5 life-changing ways to start your day

I’m in the middle of my busiest speaking time. I just finished two engagements and am headed out this week for three more. While I love to travel, break routine and “do it different,” going for extended periods where I’m eating new foods, sleeping in hotels and moving through airports can be hard on the body. So when I arrived back home this weekend, I was happy and relieved to return to my favorite grounding, morning practices.

Why? Because as a self-care devotee for the last 18 years, I’ve learned that how I “enter” the day is how I “do” the day.


Do you flop, race or ease into your day? If we make wise choices, our morning time can set the course for how creative, positive, productive and happy we are in the hours to follow. How we begin our day is key to everything.

Here are five simple things I do each morning to support a great start (note: if your current a.m. routine includes a large dose of network news and a carafe of Starbucks –be gentle with yourself; start with baby steps):

  1. Ditch screen time and become comfortable with silence (or classical music). Be judicious about your media diet and who you allow into your head–at least for the first hour of the morning. Often we get our best ideas shortly after waking; give yourself some time to ease into the day without added mental clutter. This can feel strange at first, but over time you may crave stillness.
  2. Stretch or do some gentle yoga before you get out of bed. Every morning I fold my right knee gently into my body, then alternate and bring in my left, stretching the opposing leg while taking deep belly breaths. Then I bring in both knees and gently rock side to side (great for the kidneys, adrenals and digestion). Want more? Read Why I Do Yoga.
  3. Drink a cup of hot water with lemon shortly after waking. This practice aids digestion, hydrates, flushes out the lymph system, helps to detoxify your body and boost your metabolism. Even if you must have coffee, try starting with warm lemon water. Read more about the many benefits of this practice here.
  4. Pause and enter your day intentionally. Whether you meditate, read an inspirational passage, journal about what you’re grateful for or choose a one-word intention that calls to you, taking time to enter your day thoughtfully and with intention has huge pay-offs. The benefits will be felt for hours to come (read Why I Meditate).
  5. Give and receive morning hugs. Making a conscious choice to choose love (read more about the benefits of hugging) and express this to your family members in the form of sweet touches and hugs has an enormous impact on your physical and emotional well-being and stress levels. The fastest way to release oxytocin and come into a sense of connection with family is through safe and loving touch.

We are creatures of habit. It’s very easy to keep doing the same things over and over again and remain in a rut.  But maybe you’re sick and tired of being sick and tired and are ready to experience more well-being and joy? Author Robert Puller says, “Good habits, once established, are just as hard to break as are bad habits.” Ultimately for me it always comes back to the question, “How bad do you want to feel good?”



  • Retreats are ideal if you’re in transition, exploring, “What’s next?” and want to create new ways of being. Join soulful, like-minded women in an empowering and supportive environment for a deeply restorative women’s self-renewal retreat. It’s not too late to join me in beautiful MA at Kripalu the weekend of Jan. 25-27; learn more.
  • Craving authentic community and want to find (or create) your tribe? Learn more about our global sisterhood of RTA-Certified Facilitators  and empower/support women in your community! More here on how to become a RTA-Certified Facilitator and join our inner circle ($100 off through 10/31; includes private coaching with me).
  • Want to help you your employees, organization or conference members rock their game by learning the art and science of self-care? Schedule me to present a custom work-life balance/resiliency presentation or workshop in 2019. I travel and speak around the globe at conferences, leadership retreats and employee events; one of my most popular topics is Finding Balance in a 24/7 World: The Art & Science of Self-Renewal. Learn more.

Subscribe here to Live Inside Out, a weekly blog written by life balance coach/author/speaker Renée Peterson Trudeau. Passionate about helping men and women experience balance through the art/science of self-care, her work has appeared in The New York Times, Good Housekeeping, US News & World Report, Spirituality & Health and more. Thousands of women in ten countries are becoming RTA-Certified Facilitators and leading/joining self-renewal groups based on her award-winning self-care curriculum.  She is the author of three books on life balance and living intentionally including the award-winning The Mother’s Guide to Self-Renewal. She lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband and 16-year-old son. More on her background here.




  1. This is such an important lesson: your mornings matter. My day changes when I hold that space as sacred! Thanks for sharing, Renee!