Nov 08, 2023

Melissa Wood

Let me preface this by saying I’ve never been a morning person. Most of my colleagues know I’m not a fully functioning human until 9 a.m., no matter how hard I’ve tried. And believe me, I have tried–I live and breathe wellness practices. I’ve attempted every variety of morning routines, hoping to reap the benefits that come from an early morning workout or journal practice, but none of them have stuck. That is until read about Melissa Wood-Tepperberg and her morning and nighttime routines.

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As a mom of two and founder of her wellness platform, Melissa Wood Health, Melissa understands what it's like to have a busy schedule and knows that your routines don't have to be perfect—they just have to work for you. Whether that means your morning meditation is interrupted by a screaming toddler or you only have time for a quick 10-minute yoga flow, she's designed her routines to be realistic, yet effective. She looks at them as non-negotiable moments to reset before a long day and unwind at the end of one. So, if you too are struggling to master a morning and nighttime routine that works for you, read on to get the details on Melissa's for major inspiration. Spoiler alert: They’re game-changers.

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The very first thing Melissa does as soon as she wakes up is think of something she's grateful for. She shared the details of this practice on her podcast Move with Heart, saying that no matter where she is or what's going on, she’ll spend the first couple of moments upon waking up thinking of a few things she is grateful for. This can be as simple as being grateful for the cup of coffee you’re about to have or the fact that the sun is shining. Starting the day with gratitude instantly changes your state of being, no matter which side of the bed you woke up on.

Melissa makes herself a cup of warm water with lemon, which has been shown to jumpstart your digestion as the acid from the lemon helps to break down your food. During this time, she also takes a Seed Synbiotic (on an empty stomach), which is a combination of a prebiotic and probiotic. This combo is not only great for your digestion, but also your gut health.

At this point, she moves to a space where she's comfortable sitting down for 15 minutes of meditation. Melissa shared on her Instagram that sometimes this ends up looking like five minutes or less. On other days, she's interrupted by her kids or noises from the New York City streets. Instead of letting these disruptions ruin her meditation, she welcomes them. "This is life, lean into all things," she shared on her podcast.

My favorite part of her routine comes after meditating: when Melissa makes herself either a matcha or oat milk latte. She's been vocal about her love for coffee, but how she doesn't love to drink it every day, and on those days, she’ll opt for matcha instead. Whatever form of caffeine or beverage you reach for in the mornings, listen to what your body is craving.

Instead of pressuring herself to do a full 30-minute (or more!) workout, she moves her body for just 15 minutes. Sometimes this looks like an ab or Pilates workout from her fitness platform Melissa Wood Health, and other days it's a walk around the neighborhood. Moving your body first thing in the morning is a great way to get the blood flowing.

No morning routine is complete without an energy-fueled breakfast. For Melissa, that's a loaded smoothie and avocado toast. You may be wondering, what's a loaded smoothie? Essentially, it's a smoothie loaded with superfoods, protein, and antioxidants. For her, this includes spinach, cilantro, strawberries, blueberries, coconut water, mango, dates, lemon, and spirulina powder.

Melissa ends her morning routine with some dry brushing, which is extremely beneficial for the lymphatic system and can easily be done at home. After this, she hops in the shower. Before she finishes her shower, she will turn the water freezing cold for anywhere from 1-3 minutes. Similar to cold plunging, a cold shower can help boost immunity and improve your circulation.

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Melissa swears by the effects of a good nighttime routine to help prepare for sleep. She starts her evening routine by dimming all the lights in her home. Bright lights can actually affect your circadian rhythm and tell your body to be awake. Dimming the lights at least two hours before bedtime can make it easier to fall asleep, especially if you struggle with this at the end of the day.

Melissa loves nighttime tea (such as the Sakara Sleep Tea and Detox Tea, both of which contain ingredients to promote relaxation and calmness) with a couple of pieces of HU Chocolate. She’ll then opt for a warm shower or bath to help lower cortisol and bring the body into a state of rest.

At least 30 minutes before sleep, Melissa tries to maintain the practice of putting away all electronics. Phones, computers, and TVs all have bright screens that make falling asleep harder than it already is. Unplugging from technology is never easy, and Melissa shares that sometimes she has to skip this step, but she always notices the benefits when she follows through on it.

The ever-popular legs-up-the-wall practice is also one Melissa loves. Every night before going to sleep, she lies down with her legs up against a wall while listening to a meditation or reading. This practice helps to drain the fluid and inflammation from the day as well as increase circulation. By this point, Melissa shared she's always ready for 7-8 hours of quality sleep.