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Sabrina Zohar · Co-Founder of Softwear
New year, new ritual, amiright? I usually gauge what time I go to bed by what time I need to be up. I value sleep, but I also value getting my work done. As a new entrepreneur, I am fine-tuning that balance every day.
I typically start my morning anywhere between 8:00-9:00am with a meditation. I prefer guided meditations through Insight Timer, but even sitting in silence focusing on your breathing is a great way to clear your mind and set the path you want to take for the day. After meditating, I come upstairs to make my favorite morning coffee using a collagen-and-superfood creamer. Then I take my pup to the park to run it out. I end my morning ritual by journaling and jotting down five things I am grateful for. I think it is incredibly important to have goals and visions of the future we want to build, but we must also give thanks for the amazing things we have built thus far.
My morning routine lasts about forty-five minutes total. I usually aim to finish around 9:30-10:00am, so I can hit the ground running and start the day productively.
Khajak Keledjian · Founder of Inscape
I wake up at 4:45am naturally—the Ayurvedic teachings say to wake up around one and a half hours before sunrise. Once I wake up, I spend five minutes or so daydreaming in bed and breathing to acclimate before I touch my phone. Then, I take fifteen minutes to wash up, brush my teeth, etc.
I then do forty-five minutes of yoga, listening to chants and mantras or a mixture of Russian and Tibetan body movement, followed by thirty minutes of advanced pranayama (breathing). Next, I practice meditation for 30-45 minutes (and sometimes for an hour on the weekend).
I read The New York Times and scan through emails once I’m done with my yoga, breathwork, and meditation, and then I spend twenty minutes on the Simply Piano app on my iPad—I’m learning to play piano this way. Around the time I’m done playing piano, my daughters, Dalita and Ava (ages four and two) wake up. Sometimes we read a chapter of a book and I make them masala chai (they call it “special tea”); other times we’re simply playful and play hide and seek.
Then I shower and sit with my wife and children while they have breakfast. Sometimes we’ll have a quick play on the gongs because my daughter Ava loves to play with me. She’s two and a half years old and even likes to ride her bike right into the gongs!
Liz Fosslien · Illustrator
I wake up every day at 6:30am, even when I’ve gone to bed at 3:00am, and even when I’ve just switched time zones. This is a curse, not a blessing.
After I wake up, I usually try to doze or listen to podcasts for a bit. I get out of bed between 7:15 and 7:45am, put in my contacts, wash my face, and then start making coffee. While the water is heating, I take three vitamins. I have a big Ziploc bag I filled with important vitamins, but I can’t remember what they are. The vitamins each have different shapes, so I know I’m taking one of each that I’m supposed to be taking.
Once I’ve made coffee, I eat and then toggle between email and National Affairs Findings. National Affairs Findings is a daily round up of abstracts from academic papers focused on a theme (crime, gender, housing, etc.). I highly recommend it. If my boyfriend is awake, I’ll read him my favorite abstracts and we’ll discuss the research results. Then I look at my to-do list and pick the three most important/pressing items. This helps me figure out how to structure the rest of my day.
Around 8:30am, I go to the gym. You have to go the gym before your brain has a chance to convince you not to go to the gym. (I’m also propelled out the door by the fact that the gym only offers validated parking until 9:30am on weekdays.)
Tara Hanrahan · Corporate Spa Director
I wake up at 5:30am Monday through Friday. I’m normally awake before my alarm and snuggle in bed for a few minutes (but not for too long, otherwise my brain will try to talk me out of getting up!). I get up, weigh myself on the Fitbit Aria scale, make my bed (well, pull the covers up), and throw on my gym clothes to exercise.
I get home from exercising just after 6:30am. I light some incense and run the bath. I always have a bath in the morning and a shower at night. I adore having morning baths. I live in a condo and my bathroom has floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook the street, so I love having a look at people as they walk by, imagining their lives, and giving them a silent cheer. Opposite me is a local hotel that hangs its laundry on the roof to dry, and I lazily view the people hanging the sheets out.
I have a beautiful range of bath oils and salts to use. I’m an aromatherapist, and scents/aromas are very important to me.
I also work with spas, so different skin and body products feature quite prominently in my routine! I choose the bath oil based on how I want to feel—it’s normally an uplifting, energizing blend like eucalyptus and rosemary or perhaps a sensual blend like rose and black pepper.
I also throw in a handful of magnesium salt—fabulous for just after exercise. While the bath is getting ready, I do my morning skincare routine. This involves a cleansing balm, a citrus-infused warm towel compress, and a gentle press exfoliant. Then I apply a face mask, depending on what my skin needs for that day, and that stays on until I finish my bath.
I prepare my clothes for the day. I normally have an idea already of what I will wear, and I lay the clothes on my bed. I choose my accessories (jewelry, shoes, etc.) and get them organized.
Then I go out to the kitchen, make a life-affirming espresso, and choose what to listen to while I’m in the bath. It’s normally affirmations or a ten-minute morning meditation (from my YouTube playlist). I do a dry skin body brush all over for a few minutes to increase circulation and get rid of any dry skin. I jump/fall/plop into the bath and lie back, sipping my coffee, perusing people walking down below on the street, all while listening to the lovely words.
Then I get out, dry myself off, and use a dry body oil to moisturize my skin. I have struggled with weight for many years and have tended to ignore my body. I find that the self-nurturing process of massaging myself with oils allows me to reconnect. (It helps that I am a trained massage therapist.) So, I do that, then I layer serums on my face (I’m a fan of the Korean beauty trend of layering), and go to my perfume bar. I choose my scent for the day, spray a few pumps in the air, and walk through it.
I change the music to something upbeat and get dressed. Then I sit down at my duchess (dressing table) and do my makeup. I might also say some quick mirror affirmations.
Then I get breakfast organized. I sit outside on my balcony to have breakfast and write. I have a little book that I write in daily—just some musings on what’s come up. I’ll then come back inside and floss and clean my teeth. Then I put on my lipstick and shoes, grab my handbag, and leave for work. It only takes twelve minutes to drive to work, so I normally listen to a TED Talk on the way.
The above sounds as though it takes many hours, but it doesn’t! I normally leave home just before 8:00am. I arrive at work and I feel so accomplished and full of energy. I feel as though I am on my path, and that carries me through for the rest of the day!