By Shana Lebowitz

Flickr/Dave Rosenblum

Get ready to tackle whatever challenges come your way.

If you feel a twinge of jealousy each time you read about another successful person who wakes up at 4 a.m. to meditate, jog, read a novel, and eat two grapefruits, take heart.

You don’t need to add that much time or energy to your current morning routine to be happy or productive.

In fact, plenty of the habits that can help you start your day take five minutes or less.

We found a bunch of those habits on the Quora threads, “What can I do in 5 minutes in the morning to make my whole day better?” and “How can I improve my morning routine?

Below, check out some of the simplest routines to start your day feeling refreshed and ready to tackle whatever challenges come your way.

Take 3 deep breaths

That’s a tip from Jusice Setlodi. Sleep doctor Michael Breus gave us the same advice — breathing deeply as soon as you wake up jumpstarts your respiratory system.

Make your bed

Raviteja Chirala says he loves coming home to a neatly made bed.

Meanwhile, journalist Charles Duhigg writes in his book “The Power of Habit” that making your bed can help increase your productivity for the rest of the day. That’s because it’s a “keystone habit” that can “spark chain reactions that help other good habits take hold.”


Science suggests meditation has myriad benefits, from helping you deal with stress and negative emotions, to boosting your memory, to strengthening your immune system.

But meditation doesn’t necessarily mean sitting in silence for hours on end. As Ariel Banayan points out, “sitting for five minutes to detach from the thoughts of your mind will have a profound impact on your day.”

If you’re unsure how to get started, the UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center offers some free guided meditations, some of them five minutes or shorter.

Write down three things you’re grateful for

Quora user Nela Canovic suggests writing down three things you’re grateful for every morning.

“Think about what you already have in your life,” she writes. “Don’t focus only on material things (such as a car or computer), but rather think in more simple or basic terms.” For example, you might express gratitude for friends, family, or your education.

This strategy is similar to the