Wake up before your alarm clock after seven to eight hours of sleep. You may have to get up a little earlier (or later) than 6 a.m., depending on your particular schedule and lifestyle. Seven or eight hours is the amount of time your body needs to recharge; plus, sleep is the major stimulant for your natural growth hormone, which keeps skin taut and vibrant.
When you wake up, take a few minutes for an inventory of the way your body feels—specifically the minor aches and pains that may subconsciously distract you from the focus of your life. When you wake up, perform a few light stretches. Take just a few minutes to get your blood going, think about your breathing and prepare yourself for your day. While you meditate to the sensations of your body, dream about one big idea you want to pursue today.
Perform your morning beauty routine. Here are some guidelines:
- In the shower, rinse your hair (you can shampoo whenever you want, but don't feel compelled to shampoo more than three times weekly) and wash your body. Blot your hair dry or use the cool setting on your hair dryer—heat can damage the delicate cuticles of your hair. Use a brush with smooth or rounded teeth or bristles, which will massage the hair and scalp without damaging them. Remember, hair is most fragile when wet.
- Wash your face and use a moisturizer that has vitamins B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), vitamin E and alpha-hydroxy acids. You can also include various small-molecule antioxidants such as ubiquinone and ferulic acid. Remember to read labels on everything. Use a moisturizer that has UV protection. You want to protect your face during the day and feed it with nutrients at night.
- Use deodorant, not antiperspirant, usually. Some clothes that require dry cleaning can be ruined by sweat; women may want to use antiperspirants when wearing delicate clothes. You don't need to stop the natural bodily function of sweat, simply use a deodorant to mask any unpleasant smells.
Take your vitamins, which should include: half of a multivitamin (with at least 500 IU of vitamin D, 600 mg of calcium and 200 mg of magnesium), 600 mg of DHA (omega-3 fatty acids, either by itself or in 2 grams of fish/cod liver oil) and 162 mg of aspirin (if you're over 40 years old and have checked with your doc). Take them with a full glass of water. These will help you with heart health, and keep this in mind as well: What's good for your heart and arteries is also good for your brain, sexual function and skin.
Whether you're getting to work or getting your kids to school, use your travel time as an the opportunity to practice some stealth Kegel exercises (squeezing the muscles that control your urine flow; you can identify these muscles by starting and stopping urination midstream). The more they're developed, the better your sex life.
Or, if you're in line for your favorite morning caffeine-infused beverage, spend a minute focusing on proper posture. Back straight, butt in, chest out, shoulders back, head high, jaw aligned, making sure your top and bottom teeth aren't touching each other. Focus.
Practice good posture every day (sitting and standing), and you'll be amazed at the changes in how you look and feel. Slow, deep belly breaths go great with excellent posture. The air should move like a wave through the body, starting with the belly while you inhale and eventually puffing out your chest, reversing the actions when you exhale until you're pulling your belly button toward your spine.
Attack your day, be it at home or at work. One of the most important things you can do: Create a clear game plan for what you want to (realistically) accomplish. Don't overwhelm yourself; just systematically tackle what you can today and save what you can't for tomorrow. The ubiquitous to-do list works because it takes the pressure off of you from forgetting the things you need to take care of but that may slip through the cracks. And be where you need to be on time so you can control the agenda. Maintaining the locus of control helps us cope with and reduce stress.
Make a note to greet everyone you meet with or talk to with a hearty smile—a genuine one. Upbeat people excel. Upbeat people have good relationships. Upbeat people feel good.
Take a quick audit of your environment, whether it's at home or work. The optimum work environment includes yellow light, lots of greenery, high air quality and a cubemate you get along with. While you're making a list of how you want to redecorate, you can fiddle with the thermostat. Research shows that optimal productivity occurs when the environment you're working in is 72 degrees.
Take a five- to seven-minute walk, and clear your head. Remember, the key to successfully managing stress and accomplishing tasks isn't about time management as much as energy management; it's about having the vitality to move fast, move efficiently and move smartly.
Have a midmorning snack of nuts or green tea (the polyphenols can help thicken the epidermis). Besides helping you stay satisfied, they contain biotin, which helps you metabolize fat and carbs. Add an apple or carrot—nature's teeth whiteners.
Get the schedule for the rest of your beautiful day