Rise and shine! Everyone knows that each new day is a fresh chance to tackle those things on your to-do list and pursue those dreams you’ve been keeping at bay. What you may not know is that a goal-kicking day is only as productive as your morning. A strong start to any day begins with a morning routine that prepares and inspires you for the day ahead. Mornings are all about setting the tone for the rest of the day (and your life). Whether your morning starts with a few yoga poses or coffee on the balcony, your morning routine can be the process that jumpstarts your drive and determination to reach your full potential. The amazing thing about morning routines is that they are unique to each individual—it’s all about finding the groove that powers up your mind and body.
Some routines entail longer lengths of time or are quick and full of energy. I find that having loads of time in the morning gives me the opportunity to wake up and spend some time relaxing while I drink my coffee and catch up on emails or read the news. My long morning routine makes me feel at peace and ready to face anything that comes my way during the day. I reached out to a few ladies who are leaders in their field and bringing their biggest dreams to life to have them share their morning routines. Because if anything sets you up for a successful day, then it’s the morning routines of successful women from all corners of the industry. Spice up your morning routine and find what sparks your creative juices and determined drive.
Take a breath with Laurise McMillian
Refinery29’s very own associate social media editor for Instagram, Laurise McMillian, shared what she does in a typical day (if there ever is a typical day) and how she starts her morning off. Aside from working at Refinery29, Laurise is a major mental health advocate. This is something she weaves into her morning routine. If you’re unfamiliar with what a social media editor does during the work day, don’t worry—Laurise explains it all.
Laurise is directly in charge of managing three Instagram accounts: @refinery29, @r29unbothered, and @29rooms. Impressive, right? Her usual workday centers around “brainstorming new ideas for social posts.” She works closely with the design team to make sure all content ideas are brought to life and ready for publication. If the idea is a video concept, then Laurise works with the video team to produce the idea. She occasionally gets to create small designs, which she loves. She studied graphic design and she appreciates the chances she gets to tap into the talent she loves.
Before she even steps into her workspace, Laurise jumpstarts her morning with five minutes of meditation. This speaks to her advocacy for mental health awareness. If the weather is warm enough, she will move her meditation to her outdoor deck where she can bask in the fresh air. After centering herself, Laurise reaches for a steaming mug of coffee. Next time you’re grabbing a cup of joe, sprinkle in a bit of cocoa powder like Laurise’s boyfriend does for her. You can bet I am trying that out with my coffee!
Although Laurise has crafted her ideal morning routine, there was a journey to get to the point she is at now. She knew she wanted to be in this industry since she was in the seventh grade. And it was motivating to her seeing “the editors with the jobs and life I wanted.” These women also helped her get through the challenges of working towards a good career. “I used them as my light at the end of the tunnel,” she said.
Laurise shared this important nugget of advice: “Realize that your path is your path.” Maybe you don’t have a clear path or idea of where your future is headed. Laurise highly encourages focusing on what’s pushing you to work hard. “[Your] drive will take you anywhere you want to go.”
Take it slow with Olivia Muenter
Fashion and beauty editor at Bustle.com, Olivia Muenter, shares her tips for waking up gradually and having a relaxing morning routine. Olivia stretches out her routine so she has ample time to take it slow and enjoy the hours at home before heading off to work.
In a nutshell, she describes her workday as “editing, writing, meeting with brands, or planning out content strategically based on live events or breaking news.” In other words, she is busy. Her journey to realizing her love for digital and writing all began in her college years when she joined campus organizations and began writing for Bustle.com remotely. (Fun fact: Olivia graduated from the University of Florida, where I currently attend. Safe to say she is an inspiration for me!)
Olivia begins her morning routine with an early start. Like many of us, she tries not to look at her phone until she is out the door, but she estimates a 50 percent success rate. I can totally relate, although my percentage might be lower. Olivia dedicates the first 30 minutes of her morning routine to “sitting on the couch with my fiancé and dog, drinking coffee, and watching the news or working on some personal projects on my laptop.” That sounds like the ultimate process before a hectic day begins. Next on her list is taking a quick shower and proceeding with her skincare routine. She keeps it simple with a rosewater mist and moisturizer.
Olivia then brings her coffee upstairs so she can enjoy it while applying her makeup—her minimal look consists of concealer, cream blush/highlighter, mascara, brows, and occasionally a lip color. With a quick wardrobe change, Olivia is ready to take on her day and head out the door.
Aside from an amazing morning routine, Olivia imparted some sage advice for all of us. When it comes to success, she says there’s space for everyone to reach their own potential. “Focus on yourself and don’t let the successes of others make you feel insignificant or incapable of success yourself.” Her words are especially important for college students who often feel inadequate in the face of other’s successes.
Get energized with Katie Austin
Katie Austin wears many hats, but she is most well-known for being a fitness personality, activewear designer, and TV host. Katie is also in charge of creating all of the content found on her app and manages her brand Austin Active. It’s safe to say Katie has plenty of responsibilities. Although she wears many hats, Katie said her “main goal is to inspire girls to gain the confidence they need to live their damn life.” You’re doing amazing, Katie.
A typical day for her entails a blend of working hard and clearing some time to spend with her friends. It’s all about balance. (Which is definitely something I need to work on.) Depending on the day, Katie either attends meetings or she films content for her brand. A chunk of her day is dedicated to answering the multitude of emails she receives on the daily. This is a really important part of her day, but she definitely doesn’t find it the best part. Editing all of the content she has created is also a part of a typical day for her. As you can tell, Katie usually has a pretty full schedule.
Before tackling her many duties, Katie begins her morning bright and early. She wakes up at 7:00 a.m. and sits in bed for at least 10 to 15 minutes without looking at her phone. This is her time to take a few moments to herself before getting started on her busy day. She usually leaves her window blinds slightly open to allow the sunlight to stream through and wake her up on a positive note. The rest of her morning includes a steaming mug of coffee and a workout from her own app. This is followed by the first leg of answering emails for the day.
Katie’s productive morning routine will surely inspire us all, but she also mentioned that the life of an entrepreneur is not always an exciting adventure. In fact, Katie shared that “it was a long journey, and I’m definitely still on it!” She also expressed how every negative part of the journey can become key moments that actually push you to strive for success. Katie views these moments as motivation. According to her, a great way to stay on top of your game is to set short-term goals, and we couldn’t agree more.
What does your morning routine look like? Tell us in the comments below!
Opening image by Jordyn Wissert.