“When I treat myself to coffee I jitter like a dashboard hula girl, so that’s typically only on weekends.” – Ash Huang Share this quote on Twitter

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Ash Huang

What is your morning routine?

I put on my glasses and write in my Five Minute Journal (something new; I’m trying to start off the day with a little gratitude).

Next I put on my eyes (contacts) and face (makeup) and get dressed. Only then will I check Twitter and email for a couple of minutes. I keep my phone outside of the bedroom. Then it’s off for a walk with my dog Nuri.

When we get back, I feed Nuri and then I’ll usually make myself a green smoothie and a pot of tea. I’ll check on my plants (I’m trying to get better at taking care of them), then I figure out what work I have to do for the day. If I’m feeling particularly anxious, I might journal a bit or do a tarot reading to see what’s lurking in my subconscious.

How long have you stuck with this routine so far?

I’ve had a similar routine for about a year.

How has your morning routine changed over recent years?

I used to have a similar routine, minus breakfast and mindfulness. With that routine I used to reach for my phone before anything else, including my glasses. I’d sit in bed scrolling for an hour with one eye closed because my vision is so poor. Unsurprisingly, I usually spent the day frustrated, cranky, and wondering why I wasn’t using that extra hour for sleep.

Now I’m trying to balance spending an hour collecting my thoughts and framing my day (morning pages) and quick lightning bolts of gratitude (Five Minute Journal). I’ve tried other breakfasts, but I like my green smoothie. It basically starts the day off with a salad, so I don’t feel as bad eating a little treat later. It also means I don’t turn into a sugar-monster by 3:00pm…

What time do you go to sleep?

Anywhere between 11:00pm and 1:00am. My fiancé is a night owl, so sometimes it depends on when he gets home. I try to spend a few hours with him before I sleep.

Regardless, I’m pretty hell-bent on getting my eight hours, so if my bedtime moves, so does my wake-up time.

Do you use an alarm to wake you up in the morning, and if so do you ever hit the snooze button?

I’m not much of a snoozer. Usually in the morning, when I’m up, I’m up.

We use Sonos as our alarm clock and it’s nice waking up to an indie disco playlist instead of a canned iOS alarm. Plus, it keeps me away from the phone.

Do you have a morning workout routine?

I’ll catch a few minutes of yoga if I’m feeling particularly good that day. Typically it’s just a brisk walk with Nuri.

Do you answer email first thing in the morning or leave it until later in the day?

I’ll check in and answer anything urgent, but otherwise I’ll leave it for my mid-afternoon slump.

How soon do you check your phone in the morning?

I used to start off the day full of anxiety after scrolling through my Twitter feed.

Nowadays I try not to interact with it too much until I’m ready to work. I hate the idea of any human being available to everyone 24/7, especially to people who aren’t actively trying to get in touch, such as through passive status updates on Facebook.

What are your most important tasks in the morning?

Getting my dog out on his walk. Nobody likes secret pee puddles!

What and when is your first drink in the morning?

I try to drink a green smoothie every morning and then make myself a pot of tea.

I don’t drink coffee anymore. It ruined my stomach and skin, and it reminds me of stressful, sleepless times in my past. Now when I do treat myself to coffee I jitter like a dashboard hula girl, so that’s typically only on weekends.

Do you also follow this routine on weekends, or do you change some steps?

Everything in moderation. On weekends I usually wake up whenever I feel like it, unless we have plans.

On days you’re not settled in your home, are you able to adapt your routine to fit in with a different environment?

Breakfast is the hardest thing to adapt to in a new place, as I am typically hangry in the morning and need something. Morning vegetables is a pretty California thing, and if I start off with a carbfest I’m liable to feel tired all day.

What do you do if you fail to follow your morning routine, and how does this influence the rest of your day?

There’s usually a moment around 12:30pm when I’m thinking, why the @#$% am I so sleepy and hungry?! And then I usually need to take a walk and a nap.


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