My Morning Routine…It’s Not What You Think

There’s so much talk about morning routines these days, it seems like if you aren’t waking up at 4:45 AM, triple cleansing your skin, and writing 27 pages in your journal, you’re failing at life. And as much as I’m all for living your best life, I have to inject myself into this conversation, because there is no one-size-fits-all approach to the way we start our day. What makes me feel good in the early hours of the day may be completely different than what works for you. And if I allow one more “expert” to shame us into thinking there is something wrong with waking up while the sun is out, I wouldn’t be able to live with myself. I know – I’m being a bit dramatic – but if you knew the amount of women who stress themselves sick over not meditating in the dark for an hour before rushing off to work, you’d understand my mission.

We live in a society that loves to stuff us all into boxes. “The early bird catches the worm!” has been burned into our exhausted brains for decades, and if you work a traditional job or you ever went to school a day in your life, you know that life really does begin before 8 AM. But what if you just aren’t hard-wired to catch worms the second your eyeballs open? What if your body physically needs to sleep in, or you just aren’t feeling those damn journaling exercises before you’ve had a few hours to assimilate into life again?

I’m here to tell you: it’s okay.

Let’s talk wake-up times, shall we? Research has proven that not every body can actually wake up at 5 am. Don’t believe me? Just read this article right here. Sleep schedules are super personal, so if you’ve been trying to force yourself to bed at 9 PM and get up before the sun to no avail, don’t panic. Many people fall into the sleep cycle of hitting the pillow by 11 PM and waking up at 7 AM. But a whopping 40% of the population does not naturally fit this schedule. If you’re one of those people who have tried it all but just can’t get to sleep before 1 AM, cut yourself some slack. You’re totally normal. Science says so! If you work a 9-5, this can be challenging (and I hope you like coffee), but if you’re fortunate enough to work from home, or run your own business, it’s time to stop setting the alarm and let your body do it’s thing. I have been waking up without an alarm…*gasp*…around 7 or 8 AM for years. Some days it’s earlier, some days it’s later. There is no schedule! And I still manage to be a successful, productive member of society. Shocking, I know. And let me tell you, I’ve never felt more energized. Our bodies are capable of a lot more than we think. Maybe it’s time we left them alone?

You can read countless articles, books, and collect strategies from the likes of Arianna Huffington and every other CEO under the sun about how to start your morning. Some women swear by 30 minutes of exercises before starting their work day. Others are fans of tackling emails or reading personal development books. I personally use my morning time for what I call, creative exploration. I catch up on articles on Coveteur, plan outfits on Pinterest, drink copious amounts of coffee, listen to jazz, write if I’m in the mood, and really just chill. I do spend some time in my journal, typically about 5-10 minutes to set my intentions for the day. Some mornings, I totally forget, or I’m just not feeling it. So I don’t do it. The important thing here is that I listen to what I need that day. Some mornings I do crave fresh air so after a few cups of coffee I’ll go out for a power walk. Other mornings, you can find me in my pajamas glued to my computer until 11 am. Bottom line is? I do what feels good.

No matter what your morning looks like, there is one thing most successful women do have in common: they are intentional with their time. They are taking control of their own lives and doing the things that energize them. We all know the saying, “You either run the day or the day runs you.” Try to run your morning. Whether it’s at 4:45 am or 10. And don’t get too caught up what everyone else is doing. There’s enough time for all that. You should be able to have a cup of coffee in peace. With, or without the sun.

Shop my favorite morning routine items below! From my favorite espresso maker, to my Louis Vuitton journal (pre-loved is the way to go!), to my fave beauty items, here are my go-to products that I wake up with:


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  • Elizabeth Resnick

    Cara, so happy you are speaking up about this! I value having some quiet time every am, but my routine continues to change and evolve as my life changes and evolves (always for the better…sooooo exciting!)

    Several years ago, when I was still trapped in an abusive 28 year relationship, I became very rigid about my morning routine, since it was pretty much my escape. I put so much pressure on myself to do it perfectly every day, which led to exhaustion.

    Now I have a beautiful routine that included collagen in my coffee, some quiet meditative time (5 minutes or 30 minutes..doesn’t matter!) and some kind of loving movement before I shower. This time makes me feel pampered and loved, not stressed or guilty.

    Love what you do, and have enjoyed watching you grow and evolve!

    With love,


  • Jessika G.

    Thanks for this Cara!
    I used to be so stressed about not being a morning person and would beat myself up about not doing certain things at certain times. Before I knew it, I was letting those thoughts ruin my day. No more! I finally came to terms with the fact that I’m a night owl and I have to do what feels right for ME instead of being someone I’m not. This post is spot on!! Looking forward to more blog posts!!

    Peace & Love,
    Jessika G.

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