If I don’t pray and set my intentions for the day, the day feels off and I don’t feel centered.
The day is leading me instead of me commanding my day.
Quickly describe your morning routine.
Honestly, I haven’t been a person who did well with sticking to routines so it’s hard to say.
The three things that are consistent are that I naturally wake up between 5 and 6:30 am and I pray.
The content of the prayer varies, sometimes it’s a prayer for favor throughout my day.
Other days it’s a prayer of thankfulness for any number of things.
I think the point is just that I make that connection with God every day before anything else happens.
Second, I try to read a devotional, inspirational article, or watch a part of a sermon on YouTube to get me revved up and going.
Third, I talk to my mother. We usually end up laughing, whatever we discuss and that gives me an extra boost to move into my day.
How often do you change your morning routine?
I am in the process now of changing it. I don’t assess and adjust as often as I should.
A lot of times I don’t realize I need to add or take something away until I’m feeling drained or stressed.
I know I need to add in writing time, deep breathing time, and exercise but I can’t lie… I’m struggling with starting!!!
Do you use an alarm or a specific app to help you wake up?
I don’t. I seem to wake up naturally between 5 and 6:30 am, unless I’ve been up past midnight the night before.
Do you eat breakfast in the morning, if so, what do you typically have?
During the week, my breakfasts are grab-and-go.
I usually grab granola bars, bananas, apples, water bottles, my sublingual B12 vitamins…and go.
Every now and then I’ll treat myself to a Jamba Juice green smoothie when I get to Penn Station.
I’ve recently added yogurt to my grab-and-go breakfasts, as well.
What is the first drink you have in the morning, and at what time?
If it’s very cold out my first drink will be ginger tea, either as I’m preparing to head out or the first thing when I get to the office.
If the weather is mild or hot, I’ll have water usually as soon as I get to the office.
Do you exercise in the morning and/or meditate in the morning?
I don’t exercise. I’ve had a gym membership for over a year and have only been about three times.
In assessing that, I’ve realized that perhaps I’m more of an exercise CLASS person and not so much a
“Let me go to the gym and create a workout plan on my own” person.
I want to get back into the habit of running/walking daily the way I did about three years ago.
I was at my most fit then. And fairly regularly I employ my Calm app to engage in some mindfulness meditation.
It helps me to be and stay present. One of the best apps I have ever downloaded.
How soon after waking up do you check your phone? [Check/send emails, social media]
It’s been an immediate reflex for me. To reach for my phone first thing and check social media, especially since I’m a social media manager.
Nowadays, I’m more intentional about heading straight for my devotional apps FIRST if I’m going to look at my phone before getting out of bed.
My next goal is to sleep with my phone in another room. I’ve read that that increases a good night’s rest exponentially.
What are the most important tasks you complete in the morning?
Setting my intentions for the day and ordering the tasks I want to complete are most important.
If I don’t do that, I’m usually just getting hit with this and that and kind of blindly stumbling through the day.
I don’t like that feeling at all.
What is your bedtime routine?
Sometimes I turn on my Himalayan salt lamp and write in my journal.
Lately, I’ve been banging out 750 words (3 pages) on 750words.com before bed. I say a prayer and/or dead the Bible.
Are you able to keep the same routine when you’re traveling or in a different environment?
When I’m traveling or in a different environment, I usually am much more routine-oriented.
Much more organized. And I get all the sleep I possibly can.
I honestly don’t know why that is.
Perhaps because I am in unfamiliar surroundings and I want to be in tip top shape, very aware and on top of things.
Do you stick to your routine on the weekends or do you tweak it?
If I have to wake early on the weekends – which I do sometimes – I follow a similar routine. If not, I think the routine is a little more lax.
Do you see a change in your day if you forget/don’t to follow your morning routine?
If I don’t pray and set my intentions for the day, the day feels off and I don’t feel centered. The day is leading me instead of me commanding my day.
Ashley is a spiritual/creative empowerment writer. She is also founder of Temple & Riot a safe space that cuts through spiritual facades, shares real experiences, examines the intersections of our faith & everyday lives, and evokes spiritual & creative evolution.