The morning is that special time that we have for ourselves. The world yawns as if to inhale in preparation for the chaos ahead. In those quiet moments as we begin our day, we shape and sharpen the potential energy that we will then convert into our accomplishments, successes, our missteps, mistakes, and everything in between. We can use it to hit snooze for a repeated ephemeral recharge, or we can use it to positively dictate everything we’ll do for the next 16 or so hours. We decided for this writer’s list that we, the TANR writers, would share our morning routines. Here is what we do when we intently focus on maximize this truly precious time of day: (Click on a writer’s name to read one of their posts!)
Allie Gold - “How a Self-Confessed Tech Geek Wakes Up.”
“I wake up between 5:30 and 5:45 AM and stretch or practice yoga for 15 minutes and head to the gym where I hop on a stationary bike for 35 minutes and have CNN on the screen, music from the “Popular” feed on Hype Machine in my ears, while reading either a magazine or papers for my masters. After that I stretch and work on inversions to get the blood flowin’. Usually I’ll grab a half caf soy latte at a coffee shop on my way back to my place. At home I’ll hop in the bathroom and take a quick cold shower and have Swell play the morning tech news for me (and if I have enough time I’ll run This American Life on my iPad) and then as I’m getting ready for my day I’ll have Siri read my emails. I feel unproductive if I’m not doing at least two things at once…. It’s a problem. Or is it?”
Melissa Freedman – “Our health writer’s morning.”
“I wake up around 6:30 (trying for earlier) and do deep breathing and a visualization for an hour before I look at my phone or emails. I am way more productive in the morning than any other time of day so I work on my focus then.”
Nick West – “The Peace of Mind Wake Up”
“I try and wake up by 6:20ish (working my way to an earlier start as well). I down a full glass of water, take all of my vitamins/supplements. I then hop in the shower, get dressed, and then sit down and meditate for 20 minutes, with an extra 2-3 minutes of stretching before opening my eyes. I then make my breakfast (usually a protein shake with Green Vibrance and some frozen strawberries), sit down, take one last look at any TANR posts going out for the day, skim world news headlines while playing some music, and then head out the door with a book in hand for the 40 minute commute to work.”
Ben Heiber - “A soothing start.”
“I get up after my iphone alarm sounds the day. First, I floss and brush and sometimes shave depending on how I feel. Then I shower with hot water, bar soap and organix shampoo — pleasant smells and hot water are extra soothing in the morning and I try to take the time to enjoy them. After a quick dry with my towel, I stack two or three pillows on my bed to sit for a few minutes before I get dressed. Sometimes I have a focused meditation, other times I just take the time to breath and enjoy the clarity that morning brings. ”
Brittany Sheehan - “A unique concoction.”
“I keep my alarm across the room, which forces me to physically get out of bed to turn it off – no snooze button or I may never get up! I immediately make myself a mug of hot water with lemon and cayenne pepper — it makes me feel hydrated and energized for the day (a tip I learned from doing my cleanse). Lastly, before I head out the door, I look up quotes from inspirational people, and I pick one that motivates me for the day. I then send it out to my co-workers and friends each weekday morning.”
Melissa West - “Ocean-side wake up.”
“I purposely set my alarm clock about 15 minutes earlier than I really need to, knowing that I have to snooze at least twice (sometimes 3 times) before I crawl out of bed. I’m pretty much a scary non-human for the 5 minutes after I get of bed and you probably shouldn’t talk to me during that time. I turn on the Today Show and marvel at how Al Roker is able to get away with saying the most inappropriate shit on live TV day in and day out. I shower the night before so I don’t have to do it in the morning. I get dressed, chug water, and try to take a few moments to look at the ocean and all the paddle boarders who get out there when the sun rises. It is during this moment that I try to extend a bit of gratitude into the universe. It’s really beautiful. Then I head out and take on the day!”
Ryan Ulbrich - “The zen wake-up.”
“I sit up in bed, and focus on sitting up slowly and methodically. I take a moment to listen to myself breathe. After my shower, I iron my clothes, even if they don’t need to be ironed, and focus on the motions of the iron pressed to the clothing. Back-and-forth and back-and-forth. I brush my teeth, and focus on the running water and the motion of the brush gliding against my teeth. Back-and-forth and back-and-forth. I polish my shoes, because a friend once told me that if you can’t take care of your shoes, you can’t take care of your clients. Back-and-forth and back-and-forth. What I don’t do is think about the day ahead. I focus on Being, not Doing. My day is for Doing, my morning is for Being.”
Mia Uren - “How a health coach wakes up.”
“Wake up at about 6.30 am drink about 700ml of water, do some deep nostril breathing exercises then either meditate or do yoga for 15 minutes. After that I drink a big glass of water followed by hot water with lemon and Apple Cider Vinegar. I then oil pull or ‘have a pull’ as some like to call it with coconut oil while I am in the shower and getting dressed. I then eat my breakfast which I usually prepare the night before and head to work.”
BONUS: The best morning routine in a movie, ever?
Ali Wood – “The music lover’s wake up.”
“Wake up 7:30 (or earlier)
Shower, not a quick one, I take my time reflect on what I have to do that day and it’s ALWAYS to music. My roommate and I share a shower Ipod and Ipod player that never ever leaves the bathroom. Or I use a spotify playlist or whoever I’m into that week from my Iphone.
I make my coffee/espresso- or if it’s summer I make it the night before to refrigerate it. I never have more than 1 – 2 small cups of coffee a day. I used to go overboard with the coffee but now I realized a full nights sleep>coffee intake.
I eat breakfast (gasp)- Yes! As a busy, rushed New Yorker, when I have the time in the morning, which I do at least 1-2 times a week, I make over easy eggs and wheat toast, and eat at my table in my apartment. Other days when I’m more rushed, I go for the standard plain Fage greek yogurt and eat in my office.
Make my lunch- I try to bring my lunch at least 3 times a week, cuts costs and I like my own lunch more than many “fast” salads or questionable soups you can get around midtown. I always make it the morning I will eat it, it’s fresher.
I get more dressed than usual- If I have more time in the morning, I will usually end up at work in a dressier outfit than I may have originally planned. A mentor of mine told me when I was first hired “if you want the part, look the part”- simply if you want to move up in the company, keep dressing one position ahead of where you are currently, people take you more seriously and you will take yourself more seriously (I promise). This voice is always in the back of my head when I get dressed for my day ahead.
I leave for work after an hour or so from waking up. Upon arriving I do my makeup at my desk, I usually come in a full 15-ish minutes before co-workers (a nervous “If you’re not early, you’re late” attitude I definitely get from my father). Subways have a cute habit of melting your face off, especially during summer months, so I wait until I’m in the office for makeup time.”
Check out our last writer’s list: “The One Book That Most Radically Changed Our Perspectives on Life.”
**Interested in writing for TANR? Click here.