My Morning And Night Routine

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I wake up at 6am every weekday.

On the weekends, I’m a bit more lenient. I’ll sleep in until 8am or 9am, but never past 10. I’ve found that waking up early gives me plenty of time to ease into my day. (Shit, I wish I woke up earlier). When I would sleep until 8:30 or 9am, I’d find myself rushing out the door to work and crashing around 3pm. Surprisingly, waking up earlier keeps me grounded and energized all day. Plus, the more hours you’re awake the more productive you can be.

I do a few things upon waking up: turn on my salt lamp, take my bonnet off — I hate walking around with it on in the mornings since it triggers “bedtime” for me — and make my bed. This is such a cliché but making my bed in the morning gives me an immediate sense of accomplishment that I carry with me throughout the day.

I stop to pour water into my stove-top kettle so it can heat up while I make my way to the bathroom to brush my teeth. While I’m brushing, I’ll usually walk into the living room and open my blinds. I’ve been blessed with an apartment that has huge windows and I take advantage of them. I’ll get more into that in a second.

Next up is my weekday morning skin routine, which is fairly simple these days (I’m a bit more intensive on the weekends). I wash my face with Kiehl's Cucumber Herbal Conditioning Cleanser, tone with Mario Badescu rosewater facial spray and finish off with Coola’s SPF 50 face sunscreen. Sometimes I’ll throw on a green tea sheet mask or a DIY clay mask after toning. It just depends on what I feel my skin needs that day. I use to be plagued with bad breakouts and scarring. But changing my diet to consist of nutritious whole foods — and eliminating dairy — has greatly improved my skin’s overall health. So, really, the best thing you can do for your face is eat better.

 Juju at approx. 6:23 AM.

Juju at approx. 6:23 AM.

By now, the kettle is screaming. I make my way out to the kitchen area and pour 12 oz. of hot water into my blue mason jar — the only jar I drink water out of — before juicing half a lemon and topping it off with 20 oz of filtered water. I like my water to be room temperature, not cold or hot. I take my probiotic (the only supplement I’ll invest in) and go sit in front of my windows.

I meditate for 5 minutes every morning. My therapist encouraged me to start grounding myself first thing in the morning after I complained that I never have time to meditate. Some days, usually Monday, I’ll pull a tarot card and meditate on it’s meaning. Most days, I center my thoughts around: “I am motivated by my purpose.”

When the timer dings, I stay seated and finish off my water. Then I pop up and make breakfast. I meal prep every Sunday so my ingredients are always on hand and ready to be thrown together. Fixing breakfast — or any meal for that matter — never takes longer than 20 minutes in the morning.

I eat while I check emails and write out my daily to-do list. I know you’re not supposed to eat while you’re working but God isn’t through with me yet. Once I finish up, I get dressed and I’m out the door — either to commute into the office or, if I’m working from home, to take a 20 minute walk. Clears my head and ensures I hit my daily step count.

 An example of dinner.

An example of dinner.

My evening routine is much less complicated and focuses on getting me sat down as quickly as possible.

The first thing I do when I walk back into my apartment is shower. If I don’t do it as soon as I walk in, it will morph into a task that requires me to drag myself off the couch in order to get it done (because it must be done. I workout in the evenings and I don’t get in my bed dirty. Yuck.)

I wash my face again but this time I use these two serums from The Ordinary. I stan this brand hard and, in about 5 months, it’s helped lighten my hyper-pigmentation from acne scarring. I finish up with Neutrogena’s Hydro-Boost Gel Cream.

Or, as I like to call it, some shit I’d kill a nigga over. I love this stuff that much. I found it in a drugstore one day when I was desperately looking for a way to repair my skin after I shredded my epidermis with a Clarisonic (don’t ask).

I end the night with a 7pm dinner (I try not to eat after 8pm), a glass of wine and whatever show I’m binging. I go to bed at 10pm and get ready to start over again tomorrow.

julia craven