The Best Part Of Waking Up…
Is it coffee or tea? Giving yourself a good morning stretch? Or maybe it’s the pets you share your home with? Whatever your pace, The Good Trade team values listening to your body and setting up regular habits that nourish your soul.
In the spirit of curiosity, I asked our editors to share their minute-by-minute morning routine. I was surprised to find more similarities than differences (especially the fact that each pet parent snuggles their pets in the AM).
We’re sharing our personal routines with you to encourage you to move at your own pace and find what works for you—maybe you’ll find some tips for your own routine, or maybe you’ll find the encouragement you need to hit snooze just one more time. I also asked The Good Trade team “what would make this a perfect morning?” so that you can learn about what habits we’re still in the process of building.
If you’re establishing your own routine, be patient with yourself and grant yourself all the grace in the world. Coming from someone who only recently started getting out of bed before 8 AM, these things take time—and they’re not always as easy as “just doing it”.
Now let’s get ready!
— AmyAnn’s Morning Routine —
Co-Founder & CEO
Wake up and catch up on my group threads with my mom and sisters who start their mornings a few hours earlier on CST. I rarely review my email from bed, but I do like to install the Instagram app first thing in the morning to watch friends’ and family’s stories, and scroll through any high-level news or trends. Then I delete the app from my phone for the rest of the day and handle any work-related social activities from my desktop.
By now my doggos have certainly heard me stirring, especially Clifford, our giant puppy. As soon as the pups starts crying to see me, I fumble up the stairs to be greeted by their wakeup snuggles. I make a quick breakfast (gluten free toast with almond butter, so boring 🙈) and feed and walk the dogs if Blake is out of town, otherwise Blake has already taken care of it and we have a moment for a quick hug and prayer as he heads out the door.
I head back downstairs to my bedroom for a few minutes of meditating, stretching, and journaling. This sets the tone for my whole day.
Hop in the shower and get ready. I like to listen to a podcast while I get ready, usually The New York Times Daily podcast. (I only listen to news or politics if I’ve had time to meditate, otherwise it’s a bit heavy for the first thing to put my mind to). I typically pick out my outfit the night before and I move through my skincare and makeup routine pretty quickly. If I want to feel extra boss-like, I curl my hair.
Give Clifford one last walk around the block before heading out, hoping to see a few of our favorite neighbor pups.
Make my 5-minute commute to work, I use this time to start to think through my priorities for the day, and mentally review any upcoming important calls or meetings.
Settle into the studio and my day’s priorities, sipping green tea and music turned high. I find the early morning hours are always my most productive, so I really cherish this time and try to get the most out of it.
What would make this a perfect morning?
I truly love my mornings! Clifford is still a lot of work, he needs solid exercise and multiple walks before we head to work, so I look forward when he has burned through some of his puppy energy and our mornings can have a bit more of a lazy, lingering flair. Also, I could spice up my breakfast a bit? 😉
— Celeste’s Morning Routine —
Social Media Coordinator
The first thing I do when I wake up, without fail is check Twitter and Instagram (God is my judge!) I also groggily check my text messages and DMs, responding unintelligibly whilst wiping the sleep from my eyes.
On a good day* I’ll hop out of bed, roll out my yoga mat and do some yoga with Adriene. She has tons of yoga videos under 10 minutes, based on specific moods. At the end of each practice I’ll take some time to set an intention for the day.
*Alternatively, I can be found in my bed (surprise, surprise!) still scrolling.
I am definitely a don’t-talk-to-me-until-I’ve-had-my-coffee type of person. I mostly just love the ritual of making coffee: heating the water on the stove, filling the french press, waiting for the coffee to steep. It’s a lovely little process that allows me to take the morning nice and easy. Lately, I’ve been alternating between my regular coffee and a coffee + mushroom mix that’s really energizing.
While I’m waiting for my coffee to brew, I might pick out an outfit and iron it, wash some dishes, toast a bagel, or some combination of the three. I also CHUG water the entire time because I like to get some H2O in me before I have caffeine running through my veins.
I sit down with my coffee (and occasional breakfast and vitamins) and try to write. Lately, I’ve been challenging myself to free-write for about 15 minutes. I find that when I do this, I feel invincible for the rest of the day. Almost like I was born to be a writer or something?
Occasionally, I’ll use this time to pay any bills, check my bank account, and budget out any upcoming expenses. This may sound like scary stuff to handle first thing in the morning, but surprisingly this, too, makes me feel pretty invincible! I find that when I confront financial things first thing in the morning, I have a sense of gratitude for myself throughout the rest of the day. It’s a good reminder that I can take care of myself and that I know what I’m doing.
I usually find myself so engrossed in whatever I was writing or budgeting, that I almost forget that I need to get up and get dressed!
I try to keep things pretty simple for work. I think, “What’s one piece that I really want to wear today?” and then I build around that. I also love to browse my roommate’s closet when I’m fresh out of outfit ideas (Thanks, Noemi!)
My makeup routine is super quick because it’s always the last thing on my list. Usually, I just throw on a bit of Glossier skin tint and fill in my eyebrows.
Tote bag? Check. Keys? Check. Lunch? Check. Outfit pic in the mirror on the way out the door? Check.
And then she’s off! (I live in Long Beach, so I’ve got a long commute.) In the car I’ll listen to music or if it’s Tuesday I’m definitely listening to The Cut on Tuesdays. Sometimes I’ll record voice memos, which are actually extremely fun to make!
What would make this a perfect morning?
I know I’m supposed to say that I should stop checking my phone in the morning, but if I’m being honest, it’s not the first thing I would change. Seeing a funny meme that a friend sent me or a text from a friend who lives in a different time zone is so nice when I first wake up. Responding to messages first thing in the morning, however, is probably something I could do without!
I would love to read more during my coffee time. Occasionally, I’ll try to read at least one article on The Creative Independent, or Manrepeller, or The Cut, to help get my brain juices flowing.
It’d also be nice to have a substantial breakfast every morning, and consistently take my vitamins every day...we’re working on it!
— Courtney’s Morning Routine —
Press snooze and go back to sleep until 6:45. I’m one of those people who needs to hit snooze several times before getting up. I don’t know why, but once I hear the final snooze, that’s when I finally roll out of bed and into the shower. Sometimes though, I get up at 6 AM for morning yoga and to watch the sunrise—depending on my workout schedule that I plan Sunday night.
Start the tea kettle for lemon water and coffee. Before I do anything after I shower, I drink some warm lemon water. There are a ton of benefits for doing this but for me, it is super hydrating and also completely wakes up my body and mind. While I am drinking my water, I put organic coffee grounds (yup, I am a coffee snob) into our french press. While that is steeping my husband and I split and alternate morning chores.
On days that it’s my turn to clean the kitty litter, I finish my lemon water and do that, I also feed our two kitties, maybe unload the dishwasher, clean the house, make the bed, etc. (depending on whose turn it is to do all the above). My husband and I both value a tidy house and like to make the house feel in-order before we both go to work.
I aim to start getting ready at 8 AM, though oftentimes I get distracted and start getting ready a little after 8. During all of this, I try not to look at my phone until the very last minute. If I need to post, I will plan to post or look at my phone once all the chores are done and I am finished getting ready. I am normally really good about this, but not always.
Around 8:15–8:30ish after applying my makeup, I do my hair. If I washed it that day (which is rare, I like to only wash my hair once or twice a week), it takes a bit more time to style. But typically I give it a little love by straightening my bangs, adding a couple curls to my natural waves, and call it a day. I honestly really dislike doing hair, so I try and keep it really simple.
After that, I figure out what I’m going to wear. Ideally, I have thought this out beforehand, but normally it’s just a flash of inspiration. Sometimes while standing in front of my closet I ask myself “if I was an outfit, what would I be?” this hilarious little mantra helps me figure out what mood I’m in for the day (I am a Pisces after all).
On an ideal day, I am completely ready by 9 AM, and go make my smoothie and pack my lunch. I try to meal prep the night before, but if that didn't happen, I either whip something together or opt to buy lunch depending on where I am at with time.
Breakfast is a non-negotiable for me. Mainly because I have a sensitive stomach that does better when I eat something after coffee. During the summer months, I make a smoothie every day; it’s super easy to throw all the ingredients into my Nutribullet and voilà! During fall and winter, I love to eat warmer foods like oatmeal, avocado toast or just an egg. Something small and nourishing for my body.
I head out the door and hop in my little Kia Soul who is always ready to take me on an adventure. I deeply cherish listening to music on my ride to work, and love to make playlists. I have a ton of different playlists for different moods (again, I am a Pisces after all). I press play on one of the said playlists and typically have a soothing 30-minute trek to The Good Trade!
What would make this a perfect morning?
It would be amazing if I could finally start meditating in the morning. I am someone who loves to move around a lot, and though I do yoga in the mornings, I know I would benefit tremendously from a dedicated practice of quiet stillness.
I would also like to get up earlier to work on creative projects or write. My husband is incredible at this and it’s very inspiring. However, I would definitely not label myself as a morning person—even though I feel creative in the morning, I find it challenging to get up and be productive right away. The key here would be going to bed earlier to get up earlier, but I tend to be more of a night owl and get to bed later than I should most of the time.
The mornings I cherish the most are ones that I wake up early and feel rested from getting a full night's rest. #adultgoals
— Emily’s Morning Routine —
Wake up, grab my phone, climb back in bed and scroll Instagram (I toggle work email off on my phone unless I’m traveling). I start my morning journaling around 8 AM, so that creates a stopping point—otherwise who knows if I’d ever make it out of bed.
I put on some coffee, let my bunnies out to play and snuggle them for a while, phone-free. This is always a priority, no matter what the morning looks like.
I grab a cup of coffee (Seattle’s Best Hazelnut is my go-to, black) and sit down at my kitchen table to journal for about an hour. On distracted days I only write a page, but sometimes it’s two or three pages and I feel unstoppable. My evening journal can become a bit of a bummer, so I added in this AM writing time since I tend to be more optimistic in the mornings; I muse about hopeful things, creative projects, and challenges I’m excited to tackle that day. The caffeine definitely helps.
On a perfect day, I’d have homemade granola bars to munch on while I write, but more often than not I skip breakfast in lieu of just coffee 😱
Time to get ready! If I’m desperate for sleep, I get up around this time, but I do so sparingly. I like early-riser Emily; it took a long time to regularly get me out of bed before 8 AM.
I wash my face, then pick out a couple outfits before deciding on the final one. The only question I ask myself is this: is it a pants day or not? Once I decide it’s going to be a dress day or a pants day, my outfit works itself up . I also don’t tend to layer or accessorize a lot, opting instead for clothing that makes a statement without a lot of fuss. I’m a minimalist maximalist, if you will.
Then I apply my makeup and do my hair (my recent go-to is a messy top-knot that takes two seconds to pull together—WIN).
I pack my lunch, pour the rest of my coffee in my travel mug and top it off with fresh coffee my husband makes once he wakes. Our 5-cup Mr. Coffee coffeemaker suits us just fine, though we do make more than one pot most days.
I brush my teeth, then say goodbye to my husband and rabbits and head out! My commute habits vary depending on my mood. I call my mom or another member of my family a couple times a week. Sometimes I listen to podcasts, but those can be heavy for me in the AM. Most often, I’ll listen to a favorite artist (Spotify should be concerned about my Josh Groban habit). Sometimes I just drive in silence—those days are nice.
What would make this a perfect morning?
Less screen time, hands down. I built (and broke) a habit earlier this year where I didn’t check my phone at all until right before I left for work. It. Was. Heaven. Ideally, I’d leap out of bed full of vim and vigor, but I’m just hooked on that blue light right now.
My dream is to walk to a 6:30 AM hot yoga class every day; it’s such a luxurious start to the morning, and I love how peaceful and easy-to-love Los Angeles is before 7 AM. It does require me to shuffle out the door like a zombie at 6 AM, and to take full shower (+ shampoo) afterwards, but it’s worth it. My exercise routine is spotty at best, and the morning is a nonintrusive time to add it to my day. Plus, I spend less time on my phone when I do this!
And for the love of all things holy, BREAKFAST. A woman cannot live on coffee alone.
— Henah’s Morning Routine —
Wake up, scroll through social media, Slack, and my email—I know lots of people don’t like checking work first thing in the morning, but it makes me feel more prepared to take on the day if I know what to expect.
I am a horrible morning person (I would much rather be a night owl with a 2 AM–10 AM sleep schedule), so I tend to lay around until I absolutely have to get out of bed. Then, I go to brush my teeth and hop in the shower. I have extremely fine hair so I have to wash it nearly every day, which is more of a time-suck than I’d like.
By the time I get out of the shower, I quickly pull together an outfit (thank goodness for in-unit laundry), and either brush my wet hair to air-dry or blow-dry/straighten it, along with applying makeup. Most days, I do moisturizer, primer, foundation, eyeliner, lipstick and setting powder. The whole hair and makeup process usually takes around 5 minutes on a super quick, lazy day to 20 minutes on a more polished day.
If I have time, I sit for a few minutes in silence on my phone or just on my bed, taking a few deep breaths for the day. Most of the time though if I’m being honest, I’m usually running around frantically.
I throw my lunch in my bag, check that I have everything I need, put on my shoes/coat when needed, and most importantly: snuggle and say goodbye to my pets. Our one cat Simba is very anxious whenever we leave so he’ll meow and meow, and I like to take a few extra moments to give him some extra love before I head out for the day.
I live about a 15-minute walk from my train station, so most days I just walk with AirPods in or in silence; during the summer in NYC, it’s so humid and hot out that I’ll show up to the office in a sweat, but it’s a lovely walk on spring and fall mornings. I then get on the train for 12–15 minutes, do a New York Times crossword puzzle, and then walk the two blocks to my office. I am notoriously bad at having breakfast, so some days I head to Dunkin’ and get a decaf iced coffee and a breakfast sandwich or bagel, and other days I don’t eat until I have a granola bar around noon. All about balance, right?
What would make this a perfect morning?
Sleeping in. 😉 Like I said, I’m very much a night owl while my fiancé is a morning person. Our weekend mornings are much more my speed: wake up around 9–9:30 AM, cuddle with my fiancé and our pets, roll out of bed to make some coffee and a homemade breakfast/brunch, and watch an episode of Queer Eye together.
A truly perfect morning would also include us heading to the farmer’s market and picking up stone fruits to incorporate into our brunch, but I’ll take what I can get.
What are your morning routine essentials? Share in the comments below!
Emily Torres is the Managing Editor at The Good Trade. She’s a Los Angeles transplant who was born and raised in Indiana, where she studied Creative Writing and Business at Indiana University. You can usually find her reading or writing, caring for her rabbits, or practicing at the yoga studio. Say hi on Instagram!