Truth: Whether you’re a morning person or not, the way you roll out of bed sets the tone for your whole day. I’ve learned that in more ways than one.

I was not a morning person for most of my life. And I’m still a big sleeper. Like, I can knock out for 12+ hours if I’m not disturbed and it’s glorious. So early alarms have never been my thing.

Then in 2016, I started working overnight shifts at CBS news. I worked there, and lived that lifestyle for two years. I went to bed in the middle of the afternoon and woke up close to midnight. I got a new job in 2018, and soon after, was back to 3am wake up calls, which was surprisingly worse than a full nocturnal schedule. It was such a difficult adjustment, and it completely fuddled my sense of time and days during the week. And not to mention, I missed the sun!

That change affected so many other aspects of my life. It was a major hindrance in my recovery process after I got sick as well. I made it through, but not without lingering affects on my diet, energy levels, skin and hair. However, the changes did help me become more self aware of how I need to care for myself, something I feel like we are all struggling with at times nowadays.

Having my mornings taken away from me also instilled a newfound appreciation for the early time of day. Now that I can wake up and start the day the way I want to, I’ve been able to create a routine that helps me put my best foot forward every day. Don’t get me wrong, getting out of my warm bed in the morning can still be excruciating, especially when it’s cold outside, and I still lose the battle with my snooze button sometimes. But once I do pull back the covers, I take a deep breath, and practice a few self-care rituals to jump start my day.

Below, I’m sharing the details of how I start my day, while highlighting 5 tips to create a more mindful morning routine.

WAKE UP AT 7AM: okay, let’s be honest, after snoozing and snuggles with Avu and all the pups, it’s sometimes closer to 7:15 or 7:30 that I make it on my feet.

7:15AM: After brushing my teeth, I make my morning drink – ginger turmeric tea with local honey, the juice of half a lemon, and a few drops of Gingseng and holy basil extracts – and sit down to write immediately. This is a pretty strict weekday ritual for me. Avu is usually still sleeping or reading, so the apartment is really still and quiet.

Tip #1: Hydrate first thing in the morning. Even just a simple glass of water. Enhance the detox benefits with some fresh lemon and honey.

As I sip, I fill up a full page (front and back) in a notebook every morning. About whatever I want, there are no rules or prompts. Just whatever flows to fill up the pages. I find that it helps center me right at the start of my day, be self aware of how I slept, and how my mind and heart are feeling first thing in the morning, Sometimes I write creatively, sometimes it’s more of a journal entry, doesn’t matter but it gets the juices flowing.

7:45AM: After changing into workout clothes, it’s time to take the dogs for a quick walk. At this point, I might check my phone for messages, emails and news headlines… but sometimes I don’t. One good habit that has really made a difference for me is mostly staying away from my phone while getting ready to start the day.

Tip #2: Find a way to ground and center yourself in the morning that doesn’t involve a screen. If you don’t absolutely have to check some emails or do something for your job, challenge yourself to stay away from your phone for the first half hour after you wake up. Try journaling, or making a list, or even just walking & taking in the morning and where your head is at.

8AM: I’ll make the dogs breakfast, and then it’s time for yoga! I use the Down Dog app to do a custom session at home, and sometimes on our rooftop or in the park. I absolutely love the app, which lets you customize every aspect of your personalized practice.

Tip #3: Move your body in the morning! Even if you’re not down for a workout first thing in the AM, do a few stretches or go for a walk. Your body will thank you in the short and the long run.

9:15AM: Drop everything and brew a large pot of coffee! Whew, okay, now I’m good. I’ll make breakfast for myself, and sometimes Avu, which we will enjoy together. Sometimes we’ll read or watch the news, but generally just try to enjoy each other’s company before the day starts.

Tip #4: Start nourishing your body early. Whether it’s a sprinkle of nutritive herbs or supplements in your coffee or smoothie, or a daily vitamin with breakfast, start your day with a boost. My recommendation is below 👇🏻

This is also when I take my Ritual Vitamins. Two little pills packed with all the vitamins and minerals my body needs. I can’t recommend these vitamins enough. I get them shipped right to my door every month. Your body deserves the investment, and it couldn’t be easier. Click here to check out this amazing company and try out Ritual!

9:45AM: Avu is out the door, and I’m in the shower. I was my face in the morning with Philosophy Purity One Step Facial Cleanser, and then moisturize with Ponds Dry Skin Cream (my skin isn’t dry, but I still LOVE the moisture this stuff provides) and apply Super Goop Sunscreen.

Tip #5: Give your skin some love every single morning. And make sure it involves a daily sunscreen. My recommendation above 👆🏻

BOTTOM LINE: No matter what time you wake up in the morning, or what your daily schedule looks like, you will feel the difference if you make your mornings a priority. Whether they are nutrition, fitness, beauty or mindfulness rituals, making these small commitments to yourself every morning will help you start your day feeling like you already accomplished something! And ideally, it will put you in the best possible state of mind to make the most of the beautiful day that lies ahead of you. Because don’t we all want to wake up feeling like this?!

*This post contains affiliate links. That means I may get a small commission if you purchase something. I only recommend products I love and trust! For more on ETL’s policies, see HERE.


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