What's Your Morning Routine?

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I’ve come to find that, like me, most people dread the piercing scream of an alarm clock (especially when it’s coming from an iPhone). It’s one of those sounds that seem to echo through your skull 'til finally settling in the pit of your stomach. It is an all-too-familiar tone, which often leaves me overcome with fury and angst. As soon as it sounds, I find myself furiously tapping snooze, desperately seeking silence, and then it begins. Panic ensues. I need coffee. Wait, I need to brush my teeth. Maybe I should check my emails first? No, I’m just gonna scroll through Instagram real quick. Oh God, what am I going to wear? It’s a pattern I've fallen victim to. And after years of frantic and stressful mornings, I’ve decided to make a change.

I’ve often been told—in moments of stagnancy—that I need a routine, a schedule, or some sort of structure. And although infuriating, it’s true. Humans truly are creatures of habit, and while monotony can drive you mad, it can also save you from always being late to that standing morning meeting. After several tries, I found that having a coherent, constant routine morphed my hatred for mornings into love.

The biggest one is waking up earlier, no matter what. Being awake and vertical at least two hours before I have to leave my apartment gave me time to sip on a cup of coffee while making a healthy breakfast and still having time for a shower and several outfit changes. Not being rushed or anxious about being late made a massive difference in my mood and ability to look like a sane human first thing. (There's also the back-of-mind knowledge that if you're not in a rush on a particular morning, you can lounge around, or even snooze that really satisfying fifth time.)

One of the main reasons I’m late is because I spend half an hour changing my clothes before I even get to look at my face in the mirror—which takes its own routine and time. I've taken to writing down outfits as a trigger for my brain in the morning. But before getting dressed, I always dry brush to get my circulation going but also because it makes your skin so soft. I wash my face with Clarins Gentle Foaming Cleanser and then apply Embryolisse. I don't like to wear a lot of makeup in the summer, so I'll brush my brows with some Anastasia Beverly Hills Tinted Brow Gel and dab a bit of RMS Living Luminizer on my cheeks. Also time consuming: Sitting down and drinking a liter of water. Some mornings it’s hard, and I find I have to physically force the water down my throat, but hydration is key. Moisturizing your body from the inside leaves your skin bright and lips plump. Not to mention it makes you feel good.

What do you do all the time, some of the time, and only on the day after you make some resolution to be a morning person (which inevitably only lasts one day)? I'm anxious to hear.

—Alexandra Bergeron

Photos by ITG. Maybe you're waking up early to work out. What music motivates you to stay on the treadmill?

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