Let’s face it: Mornings can be nutty. But picking up a healthy a.m. habit could make all the difference, and help you start your day off right. Many editors here at Health have their own go-to strategy to pave the way for a productive day. From a pre-work sweat sesh to a nutrient-packed breakfast, here are some easy tips that could make your mornings a little bit brighter.
“I practice Vedic meditation twice a day for 20 minutes at a time, the first one right upon waking. Vedic is really accessible, it’s for everyone. You repeat a mantra to yourself (silently), and as thoughts drift into your mind, you gently bring yourself back to the mantra. Very simple! I used to feel really foggy in the morning, but meditation puts me in a calm, focused state of mind first thing, and makes me feel really energized.” —Beth Lipton, food director
“Well it may seem pretty simple, but I go work out! It instantly wakes me up and prepares me for a productive day. When I don’t exercise I feel very tired and my concentration is off.” —Rozalynn Frazier, senior fitness editor
“Even if I don’t have time to get a workout in, I take about 10 minutes to stretch. Nothing too complicated. I just stretch my calves one at a time, by pushing the ball of my foot against a wall with my heel on the ground. Then I stretch my quads by pulling my heel up behind me with a bent knee. I sometimes experience lower back pain, so to help alleviate that, I do some simple neck rolls and touch my toes to stretch my hamstrings. I also usually go through a round of child’s pose, laughing baby pose, and downward dog.” —Chelsey Hamilton, editorial assistant
“Every weekday morning I walk my daughter the one mile to her school. Rain or shine, cold or hot, that brisk walk (some days brisker than others, depending on whether we overslept!) helps to clear my brain and get my blood moving first thing. I know that I’ve gotten in a little activity, even if I don’t make it to the gym that day. And it’s also my time to check in with my daughter, which is good for both of our mental health.” —Jeannie Kim, executive deputy editor
“I will not leave the house in the morning without having breakfast. If I don’t eat something, then I’m miserable by the time I get to work. I also tend to eat extra junk throughout the day when I haven’t had a morning meal. My go-to breakfasts are two eggs and a slice of whole-grain toast; a quarter of an avocado smashed onto a slice of whole-grain toast and topped with an over-easy egg; or a smoothie consisting of kale or spinach, blueberries, Greek yogurt, banana, water, and chia seeds.” —Christine Mattheis, deputy editor
“There are two specific things I do. First, I eat the same breakfast every day: 1/2 cup ofoatmeal, topped with a handful of walnuts and a handful of frozen wild blueberries, add 3/4 cup milk, and microwave the whole thing for 3 minutes. I eat that with a tall glass of seltzer water and orange juice, mixed 50/50. Then, if I have time, I also try to take a quick nap right after I wake up before I get going!” —Michael Gollust, research editor
“I walk one mile to my favorite coffee place and grab a skim cappuccino!”