How do some people manage to look so darn perky as they sip coffee and smoothies in their Instagram stories in the morning? It all comes down to establishing a winning routine, one that’s easy for you to do every day that leaves you feeling awake, alert and inspired. You don’t have to steal an entire regimen from these fitness and wellness experts, but they have some pretty great suggestions to start.
Once you begin to develop a routine of your own, optimize it to your specific needs. Meditation for 20 minutes might not work for you, but maybe you can handle five minutes. Yoga might not be your jam, but what about a few basic stretches instead? And journaling can feel a little cliché, but what about creating a Google Doc in which you list one thing daily that you’re grateful for? We don’t all need to be fitness and wellness junkies, but we can get a little bit better at managing our morning and crushing the rest of our day.
For the full list of tips, visit Nylon.
"I'd say my number-one tip is to get ready for your day—whether that be breakfast, journaling, meditation or working out—before looking at your phone," says Sophie Gray of WayofGray.com. "I recommend being off your phone for 30 to 60 minutes in the morning! I like to do this because I can check in with myself first, before checking in with others."
Productivity gurus and authors of Peak Performance Brad Stulberg and Steve Magness back this one up. The more time you can stay off your phone and not be distracted, the better. Getting your primary workout for the day done before the flood of emails, Instagrams and texts is going to make the day feel a lot smoother.
"This year has officially been the year of slowing down and learning to give myself what I need in order to thrive throughout the day with sustained energy and inspiration," adds The Balanced Blonde blogger Jordan Younger. "You could say I am a notorious overcommitter and a workaholic-slash-iPhone-aholic—who isn't?—so I decided to get serious with my morning routine, to start to cultivate more peace and serenity in my daily life. I start each day with a digital detox where I do not look at my phone until I feel ready to be on and communicate with the world!"
"Working from home can sometimes mean there's no need for you to leave the house, but for me, getting outdoors every day for fresh air, a sense of vitality and vitamin D is so important," says Melissa Hemsley of the Hemsley Sisters. "Daylight helps reset your internal body clock, also known as the circadian rhythm, leading to better sleep and allowing your body to tune into what it needs. I've got a dog called Nelly who I take for runs around my local park, so it's a non-negotiable for me!"
Studies bear this out: We need vitamin D to stay happy and energized. One such study even linked deficiency in young women to depression. You don't need supplements to get it. Sunlight should do the trick. And if, like Melissa, you work at home, a walk outside can give you the divide between "you time" and working hours.
"I wake up, make a matcha tea or coffee in my kitchen, stretch on my yoga mat and do a mindfulness meditation practice," says Jordan. "I have also gotten very into crystals, sage, essential oils and palo santo. The morning is my me-time to play around with my yogi, kundalini grounding practices and to get some reading or journaling in. Then I head off to teach yoga down the street and feel like a new human! Also breathing. It sounds simple, but it's been a game changer to really focus on my breath."
Meditation also makes you more creative, according to one study. And another championed morning meditation because that's when we're at our most spiritually aware.
It's not just the yogis who are doing morning meditation—fitness junkies are into it, too. "Every day is different for me, but no matter where I am, I make sure to spend a few moments alone setting my intention and purpose for the day through meditation," says Karena Dawn of ToneItUp.com. It really helps me stay centered and focused."
Karena also digs a morning workout to get the blood pumping. If you're an early riser and can sneak in a run or strength workout, it's a great way to kick off the day. And bonus, if you do a low-key workout before you eat breakfast; you'll reap the benefits of fasted-state training and gain extra strength and aerobic capacity in the process. Bonus: You can burn almost 20% more fat if you exercise pre-breakfast, according to one study. Plus, let's be honest, breakfast will taste a whole lot better when you've really worked for it.