped on the adaptogen bandwagon just yet, youtheory® chief scientific officer Dr. Nick Bitz recommends doing so. “Every person can benefit greatly by adding an adaptogen to their daily health regimen. These powerful herbs help the body adapt to the overall effects of daily stress; while increasing energy, stamina, and physical performance throughout your day,” he says. Dr. Bitz recommends starting with ginseng or rhodiola, and taking them in the morning will give you more bang for your buck “as they help provide an energetic lift throughout the day.” You’ll find them in both pill and powder form; take whichever you prefer.
5. Keep your supplements handy
“When it comes to supplementation, consistency is the key to getting the results you want,” Dr. Bitz explains. “So I recommend storing your supplements in a visible space to improve compliance. I personally have two sets of supplements—one on my kitchen counter and one on my office desk—to ensure that I’m taking my supplements daily.” Taking them at the same time each day will help even more.
Another way to get your supplements: Add them (in powder form) to drinks, meals and snacks. Try this super-quick and easy recipe for tasty Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Energy Bites, which has youtheory® Collagen Powder blended in.
6. Be kind to yourself
“I like to start my day with a positive affirmation,” says fitness star Simone de la Rue, founder of Body By Simone and trainer on E!’s Revenge Body. “It gets me in the zone for the day, and I feel inspired and ready to conquer.” Make it easy: Choose your affirmation the night before and write it down so all you have to do is read it in the morning, or say the same thing each day.
7. Trade your coffee for matcha
Look, if your morning java is the thing that really gets you going and makes you happy, there’s no need to give it up. But if you feel like mixing it up, de la Rue says starting off with matcha really increases her daily energy. “Having a matcha green tea in the morning can really help increase your focus and concentration,” she says. “It can also boost your metabolism and help burn calories. One cup in the morning is the perfect mood booster.”
8. Get centered before scrolling
Reaching for your phone to check your Insta likes before you’ve switched on your bedside lamp can really clutter your thoughts. Lyons Den Power Yoga founder Bethany Lyons says she takes five deep breaths to clear her mind before moving a muscle. So simple, yet so effective. “Giving myself permission to pause for one minute gives me clarity and focus before moving into action,” she says.
9. Spend a minute getting organized the night before
OK, this one is cheating a little since it’s not something you do in the morning. But it will affect everything else you do in the morning (and beyond), so we’re keeping it. Lyons says: “Taking one minute before bed to get organized helps me sleep better and wake up feeling ready for the day.” Mullen agrees: “If I have an early-morning workout planned, I set up my workout clothes, my coffee maker, and my water bottle so the morning is as smooth as possible.” Smooth early leads to success later.
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