4 Baby Steps That Will Completely Transform Your Morning Routine

Our morning routine has come a long way since the days of Toaster Strudels and lunging out the door with soaking-wet hair, but it’s still not, shall we say, optimized. So we asked PureWow Coterie member Phoebe Lapine for help. The chef, wellness guru and founder of Feed Me Phoebe recently penned the funny and inspiring book The Wellness Project. So basically, she’s an expert in this kind of stuff. Read on for her four tips for taking your a.m. routine to the next level.

7 Things to Stop Doing When You First Wake Up in the Morning

bedside table next to bed with alarm clock

Set A Firm Wake-up Time

“A successful night’s sleep is hugely reliant on routine. It matters less what that routine is, and more that you have one that remains consistent. While you might chalk your Sunday night insomnia up to your Monday worries meddling with your mind, the inability to fall asleep is often due to the fact that you slept in all weekend. The longer you can go between rising and going back to bed, the more likely you’ll be to pass out easily. So set a firm wake-up time on your alarm. Put it on the other side of the room if you have to—no snoozing allowed. This will give your body the routine it craves, and also ensure extra ‘me time’ in the morning for whatever activities will set the right tone for the day.”

glass of water with lemon and mint

Drink Warm Lemon Water

“Taking a break from coffee was one of the best things I did to hack my morning routine. Once I got my sleep under control and was no longer reliant on caffeine to snap me out of my slumber, it meant I woke up with energy and didn’t have to waste my time fiddling with the coffee maker like a semi-conscious sloth. Replace the ritual of coffee with a glass of warm lemon water. Lemon juice, in general, is one of nature’s secret weapons. Its antiseptic nature acts as a solvent for toxins, helping your liver flush all the junk it accumulated overnight when it was doing double duty cleaning your blood. And I’d argue that proper evacuation is an essential part of everyone’s morning routine that we don’t talk about enough!”

5 glass jars of overnight oats
Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

Batch-cook Breakfast

“Who really wants to dirty cutting boards and wash dishes before at 8 a.m.? Nope, not even me. But adding something wholesome to your morning routine can have a positive halo effect on all your cravings for the rest of the day. The solution? Batch-cook a high-fiber, high-protein and low-sugar breakfast. Breakfast is the most important time to manage your food choices for the rest of the day. The more vegetables, healthy fats and lean proteins you include, the more likely you are to make it to lunchtime without a trip to the office vending machine. (Plus, you’ll be less likely to need a cup of coffee to offset a sugar crash.) Great make-ahead options include chia pudding and overnight oats sweetened with just whole fruit or bake-ahead frittata bites packed with herbs and greens.”

marble print journal with rose gold pen

Empty Your Mental Attic

“Dedicate at least ten minutes in the morning to getting into the right headspace for the day by meditating, journaling or, ideally, doing a little of both. It’s an easy way to start carving out time for a different narrative than the frenzied you, driven by a much better sense of calm and stability. Journaling is simple: write three pages freehand in a notebook. There’s no prompt or topic—the goal is just to log whatever comes to mind. If meditation or breath work is a way to close the door to the mental attic for a few minutes, then the purpose of these pages is to clear out all of the junk in one stream of consciousness.