If Your Morning Routine Needs A Makeover, Try Doing These 6 Simple Things When You Wake Up

Attention: This is not your generic morning routine advice. Lemon water does not make a cameo here. You will not be told to run a marathon before 8 a.m. (unless that's your thing, and in that case, more power to you). I'm getting a little weird with you today, girl. The things you do when you wake up can set the mood for a day of killing the game, so paying a little extra attention can really make a huge difference. If you're in a little bit of a morning routine rut, looking outside the box can give you the boost you need to shake things up.

Of course, different morning activities work for different people, so there's no singular recipe for the "perfect" start to your day. But developing a consistent routine that fits your specific needs is key, because not only will that help boost your productivity, it'll make you feel happier overall, too. Mindfulness expert Julie Potiker tells Elite Daily, "During each step of your morning schedule, these activities release happiness neurochemical triggers that enhance productivity throughout the day."

So whether you prefer a quick Pop-Tart or an elaborate smoothie bowl, a full face of makeup or beautiful bare skin, try some expert- and science-approved activities that may just transform you into a morning person. (I said may, OK?)

Limit Your Phone Use If You Can't Detach Completely

Do you love to scroll through social media in bed as soon as you wake up? I can definitely relate. While steering clear of technology first thing in the morning is probably the best route to take, it's not always realistic, so a great middle step to breaking your smartphone dependency is to only check certain apps. “Limit your morning tech monitoring to email only,” Clarissa Silva, a behavioral scientist and relationship coach, tells Elite Daily.

Checking your phone to make sure you don’t have anything urgent from your boss can soothe some of your FOMO anxieties without sucking you into the endless scroll on a fun app.

Get Your Blood Moving With Foam Rolling

Some people can crush an intense workout before the crack of dawn, and if you're one of them, that's fantastic. But for those of us who prefer a more gentle start to the morning, foam rolling can be a great alternative.

The self-massage technique is a form of "myofascial release," which promotes blood circulation. I’m here for anything that can get my blood moving while I’m laying on my living room floor, to be honest. And this is equally effective whether you're still in the old T-shirt you slept in, or if you're wearing your favorite workout outfit.

Plan A Treat For Yourself For Later

If you're a fan of starting your day with the fluffiest, chewiest bagel ever, please be my BFF, because you and I are basically the same person.

However, research has shown that if you plan a treat for yourself ahead of time instead of enjoying it right then and there in the moment, that anticipation will boost the amount of happiness the treat ultimately gives you. In a 2010 study published in the journal Applied Research in Quality of Life, researchers discovered that people on vacay gained the most pleasure from their getaways during the anticipation period of the trip, rather than during or after their travels. Looking forward to something fun, it follows, is even more effective for making you feel happier than the fun thing itself.

So instead of waiting for the best self-care moment to present itself as the day progresses, make a morning plan to treat yourself later on so that you have all day to look forward to it.

Water A Plant

Gardening can act as a gentle reminder to us that we are not the center of the universe,” Sarah Rayner, author of the bestselling book One Moment, One Morning, wrote in a 2015 article for Psychology Today. Self-care should be at the heart of any good morning routine, but making some time to care for another living thing, whether it's a puppy or a potted plant, can help ground you in the morning and draw your focus off of your own worries.

What’s more, peaceful indoor plants are a thing, and certain types have been shown to boost mood and reduce stress. You don't need to plow an entire field to reap the benefits; just pick out a cute little potted plant that you can water each morning to make nurturing part of your day.

Turn Your Morning Skincare Routine Into A Dance Party

Lather up your face with rhythm. Massage in your moisturizer in tune with the beat. Most importantly, make sure you’re all about that bass. A 2014 study found that listening to music with more bass can make you feel more powerful compared to other types of music.

So if your Tuesday morning is feeling like it should be Friday already, pump yourself (and the jams) up before you walk out the door.

Use Stickers To Keep You Mindful

In the morning, it's easy to constantly think about the next thing you have to do, and much harder to just enjoy the present moment. But according to mindfulness expert Julie Potiker, it's important to use visual reminders to take a breath during your morning routine.

She recommends sticking colored dot stickers in a few different areas of your home: “When you notice the dot,” she tells Elite Daily, “stop and take a conscious breath, feeling the air going into and out of your body." If you tend to feel super stressed or overwhelmed in the a.m., this trick is sure to help you relax a little.

One of the best things about mornings is that every day, you get a chance to start again. So if any of these tips don't work for you, or if you wake up five minutes before you have to catch your bus, it's not the end of the world. Focus on progress, not perfection, and then go eat that delayed-gratification cupcake.