What is your morning routine?
My morning routine is actually not routine at all. My days are very different from each other based on what I’m doing each day. Some days I work at home, testing recipes and cooking products, working on my website, or preparing for an on-air appearance; some days I have to be at the studio very early; some days I have to be at the studio late into the night; and some days I’m at the studio all day and all night.
When I don’t have a morning studio commitment or when I’m recovering from a late-night studio appearance, I wake up to music, a mellow Pandora station like Gregory Alan Isakov or Jenn Grant, at 6:00am. About two seconds later, my hairy, twenty-two-pound mixed breed, Hazel, lands on my chest. We spend a few minutes together cuddling while she washes my face and then I (sadly) reach for my iPhone. I check my email and the weather and think about what I have to do that day.
Next, I get up and throw on some casual clothes and head downstairs. I feed my two dogs and then my partner and I go for a dog walk, usually about 2-3 miles. Once we’re back home, my day depends on what’s going on: do I have to get showered, dressed, and camera-ready for work, or is it a work-at-home day?
How long have you stuck with this routine so far?
I’ve been waking up at around 6:00am for years. Even when I don’t set my music to wake me up, I’m often awake at that time naturally.
How has your morning routine changed over recent years?
I’ve tried doing some meditation in the morning, but Hazel is not a willing participant and tends to distract me beyond the point of no return. The early morning routine really belongs to the dogs.
What time do you go to sleep?
I think about bed at 10:00pm, and hopefully lights are out by 11:00pm. Never after midnight unless work has kept me up.
Do you do anything before going to bed to make your morning easier?
The best thing I can do to make my morning easier is to get to bed on time.
Do you use an alarm to wake you up in the morning, and if so do you ever hit the snooze button?
I only ever set an alarm when I have a painfully early-morning start or a very short amount of time to sleep. Then I set at least two, sometimes three, alarms on different devices. It usually works because I can never remember if I’m hearing the first, second, or third alarm, and I panic.
How soon after waking up do you have breakfast, and what do you typically have?
I try to eat within an hour of waking up. Some mornings I have oatmeal with some fruit. Other mornings I have eggs. Every once in awhile I go for the ever-popular avocado toast.
Do you have a morning workout routine?
I prefer to work out in the morning, but my schedule doesn’t always allow for it. Because I start my workday as soon as I wake up, my favorite time to work out is around 8:00am or 9:00am, after I’ve gone through my email and the early-working gym rats have left the gym.
Do you have a morning meditation routine?
I’ve tried, but the dogs don’t believe in meditation. Maybe cuddling with them is all the morning meditation I need. That’s certainly what they think.
Do you answer email first thing in the morning or leave it until later in the day?
I answer emails as soon as I can, which is usually as soon as I read them. My goal is an empty inbox, and emails stay in my inbox until I’ve answered them.
Do you use any apps or products to enhance your sleep or morning routine?
I have used the app Round to remind me to take my vitamin D in the morning. It’s helpful.
How soon do you check your phone in the morning?
Sadly, right away.
What are your most important tasks in the morning?
Getting out for that morning dog walk is very important to me. The dogs are the priority. However, even when I’m not with my dogs, I like to go for a morning walk on my own. I always listen to books or podcasts when I walk alone.
What and when is your first drink in the morning?
Water. Right away.
How does your partner fit into your morning routine?
My partner is so considerate and we are so compatible that I have all the space I need in the morning; however, she is a part of all that I do in the morning too. She drinks coffee while I drink water. We both walk the dogs and talk about the day, or about a vacation we would like to take, or we just chitchat.
Do you also follow this routine on weekends, or do you change some steps?
I don’t have weekends, so yes, the routine is the same as every other day. Sometimes, I sleep in until 6:30am on the weekend… crazy, I know!
On days you’re not settled in your home, are you able to adapt your routine to fit in with a different environment?
I’m able to adapt to different environments because my routine is never static - it changes with the day and what is on the agenda. Being in a different bed doesn’t make a difference, I still wake at 6:00am to music, drink water, and take a walk as often as possible. When I’m in my home in Canada, I tend to sleep a little longer in the morning and have a more relaxed start to the day because the pace is a little less frenetic there. When I’m on vacation, I wake up early because I can’t wait to explore and have a day to myself (or ourselves). I try to get to the Canadian Rockies once a year for a ski vacation and the time difference works to my advantage - getting up early guarantees first tracks almost every day. Another favorite place to visit is Newfoundland, and getting up early there means you’re treated to the prettiest sunrises.
What do you do if you fail to follow your morning routine, and how does this influence the rest of your day?
It’s not a big deal if the morning routine changes, but I don’t feel as good about myself when I don’t get a walk in. I think missing your routine on occasion is what makes a routine enjoyable - knowing that you might not get it in every day, and knowing that it is a choice.
Anything else you would like to add?
I’ve always loved routines. I think routines are good for so many reasons, one being that they are very comforting. While there is something to be said for variety, I look forward to the day when I’ll have a more regular routine. Until then, I usually feel like I’m starting my day exactly the way I want to, and setting my day up for success.
Our recommended book this week is The Harvard Medical School Guide to a Good Night’s Sleep. 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.