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Take Back Your Mornings

What Is Your Best Tip for Getting the Day Off to a Good Start?

It’s not easy to begin your morning on the right foot when you wake up on the wrong side of the bed. This month, Real Simple readers share the A.M. rituals that help them rise and shine.

Illustration of woman dancing to music with dogsChristopher Silas Neal


Take a hot shower using an aromatic body scrub. Mine has lemongrass and lavender in it, and the strong fragrance wakes up all my senses. When I rush through my shower and skip the scrub, I never feel as refreshed.

Lynn Brooks

Cedar City, Utah

Rather than saying a simple “good morning,” I greet my husband and our three kids (ages five, six, and seven) with a silly made-up song about one of their favorite things, like robots or pancakes. I follow up the ditty with a big hug or a spontaneous tickle attack. Afterward, everyone goes out the door with a skip in their step.

Coral Brooks

Manasquan, New Jersey

While visiting my two-year-old grandson last year, I taught him a five-minute stretching routine that I learned from the old TV show Romper Room, which I loved as a kid. It was so energizing that I kept doing it by myself when I was back home.

Mary Ann Revell

Mount Dora, Florida

For the past eight years, I’ve woken up in pain every morning due to severe arthritis in my spine. To keep my focus off my discomfort, before I get up, I spend time contemplating a few of my blessings (like my home’s beautiful views). I would love to count all my blessings, but if I did, I would be stuck in bed for hours!

Michele White

Nevada City, California

I love to learn a new fact every morning. Lately I’ve found fascinating tidbits in the book Love, Sex, Death & Words, a compilation of literary anecdotes by John Sutherland and Stephen Fender. How else would I have discovered that a volcano eruption led Mary Shelley to write Frankenstein?

Jenijoy La Belle

Pasadena, California

I announce a silly theme for my family’s breakfast conversation, then challenge everyone at the table to stick to it. For example, on Musical Mondays, we have to sing every word we say, and on Soap Fridays, we talk like characters on All My Children. This little tradition never fails to start the day with laughter.

Robin Sise

Amsterdam, New York

Last year, I realized that fielding work and personal e-mails caused me to become preoccupied and disconnected from my family in the morning. Nowadays I resist logging on to my computer before 9 A.M. That allows me to arrive at work with a much happier mind-set.

Jeanette Forgey

Cambridge, Massachusetts

Read More About:Life Strategies

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