“If it were up to me, I would be up until the wee hours every night instead of having to be in bed before (snooze) midnight.” – Carrie Ford Hilliker Share this quote on Twitter

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Carrie Ford Hilliker

What is your morning routine?

First of all, I am not a typical morning person, but I do my best to fake it. If it were up to me, I would be up until the wee hours every night instead of having to be in bed before (snooze) midnight.

Regardless if it’s a weekday or weekend, my routine is pretty, well, routine.

On weekdays it starts around 7:00am with a sweet-sounding alarm that sort of nudges me out of bed rather than the usual kick-in-the-teeth beeping. Once I’m up, I stretch a bit and flip on NPR on my phone so I can carry it around the house with me while moving through a few activities pretty robotically; popping in my contacts, brushing my teeth, washing my face, and applying lotion, sunscreen, and a bit of makeup.

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While I’m waiting for the tea kettle to squeal, my husband and I sit together in the living room to read the news, share Facebook feed discoveries, and just wake up a bit together. About four days a week we will hit the gym before heading to work.

How has your morning routine changed over recent years?

A few years ago I didn’t have a routine at all which in retrospect made me feel pretty chaotic.

I work for myself and travel quite a bit, so no one day is ever the same. I’ve discovered that being relatively set in my ways with my morning helps to ground me for the rest of the day.

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

I absolutely have an alarm clock and I most definitely hit snooze on occasion. I make a concerted effort to avoid it, but it has been getting darker and darker earlier and earlier in my hemisphere. It’s really tough to get out of bed at 7:00am when it feels like 4:00am.

How soon after waking up do you have breakfast, and what do you typically have?

I am not a huge breakfast person. I shoot for tea before food.

I will usually eat something small for my morning, like a hard boiled egg or a handful of walnuts. If I’m feeling ambitious (and the blender’s not broken which is currently the case) I will have a berry-chia seed-brown rice protein powder smoothie.

How about morning meditation?

Before I actually get out of bed, I will do a very quick little touch-base moment with myself. A deep breath, a little reconnection to my internal stuff.

I’ve been a regular meditator for many years, but I don’t have a specific time or place that I sit. Since my days are so different from one to the next, I find it’s easier and more effective for me to tuck meditation into little pockets of my day.

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

I generally try not to dig in right away. Once I’m into email, I’m in such a different headspace. I really need that half hour or forty minutes to fully wake up, so I’ll skim it on my phone but I don’t respond to anyone until I get to my laptop (office).

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

I travel a great deal for work and fun. Since my environment changes so often, I need to be really adaptable. I’ve found that keeping my morning routine pretty predictable makes being on the road feel much less jarring.

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

Quite honestly, I rarely fail to follow it.

The only time it changes is if I have a work emergency and have to get on my laptop right out of bed. Those days always end up feeling a little more frantic and frazzled.

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