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7 Morning Wellness Rituals to Start Your Day Off Right

What you do before you walk out the door for work can have a huge impact on the rest of your day. These 7 habits will help you start your morning off right.

1. Meditate.

Meditation is so popular these days that you’d be forgiven for thinking it can solve all your problems—including paying your taxes and getting your kid into an Ivy League school. Of course it can’t do any of those things. What it can do? Reduce stress, help you take a break, and remind you to breathe; for example, one study found that the meditation during yoga is positively associated with mental health. No time for daily yoga? Try a mini meditation, such as savoring a cup of tea, and grab a moment to relax. The key is engaging your senses while you do it (notice the smell of the brew or the texture of the mug).


2. Take a Cold Shower

It may sound miserable, but a cold shower can pump up blood circulation, increase adrenaline and even boost your mood.

3. Engage in Smile Therapy

Here’s the deal: when you smile, your body releases endorphins. Smiling first thing means starting your day in a better mood.

4. Make Your Bed

It’s a quick, easy way to create order and calm first thing, according to Gretchen Rubin, author of "The Happiness Project."

5. Start with a Protein

Protein (think Greek yogurt, eggs or whole grain toast with peanut butter) can help you avoid the blood-sugar crash that comes with a carb-loaded meal. Plus people who eat protein for breakfast (35 grams or more) are less hungry throughout the day.


6. Tackle Something Important

Willpower is strongest in the morning and becomes depleted throughout the day. When deciding what to check off your to-do list first, choose the most significant activity or the one that requires the most focus.

7. Have Sex

Need a reason to wake up early? An a.m. tryst makes you healthier, happier, even more beautiful, according to Debby Herbenick, Ph.D., author of Because It Feels Good. That’s because morning sex boosts levels of the feel-good chemical oxytocin, enhances your levels of the infection-fighting antibody IgA, and boosts estrogen levels, which improve the tone and texture of your skin and hair. Plus, testosterone, which is partially responsible for sex drive, is highest when you wake up.