Start a daily meditation practice without switching up your schedule.
Mornings can be hectic, but that's exactly why they're the best time to meditate. But deciding to commit to morning meditation and actually waking up earlier to do it are two different things. Since your a.m. time is precious, you can use your beauty routine to squeeze in some meditation. Inhaling a refreshing scent paired with deep breathing while you do your makeup can bring a moment of Zen to the early hour madness and provide you with increased oxygen to fuel your day, says Belisa Vranich, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist and the author of Breathe. (Another reason to add meditation to your beauty routine: it's the secret to younger, healthier skin.) It's the peaceful, perk-you-up equivalent of a cup of coffee. The goal is to slowww your breath so that it syncs with your heart rate, keeping your blood pressure and cortisol levels in check.
To get it right, breathe in through your nose and fill up your lungs (your stomach should puff out), then exhale out of your mouth. "Focus on the continuity and sound of the breath," Vranich says. That tells your parasympathetic nervous system that you're calm and in control. (Try this yoga breathing exercise for energy.)
As for that scent? Choose invigorating notes to bump up the benefits. Clinique Happy Gelato Creams for Body ($35; clinique.com) all contain stimulating citrus notes. Taking a few moments to achieve inner peace will start your day off right. (Here are 9 more stress relief tips for people who don't have time to meditate.)