I am not someone who naturally wakes up in a good mood. Quite the opposite. A lot of mornings I actually wake up with a lot of anxiety, and sometimes depression. I swear I could sleep most days until noon if I let myself. To combat this, I’ve developed a morning routine for optimal energy and productivity.
A quick disclaimer
Let me make something clear: My morning routine is not rigid. My morning routine may change based on my hormonal cycle or sleep patterns. It usually changes based on the season as well.
I am certainly not trying to tell you how to live or what you should do for your morning routine. Everybody is different, and this is just what works for me right now.
6 AM wake-up call
As someone who loves to sleep, waking up is always the hardest part of my day. However, there are a few tricks I’ve come up with to make sure I get out of bed on time.
It starts with the night before when I put my phone on airplane mode and set my alarm clock. When the alarm goes off at 5:45 AM, I hit snooze and give myself until 6 AM to sleep. Those extra 15 minutes give me the satisfaction of the snooze button, but to ensure that I actually wake up, I have a little trick that I want to share with you.
My early bird life hack
To make sure I actually get out of bed at 6 AM, I came up with a strategy that guarantees I wake up on time: I pay for an early workout class that I put on my calendar, which forces me to make that commitment and get myself up. This holds me accountable, because if I’ve already paid for a workout then I know I’ll be eating money if I don’t show up.
HIIT or hot yoga comes first
Moving my body first thing in the morning is essential for me. I switch every other day between hot yoga and HIIT training. This is the perfect balance between strength & cardio and mobility & recovery.
On this particular day, I am going to a HIIT workout. After brushing my teeth and getting dressed, I head out the door by 6:15 AM and drive to Santa Monica Beach to make my 6:30 AM DMN8 workout. No matter how hard I try, I usually end up being just one or two minutes late. There’s always a water bottle to fill or that one red light that slows me down. If I didn’t love hitting that snooze button so much, I think I would definitely make it on time!
Exercising for my mental health
Kick-starting my day with a challenge and a good sweat is always worth it. As someone who sometimes wakes up not feeling my best, choosing to start my day with a workout or hot yoga, helps me shift my mood immediately.
It may be a challenge, but there’s something about getting out of the mind and into the body that builds my confidence. I always leave my workout feeling like I can take on anything!
The ice bath
When I get home from my workout at 8 AM, I gear up for one of the most extreme parts of my morning routine: the ice bath.
I usually start with some movement exercises to get myself ready, which may include some very weird shaking movements, but I swear it helps get that adrenaline pumping to take on the ice.
I choose to incorporate cold therapy in my daily routine for many reasons. First of all, doing ice baths has done absolute wonders for my mental health. The ice bath teaches me how to find contentment and presence, even in a challenging and uncomfortable situation, which is such incredible training for life!
In addition, the ice bath is fantastic for strengthening the immune system. Research has shown that cold therapy increases white blood cells, which help fight disease, and significantly reduces inflammation in the body.
Time to slow down
From 8:15 – 8:30 AM, I treat myself to a warm shower. Shifting from the ice bath to one of the more relaxing parts of my morning routine always feels like stepping into a new reality.
I also love using this calming time after my shower to clean my room and make my bed. Honestly, I cannot start my workday until my bed is made and my space is clutter-free.
Red light therapy, journlaing, and meditation
By 8:40 AM, I dive into some infrared light therapy. This incredible practice has so many benefits including regulating circadian rhythms, promoting anti-aging, improving our skin and cellular health.
I use this time bathing in the red light to get clear on my intentions and to do some journaling. I use a lot of journaling techniques I learned from my mindset coach.
Then, I call in the energy I want to attract for the day and do my Dr. Joe Dispenza meditations until around 9 AM.
At 9:15 AM, I head on over to my juice bar to make some cucumber juice. This has been my go-to summertime drink because it’s super cooling and refreshing.
Then, at 9:20 AM, I slow down with a warm drink I invented. I call it “The Blue Zone Drink” because I make it from this special Maya nut powder I found in Nicoya, Costa Rica, which is a “blue zone.” The Blue Zones are areas of the world where residents live the longest, healthiest lives.
The Maya nut has been shown to improve longevity and includes tons of nutrients and minerals including fiber, zinc, potassium, magnesium, protein, iron, and copper.
Here are the ingredients you’ll need if you’d like to blend your own Blue Zone Drink at home:
- Blue Zone 100% natural Maya nut powder
- Collagen protein powder
- Milk of choice (I use oat or hemp)
- Organic cinnamon
- Organic cardamom
- Local honey (I get mine from the local farmer’s market to help support local beekeepers and prevent allergies)
Although the Blue Zone drink can be a little chalky, it’s still pretty tasty and knowing that it’s packed with nutrition, makes it a little easier to drink. Since I quit caffeine, this has been a great coffee alternative.
Wrapping up my morning routine
From 9:30 – 10:00 AM, I head into my home office and get to work. I usually give myself a good two hours of productivity before treating myself to the final part of my morning routine…
Is it really a morning routine until you’ve had your avocado toast? I know this is basic AF, but there’s a reason why we all love avocado toast so much!
My morning routine is not rigid
I want to make it clear that I am not in any way “rigid” or “strict” about this routine. This happens to be working well for me right now, but my morning routine often shifts and changes based on the season. My morning routine may also change based on my hormonal cycle or sleep patterns.
Especially during my luteal and menstruation phase, I am a lot more gentle with myself. During this time I usually do a lot more yoga than HIIT workouts and I give myself plenty of rest and sleep. This is really important to consider being a woman with a shifting hormonal system called the infradian rhythm.
I also want to mention that this is my typical morning routine during weekdays. On weekends I definitely give myself more time to sleep and move slower. I have found it super helpful to take plenty of time to rest and slow down during the weekends so that I have plenty of energy to tackle the workweek.
Reflecting on my morning routine
Although my morning routine may shift and flow based on the time of the month or the season, I have found it highly beneficial to commit to some type of morning routine on most days. From getting myself to a 6:30 AM workout, to diving into that ice bath and taking time to set intentions and meditate, my morning routine sets me up for how I want to feel for the rest of the day.
My morning routine has massively improved my energy, productivity, and how I feel.