What is your morning routine?
I wake up naturally between 7:00-7:30am, after a good nine hours of sleep. Uncoincidentally, this is when my three year old wakes up as well. Historically, early alarms and I have not gotten along so well. Back in my banking days I used a vibrating alarm under my pillow to wake me up, so that I could be at my desk by 6:15am. I did this for years and still never adapted to it. As far as my body and brain are concerned, 5:00am may as well be 2:00am.
Immediately after I wake up I peek at my phone screen to make sure there were no emergency calls or texts overnight. (Is that weird?) Then, if all is good, I make my way to the kitchen to start my morning routine. I start my day by drinking twenty-four ounces of water in the first fifteen minutes after I wake up. I won’t let myself drink coffee until I’ve had my water and taken my probiotics. Next up is my version of a Bulletproof coffee. It contains Four Sigmatic Mushroom Coffee, Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides, Fourth & Heart vanilla ghee, and Bulletproof Brain Octane Oil. (No, these are not ads—I just love them so much!) I add boiling hot water and combine them all in a blender for a delicious frothy coffee that keeps me full and focused for hours.
Next, I text my husband to say good morning and wish him a good day. He usually beats me to it. We have done this daily for eight years, and I hope that we will always do it. I then spend about thirty minutes drinking my coffee and checking my emails and social media (work, not personal) to gauge my to-do list for the day. I address anything urgent before moving on to my morning workout.
Before I leave in the morning I make my bed, throw pillows and all. With all of the chaos around me, my brain can’t handle an unmade bed. Lastly, I try not to schedule meetings until after 11:00am. This gives me the morning to accomplish my routine, some office work, and my workout before running around town.
How long have you stuck with this routine so far?
I probably started this routine two years ago when I left my corporate job. During the first several months I would set my alarm and wake up early to check the news, because old habits die hard. I had a lot of anxiety and nervous energy around letting myself “sleep in,” but after about a year of working from home I began to relax and listen to my body. I naturally wake up now around 7:00am, but when I’m feeling worn down or sick and need to sleep longer, I don’t beat myself up over it anymore.
How has your morning routine changed over recent years?
I used to watch the news and check news stories on my phone every morning, but it was giving me anxiety, so I stopped. Sometimes I feel a little disconnected (which is a radical shift from how I used to feel as a news junkie, sitting in front of a Bloomberg terminal all day), but I’m more productive and less stressed without it. I still get news alerts on my phone, so I don’t miss out on anything big.
I recently started running in Central Park, and I’m hoping to make that more of a habit. It’s such an efficient workout, and I think it’s important for us New Yorkers to get a little bit of nature in whenever we can.
What time do you go to sleep?
My bedtime is 10:00pm on Sunday through Thursday, but my bedtime routine starts at 8:15pm, after I put my daughter down for the night. I have an evening skincare routine that I adopted from a spa in Naples while on vacation that makes me feel like I’ve had a mini facial every night (and supposedly helps with anti-aging… but check back with me in five years).
I’ll then crawl into bed and spend fifteen minutes checking email and responding to any work-related social media. I could literally spend the next two hours scrolling through Instagram, so I have a hard stop at 9:00pm. I spend the next hour reading and/or watching Netflix; not staring at a phone or computer screen helps me decompress before bed. At 10:00pm the lights are off and I’m asleep within ten minutes.
Do you use an alarm to wake you up in the morning, and if so do you ever hit the snooze button?
I rarely set an alarm anymore, but when I do, I am more inclined to snooze and sleep later than when I don’t!
How soon after waking up do you have breakfast, and what do you typically have?
My Bulletproof coffee (see above) in the morning contains a lot of natural fat (ghee and MCT oil) and is filling without being heavy, so it’s great before a morning workout. I’m typically not hungry for breakfast until 11:00am, so it’s more of an early lunch.
Do you have a morning workout routine?
It varies from day to day, but I try to do some type of movement in the morning at least five days a week. I’ve been running outdoors lately, but I also love SoulCycle, yoga, and barre to mix things up. Even when I can’t fit in a full workout, I try to squeeze in a quick walk in Central Park to clear my head and inhale some fresh air.
Do you have a morning meditation routine?
To be completely honest, I’ve had the hardest time meditating ever since my daughter was born. It’s ironic, because I did HypnoBirthing sessions and meditated multiple times a day when I was pregnant. I recently did a sound-bath meditation that was incredible, so I’m trying to incorporate that into my evening routine.
Do you answer email first thing in the morning or leave it until later in the day?
Both. I respond to or delegate anything that is urgent first thing in the morning. The remaining emails become part of my to-do list. I try to respond to emails within twenty-four hours, but as Watermelon Road grows and more and more come in, I’m learning to prioritize and just let some go. If you are reading this and I ignored your email, I’m sorry.
Do you use any apps or products to enhance your sleep or morning routine?
No apps, I’m trying to use less technology in the evening. As for “products,” I started using a nightguard (oh my god, that is so not sexy to share with the world), and it has really improved my sleep. Apparently, I was grinding…
How soon do you check your phone in the morning?
Too soon! First thing, to check for any emergencies, and then I put it away until my coffee is ready.
What are your most important tasks in the morning?
Feeding the dog, drinking water, making coffee, texting my husband, checking my email, and working out. Pretty much in that order.
What and when is your first drink in the morning?
Twenty-four ounces of water, and then the Bulletproof-mushroom coffee.
How does your partner fit into your morning routine?
My husband is gone before 6:00am, but one of the first things I do in the morning (while drinking my coffee) is text him to tell him I love him and to wish him a good day. We have done this every day since very early in our relationship. My morning wouldn’t be complete without it.
Do you also follow this routine on weekends, or do you change some steps?
I think I mentioned already that I have a three year old, so unfortunately sleeping in on weekends is no longer an option for me, though I would if I could. I have the same coffee routine on the weekends, except instead of mushroom coffee we grind whole dark-roast beans and brew it in our Technivorm (obsessed). We like to source different kinds of beans and try them out. Then I go to SoulCycle (almost every Saturday and Sunday, year round), make lunch, and run around to local farms gathering food for the weekend. I spend the weekends with my family and typically work only during my daughter’s naptime.
On days you’re not settled in your home, are you able to adapt your routine to fit in with a different environment?
I try to go with the flow when we are traveling, which likely means no Bulletproof coffee and often no workout. Instead, it might mean a leisurely breakfast with family or friends.
What do you do if you fail to follow your morning routine, and how does this influence the rest of your day?
I’m still getting used to being an entrepreneur, working from home, and running around to meetings or to our manufacturing and fulfillment center. Every day is different, so I don’t have a strict work routine. When I can start the first hour of my morning roughly the same way every day, it helps to keep me balanced.
Our recommended book this week is The Willpower Instinct by Kelly McGonigal. We only recommend three things a week that we believe will be of interest to our readers. Please take a moment to check it out.