What is your morning routine?
6:45am: I wake up without an alarm. My lady and I thankfully live in an apartment which has a lot of light so we wake up a bit after the sun does. We are both morning people so even on weekends we’re out of bed before 7:30.
6:50am: We’re recent dog-owners, so one of us takes our little pup outside to relieve himself.
7:30am: For most of my adult life I did not eat breakfast. Only in the last two years I’ve made eating breakfast a habit. On weekdays I value a breakfast that is low-effort, repeatable, and healthy. On weekends I often take the time to make a more involved breakfast.
7:45am: After we’ve had breakfast we walk to the gym. The walk takes about fifteen minutes. The positive impact of working out in the morning is incredible. Having a partner who also values going to the gym helps to make it routine.
8:45am: On mornings where I work out I get ready for the day at the gym, so post-workout I’ll walk to my office space.
What time do you go to sleep?
For most of my life I didn’t realize the importance of sleep. You’re always told you need to get eight hours of sleep, but I think I was too young to feel the effect of a lack of sleep.
I was once told that tiredness comes in forty-five minute cycles. The first cycle is feeling tired followed by forty-five minutes of feeling awake. This cycle repeats until you are unable to stay awake.
If you can get to bed during the tired cycle, you’ll fall asleep quicker. Most nights, if I’m paying attention to my body, I start to feel tired around 9:30pm. Because of this I’m often in bed by 9:45-10:00pm.
Do you do anything before going to bed to make your morning easier?
I know from experience that looking at bright screens late at night makes it harder to fall asleep. I never lay in bed and look at my phone at night. If I’m wanting to read in bed I read a physical book.
I used to code or design to the wee hours of the morning wearing all-nighters as a badge of honor. Now I value getting a good sleep and waking up early. For me, working late into the night isn’t as efficient long-term as getting proper rest. I don’t like to feel yesterday’s late night work in the morning. I avoid work hangovers.
How soon after waking up do you have breakfast, and what do you typically have?
Each morning I eat a creation that my lady nicknamed “slop.” Slop is a mix of steel-cut oats, coconut shreds, raisins, flax seeds, peanut butter, water, and VEGA protein powder.
During breakfast we often listen to a record. We’re both fans of jazz. Thelonious Monk, Oscar Peterson, or instrumental hip hop are regular morning jams.
Do you have a morning workout routine?
Yes! When I’m my best-self, I’m going to the gym five days a week and doing cardio and weightlifting.
Do you have a morning meditation routine?
I sometimes meditate in the morning. If there’s one thing I’m trying to improve about my mornings, it is to create a meditation habit. When I have had a consistent meditation practice I am at the top of my game.
For tracking my meditation, I like the app Calm.
How soon do you check your phone in the morning?
For a while I had a rule where I didn’t allow myself to look at any ‘screen’ before I left the house. No phone, computer, or TV. I felt great when I was doing this, but unfortunately I’ve slipped into looking at my phone in the morning.
I rarely, if ever, look at my phone while laying in bed. If I do look at my phone, it’s while I’m eating breakfast (which makes me sad to even type).
What and when is your first drink in the morning?
I read somewhere you’re supposed to drink a glass of water within eight minutes of waking up. I don’t know why it’s eight minutes, and I’m assuming it’s pseudoscience, but that habit stuck with me.
I always try to drink water in the morning. I don’t drink regular coffee (only tea and decaf coffee) so I don’t feel the need to consume caffeine to “wake up.”
What are your most important tasks in the morning?
I like to think of the morning as a time away from ‘tasks’ or anything work related. How I start the day shapes my response towards the happenings of the rest of the day.
Because of this, I would rather not think of work or tasks, but instead focus on my mental and physical health. I enjoy the calmness of the morning to spend time with music, my lady, and our puppy.
I’m thankful to be in a place where I can have a morning routine filled with things I’ve chosen to do. I realize that such liberties are not available to everyone. I’m thankful that I can eat healthy food, work out, and have the support of a wonderful partner.
Photo of Dustin by Misty Xicum Ku.