Lifestyle blogger, photographer, mother to my son Boden and frenchie Smalls, wife to my hubs Trevor. I built this space in an attempt to inspire you to find your edit and empower you to create the life you desire. Through digital content and honest storytelling, I hope to guide you along the way. Because everyone has an edit, and I'm here to help you find yours.
Get To Know Me
If you follow me on Insta and watch my stories, you know I talk a lot about my morning routine. It’s something I developed over the course of last year and it’s truly been a life changing experience — it’s also what’s kept me sane while making the transition from a corporate 9-5 marketer to a full-time blogger and entrepreneur.
Since we’ve now officially kicked off the first full week of the year, I thought it was appropriate to share my little am ritual in hopes of inspiring any of you who are looking to integrate some sort of wellness process into your day.
Now before I jump into specifics, let’s talk about the why —
When I decided to make the not-so-easy shift from being a late night owl that woke up right before getting to work at 9 to an early bird riser that allotted two full hours to myself before jumping into the day, it was for one reason — productivity.
I’ve listened to countless podcasts and interviews of incredibly successful entrepreneurs and they all have one very simple, yet extremely disciplined thing in common: they get up early and practice a morning ritual of some sort.
The reason being, when you get up in the morning and go through a series of actions that result in wins — you’re laying the foundation of your day and setting yourself up for an uber productive one at that.
Now these rituals can vary from very simple actions to off-the-wall ones to extreme. Some are based solely around wellness, while others simply dive right into technology.
For instance — Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Media Group starts his day with a morning exercise and spending time with his family, while Arianna Huffington, Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief of The Huffington Post begins with meditation and setting intentions for the day. On the flipside, Entrepreneur and Investor Gary Vaynerchuck kicks off his day by catching up on the news and communicating with his massive Twitter following and CEO of Apple Tim Cook jumps into checking email and then exercising.
Whatever the ritual cluster may be — as long as the tasks within the cluster energize and fill you up in some sort of way, while setting an appropriate tone for the day you want to have — then they are the perfect ones for you.
When designing a series of morning rituals for your own life, ask yourself the following:
Once you come up with some answers to these questions, you should have an idea of a list of things you can try out in your morning routine. My suggestion would be to try and come up with a list of ten ideas that you can test out and narrow down to five.
And if that sounds like a lot, scale it down to three. The idea here is to not overwhelm you as soon as you wake up, rather to fuel you and start the day off right.
Keep in mind too — this list can be as complex or as simple as you like. If you think looking your partner in the eyes and telling them you love them before your day will fuel you — add it to the list. I mean, that’s a goodie. Or give your furry pet a hug. And if you know getting in a sweat is really what gets you going — add that to the list!
Lastly — allow yourself several weeks and even months to test out what works best for you. I mean, as I mentioned, I figured out mine over the course of last year which in reality was probably a 4-5 month process to figure out what was realistic, right for me and overall fulfilling. Once you have that, make sure you give yourself leeway when needed. Decide on your non-negotiables — the things you must do and when you maybe snoozed a little more than you wanted to, make sure you remember those things and go from there.
The actions that I’ve landed on to make up my morning routine are a total of seven steps — which happens to my lucky number — that are centered around overall health and wellness.
These are the things I do as soon as I wake up that don’t take into account the obvious hygiene needs of going to the bathroom, brushing teeth and washing face and body — though I do plan to create another post around my beauty routine as an extension of this little skincare write-up I did last year.
These seven things are my Monday – Friday daily goals. It is important to note that I don’t always do each of the seven steps on these days. If I sleep in a little later than my normal 5:30/6:00am wake-up, then I likely skip steps 4 – 6 and try to squeeze them in later. Or if Trevor decides to be an angel of a husband, I get to skip step 3 and exchange it for a hugely appreciative thank you kiss in the morning. Or if I’m working a Pure Barre shift, I usually skip step 6 at home and do it closer to noon in my day.
I keep these steps flexible, establish my “must dos” and the do the best from there.
I go to bed with my chic white 24oz Hydroflask full of filtered water by my bedside in case I need some before bed and throughout the night. When I wake up, I take the same Hydroflask downstairs to my kitchen to clean it, add filtered room temp filtered water and fill up with fresh lemon.
Drinking lemon water gives an immediate dose of Vitamin C to protect the immune system, maintains a neutral pH balance of the body, flushes toxins, cleanses the liver, acts as an anti-inflammatory, provides electrolytes to the body, reduces joint and muscle pain AND helps aid digestion. I try to finish this entire bottle before I reach my final step.
Since I have my fresh water and I’m in the kitchen, I go for the natural next step of pill popping — with the good stuff :).
In order to aid with my not-so-good digestion, I take a high potent probiotic that keeps me regular and helps with overall gut health. I love this brand and swear by taking one, sometimes two, everyday and keep them in the fridge.
Then I go for my daily multi-vitamin, which has recently switched to a daily prenatal vitamin. I’m obsessed with this elevated brand and have used both formulas for months. I believe in their reimagined, scientific approach to putting the essential ingredients into one, beautiful and mint-tastic capsule that a woman really needs.
Lastly, because I’m a sucker for gummies… I treat myself to two little tasty treats that help with growing my hair, skin and nails. In the winter, I switch off to these guys which give an extra kick of Vitamin D — because Seattle grey folks.
Once I’ve done what I needed to do in the kitchen regarding hydration and nutrition — for now — I come back upstairs to the bedroom to do a very important task: make the bed. Now I previously wrote a post that included 5 reasons to make your bed every morning, but I’ll do a little recap here.
Think of your bedroom as your sanctuary that contains the place where you spend a whopping one third of your life — crazy right? When you put it that way, it makes sense that you should treat it with respect on the daily. When you make your bed each morning, you’re showing how grateful you are that you have a place to lie your head each day, you’re lowering your stress levels because you’re keeping an area tidy in your home and you’re improving your overall sleep — I mean can’t you agree that there’s nothing better than jumping into a bed with crisp folded sheets?
Like the rest of these tasks, this small but mighty win will set the tone for your day and remind you to enjoy the little things in life. Sure, it’s going to get messy again later anyways, but if you conduct this small act of tidiness, the return will be trifold.
I’ll admit, this part of my routine is one I’m still learning to perfect — because it’s so damn hard to do. Carving time out of your day to meditate takes both an insane amount of discipline and patience. I’ve used several apps, led my own practice with a timer on my phone and have tried silence and just breathing. I’ve found that in order to stay accountable, an app works best for me — the latest I’m into is Oak but have previously used Headspace and Inscape.
Some people think meditation is too “woo woo” for them — but I say, don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. There’s no doubt that after taking only 3-5 minutes in my morning to focus, breathe and redirect my thoughts, I’m sharp and clear as ever for the rest of my day.
The benefits of meditation include but are not limited to: reducing stress, controlling anxiety, promoting emotional health, enhancing self-awareness, lengthening attention spans, generating kindness, fighting addictions and aiding in the reduction of age-related memory loss. Give it a go if you haven’t already.
This action goes hand in hand with step 4 — and when you do both you feel SO amazing after. Practicing gratitude can be such an easy thing to accomplish on the regular that leads to an insane amount of joy and happiness. You can do it without needing anything but what’s truly helped me stay accountable is this adorable little journal that helps you focus on the good in your life, become more mindful and live with intention. It has sections for your to document what you’re grateful for, what would make the day great and affirmations about you. Then it asks you to revisit at the end of the day to share amazing things that happened to you and how you could have made the day better.
This simple practice allows you to appreciate everything — even the silliest littlest things like the smell of your new body wash or the way you felt when you woke up. It helps you find gratitude in hardships and express your inner thoughts and feelings. It reminds you to focus on your loved ones and those who truly impact your life for the better. You’ll find this exercise helps with compassion, kindness and feeling more alive.
Speaking of exercise — this is another hugely important component of my routine. It took me more than half a lifetime to realize that getting in a sweat in the morning was soo much better for my mind and body than getting one in later in the day. If I get in a decent movement sesh — my blood is flowing, my systems are turned on and I feel ready to conquer the day.
Building an in-home gym was the best decision Trevor and I made last year. We took a weekend and a room in our basement and completely revamped into a space we could escape to for our own personal fitness needs. Investing in a Peloton bike was the second best decision we made — as having this piece of equipment to literally wake up, brush teeth and sit on to get a workout over with — is by far the best. Read about our revamp and my Peloton experience here (I’m now over 200 rides deep, woo!).
If I’m not getting in a 30-45 minute ride, I will alternate between running outside — though I’m a fair weather runner in Seattle (read about my running journey here), taking a strength class on my Peloton app of either abs, arms, legs, glutes or yoga, or physically attending a Pure Barre class as I mentioned before. Since getting a part time gig at PB to help with a little side cash while I start my business, I’ve reaped the extreme benefits of barre. I take classes twice a week, sometimes three, and have seen my body tighten and transform for the better (that butt gets a workout, girl!).
Ahhh the final step which happens to be my favorite — sipping a hot, frothy cup of Bulletproof coffee as I start my workload. You can read about my specific concoction in this post, which takes me a mere 3-4 minutes to brew, mix and clean. Drinking this 10oz mix in the morning makes me perform at my ultimate peak. I only need one cup that satisfies, aids in keeping me regular, helps curb my appetite until my food from the night before is fully digested and helps my complexion (given the collagen I add to it).
I highly suggest giving Bulletproof a try and exploring ways to customize your drink to your liking. I love using this brain octane oil, this ghee butter, this collagen protein powder and this amazing nut milk. You can add flavors as you see fit and you’ll have lasting energy, mental clarity and a higher fat burn throughout your day.
And pro tip — throw on a podcast while you enjoy if you’re not ready to jump right into emails. Because why not learn while you ease into the day? Peep my go-to list of favorite podcasts for self-improvement here.
And that completes the seven-step morning routine over here. I’ve just about completed all steps as I finish writing this — and am almost on the last drop of my coffee. Next I’ll hop in the shower and get on with my Wednesday.
I hope this post helps inspire and provide you the direction you might need to establish a small routine of your own. And if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out or drop a line below.
To daily health and wellness —
// cb ✌????
Lifestyle blogger, photographer, mother to my son Boden and frenchie Smalls, wife to my hubs Trevor.
I built this space in an attempt to inspire you to find your edit and empower you to create the life you desire. Through digital content and honest storytelling, I hope to guide you along the way. Because everyone has an edit, and I'm here to help you find yours.
Get To Know Me
Mother. Wife. Blogger. Photographer. I built this space in an attempt to inspire you to find your edit and empower you to create the life you desire. Through digital content and honest storytelling, I hope to guide you along the way. Because everyone has an edit, and I'm here to help you find yours.
Hi, I'm Cortney
COPYRIGHT @ 2022 THE GREY EDIT / WEB DESIGN BY CHLOE LEONARD STUDIO / PRIVACY
Sign up to become an insider of The Grey Edit and never miss a beat.
Thank you for sharing your morning routine. I read it a couple of times and agree with you on the importance of giving to yourself for health and mental acuity. I am going to game-up my current coffee routine as it sounds like yours may have the added energy makers I need. I also see you are taking a prenatal vitamin now. Congrats to you and your husband!! Very Happy for you. 🙂 I will enjoy to follow you on this new journey as well.