Lessons in Adulting: Your Morning Routine

By Dominique Astorino June 3, 2016

Adulting is hard, and we all know it. Here’s my first lesson in “getting my shit together” and trying to act like a real grown up: having a routine.

I have one for morning and night, and it has really helped me feel organized, healthy and on top of my game. So here we go.

A morning routine for anyone trying to get their shit together.

For years, I’ve realized morning is essentially nonexistent; I haven’t grown much at all since my high school days, in which my mother physically had to drag me out of bed as I clung to the rungs of the bed frame, Jamie-Lee-Curtis-as-Lindsay-Lohan’s-mom-in-Freaky-Friday style. I’ve been hitting the snooze button (in my sleep) as much as humanly possible, maybe putting on mascara, and racing to work in whatever outfit I constructed from the clothes on my floor + a top knot.

Apparently this is not how you “adult.”*

Adulting Lesson- Morning Routine

Are you nodding in agreement right now? Does this sound familiar?

To kickstart my grown-woman morning routine, I made a list, did a little research, tested it out (I’m fine with being my own guinea pig), and reported back – very similar to how scientists use the scientific theory. So here’s what I’ve got: SCIENCE! But for your FACE. And general appearance/life.

[Disclaimer: All of this is assuming you have already showered the night before and have dry hair… tailor it accordingly]

The Grown Ass Woman Morning Routine

* oil pull – stretch – de-puff – lemon water – skincare – haircare – makeup – nutritious breakfast – vitamins *

Step 0: Wake Up At A Reasonable Time

Adulting Lesson- Morning Routine

Why is this a step: waking up seems obvious, but the “reasonable time” part is important to note, and necessary to complete the following steps.

Put on some music and let’s get this party morning started!

Step 1: Oil Pulling (& Dental Care)

Why this is a step: dental hygiene is important to adults, also myriad of health benefits

This is a long process, so you can combine it with Step 2 to save time (if you want). The benefits of oil pulling first thing in the morning include whiter teeth, improved oral health and eradicated halitosis. Do it on an empty stomach (before the rest of this routine), and prep for teeth brushing. Take a spoonful, swish for 20 mins, spit into a cup or trash (not into the sink).

TRY: Organic Virgin Coconut Oil from Trader Joe’s
TIP: Brush your teeth after, not before. Use an enamel building toothpaste to protect against the acid in the lemon from Step 4. Also floss. You’re an adult now. Adults floss.
(Amount of time: 20 mins – combinable)

Step 2: Light Stretching

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Why this is a step: warm up your muscles, shake off the burdens of adulthood.

Get your body ready for the day: whether that’s a long commute in the car or on the train, hours sitting at a desk, or a mid-day workout. Do some general stretching, or try a 15 minute yoga exercise; some sun salutations will help you clear your head and de-stress. Just don’t overemphasize the savasana, you’ll be back to step 0.

TIP: There are YouTube videos and apps with step-by-step yoga instructions.
(Amount of time: 10-15 mins)

Step 3: Anti-Puff Eye Rolling

Why is this a step: because your eyes are puffy and you have dark circles.

Hungover? De-puff your eyes. Didn’t sleep because you were hooked on the umpteenth season of whatever rabbit hole you’ve ventured down on Netflix? De-puff your eyes. Don’t let ANYONE know you’re not a responsible adult – the dark circles and puffiness will be a dead giveaway, so handle your shit accordingly. Continue this throughout the day (see: Step 7).

TRY: Garnier Skin Renew Anti-Puff Eye Roller
TIP: keep it in the refrigerator for an added cooling effect!
(Amount of time: 15 seconds)

Step 4: Room-Temp Glass of Water With Lemon

Why is this a step: according to the internet and healthy people, the benefits are endless.

The “room temperature” part sounds pretentious but it allows your body to absorb the nutrients from the lemon without “shocking the body” with cold or hot temps. Just think of your poor stomach, sleeping, and then you dump some cold water on it. Imagine if someone did that to you! Anyway.

The benefits of RT Lemon Water include but are not limited to:

  • improved hydration
  • glowing skin
  • metabolism boost
  • mood boost
  • halitosis eliminated
  • brain and nerve function improved (thank God)
  • liver cleanse (you know what’s up)

TIP: make a batch in advance, store it in a pitcher, and save even more time in the morning.
(Amount of time: 1 minute – combinable)

Step 5: Skin Care

Why this is a step: because apparently part of being an adult is taking care of your skin.

This step is going to be different for everyone, in terms of product, steps, and time. Some of you have an eleven (thousand) step Korean skincare routine, others are more like me, and you can barely remember to take off your makeup at night. As long as you have a cleanser and SPF in here, you should be solid.

A few essentials/steps that work for almost everyone:

TIP: wash with cold water for an added de-puffing/calming effect
(Amount of time: 5-8 minutes)

Step 6: Basic Haircare

Why this is a step: because top knots are only acceptable sometimes (you know your limits), and you can only wear your hair in a ponytail once a week. just kidding. kind of.

Braids are not as difficult as they look, and the end result is chic af. Take my word for it. I’m physically incompetent and have zero hand-eye coordination, but I can pull of a fishtail french headband. BOOM. Mic drop.

Use a little dry shampoo if you need it, or maybe a leave-in conditioner spray, then get going.

TRY: Dutch Braid Headband, Fishtail, Braided pony
TIP: if you sleep with your hair in a top knot (especially if it’s kind of damp when you tie it up, post-night shower), you’ll wake up with soft waves. ?? This would reduce your prep time to 0 minutes. Hollaaaa!
(Amount of time: 5-8 minutes)

Step 7: Makeup

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Why is this a step: because adulthood.

You don’t need to have Kardashian levels of cosmetics on your face, but a little makeup creates a put-together and polished look, especially if you work in a more professional setting. It’s all about how much you’re comfortable with, and what your needs are.

A few essentials that work for almost everyone:

  • A light layer of BB/CC cream, tinted moisturizer, or foundation (applied with a sponge)
  • A coat of mascara (mine is + a base coat of lash conditioner, a la Benefit)
  • Quick swipe of liquid liner or a cream shadow (I love this Laura Mercier one in Gold, it’s magic and my new go to)
  • A touch of lipstick and/or cheek color

TIP: Keep the puff-free, bright eyes all day with First Aid Beauty’s Eye Duty Triple Remedy. Dab under your eyes to get rid of dark circles, and keep it in your purse for touch ups.
(Amount of time: 10 minutes)

Step 8: Eat Food

Why is this a step: several adults have said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

Kickstart your metabolism and get the nutrients you need to start your day (so 10am doesn’t roll around and you’re screaming “I’M STARVING WHEN CAN WE GO TO LUNCH” via Gchat to all your coworkers).

A few under-five-minute options:

  • Smoothie (everyone has a favorite. It’s a solid, easy, healthy option)
  • Chia Pudding (such an amazing, nutritious recipe. get it here)
  • Peanut Butter Toast (multigrain toast, PB, honey, banana slices)
  • Cereal (there’s honestly no shame in it, Trix may be for kids but CT crunch is eternal)
  • Scrambled eggs & toast (a quick, protein-packed classic)

TIP: prep what you can in advance, and have things like chia pudding base, pre-whisked eggs, and frozen chopped fruit ready to go in your refrigerator.
(Amount of time: 5 minutes)

Step 9: Take Vitamins

Why is this a step: this is another “must” of adulthood, and helps with your overall health

Adult world forces you to take your health seriously. Apparently this includes taking vitamins in the morning.

A few to look out for:

  • Omega 3: muscle and joint health, improved brain function, heart health
  • Vitamin B: there are a bunch of Bs (read more here) but they can help boost metabolism, sharpen your mind, and contribute to great hair, skin, nails, and an improved immune system
  • Vitamin E: Hair, skin, nails, and eyes will thank you.

Really hoping these vitamins will make me pretty and smart.
(Amount of time: 1 minute)

TOTAL TIME: +/- 45 minutes
RESULTS: become adult, feel infinitely better in mornings, set self up for success**

**(and/or fool people into thinking you have your shit together, which is equally powerful).

You can adjust your routine, and customize it to fit your needs and preferences. Are you a morning shower person? Maybe you want to do an hour hot yoga session at 6, shower, and then get into the rest of this routine. That is what we experts refer to as “advanced adulting” and you probably don’t even need this guide, so thanks for reading.

It’s all up to you, but the key is to develop a solid routine that’ll leave you feeling positive, organized, full of energy and looking put-together and fresh-faced. And like a grown up.

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This article was originally posted on Dominique’s blog, None for Gretchen Weiners. Photos via (1,2,3,4,5). Featured image via.

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