My Updated Morning Routine (And How I Became A Morning Person)

March 26, 2021

Meghan Donovan's Morning Routine

A lot with my morning routine has changed since entering my 30s and beginning self employment. And in the last year I have made some changes to how I manage my morning. So here’s a peek at what my morning routine looks like on most days. Through the pandemic my morning routine has been a saving grace – it has helped me feel centered and allows for a calm start to the day before I dive into work.

My Morning Routine

6:30-7:10AM: Wake up – usually beating my old-school alarm clock to the punch. I naturally wake up within this window nearly every single morning.

7:15AM: I no longer use the snooze functionality at all but rather enjoy getting out of bed straight away. I’ll make my bed immediately, open the shades and head to the bathroom to wash my face and brush my teeth.

The Effects of Gratitude Journaling I wit & whimsy

7:45AM: I generally aim to get up at least 45 minutes earlier than I actually need to. It has been a game changer for having less stressful mornings. It means I can sit on my couch with my coffee in between doing my hair and makeup for the day and means I avoid feeling rushed at all to get out the door. As I let my Nespresso coffee machine go to work or I boil hot water for my A.M. hot water + lemon, I sit on my couch and do my 5 Minute Journal entry for the morning. I also read the page of the day in The Daily Stoic which always feels centering and thoughtful.

Meghan Donovan's Morning Routine

8:00AM: Drink my coffee and watch The Today Show which I DVR every morning and press play on once I am ready. In the winter I use my Nespresso but in the summer I pour myself an iced coffee made in this cold brew pitcher. I no longer eat breakfast so I’ll drink my coffee while I scroll on Instagram for a few minutes and read the morning newsletters I subscribe to including Morning Brew and The New York Times’  New York Today. (I actually subscribe to a lot of the NYT newsletters – they are so great!) This part of my morning ritual is shortened if I have a 9 or 9:30 shoot or meeting in which case I am usually out the door around 8:15/8:30.

Meghan Donovan's Morning Routine

8:30AM: I sit down at my desk and reference my to-do list. I keep a running list of to-dos on my phone and have been making daily To Do Lists in the Notes app of everything I *really, really* want to get done each day. It’s been helpful in prioritizing my time and ensuring I end each work day a bit less stressed.

This is also when I turn on my Verilux Happy Light which was recommended to me by my doctor and I can’t believe what a difference it has made in my few weeks of using it. Bright light therapy is said to improve sleep, boosts mood, increases energy, and enhances focus so you feel more revitalized and I am 100% now a believer. I run it for 15 minutes while I catch up on emails, check my analytics and get myself ready for the work day. I have more energy throughout the day, find myself with less afternoon slumps and I’m sleeping better. I can’t recommend this device enough!

Meghan Donovan's Morning Routine

8:45AM: I un-pause my inboxes and begin to star any emails that have come in that I need to attend to. I typically start the day by also promoting on Instagram the wit & whimsy post for that day and I start prep for any forthcoming conference calls or meetings.

9:15AM: Do my Melissa Wood Health workout for the day. I love that most of them are under 30 minutes and don’t cause me to sweat but definitely get my heartbeat up.

9:45AM: I do my morning skincare routine, put on my makeup (I do a very quick 5-10 minute face on most days) and then do my hair. I shower at night and rough blow dry my hair before bed so that doing my hair in the morning is relatively low maintenance. I’ll hit it with this Klorane dry shampoo and either curl it or pull it into a low bun on most days. During the pandemic I’m typically wearing some favorite loungewear but for days where I am shooting videos or have a lot of calls, I’ll get dressed properly.

10:00AM: I drink a green juice with a scoop of Vital Proteins or a 1/4 teaspoon of The Nue Co. debloat I buy pre-made green juices since I don’t have room (or the patience) for a juicer. It’s an easy way to get in some more greens to my diet and take a helpful supplement.

And by that time my day is off and running! I do have to say though that I wasn’t always such a morning person. In my 30s I naturally wake up earlier (and really can’t sleep in regardless of what my day holds) and I’ve learned to embrace it.

So, how did I become a morning person?

No matter what though: the #1 reason I became more of a morning person was waking up 30-45 minutes earlier than I *needed* to. Not having to rush or feel stressed as I got ready ensures I have a calm and collected start to my day. I also began prioritizing early bedtimes so that I was always getting my desired 7-8 hours of sleep. (I truly have no idea why I used to stay up till 11:30PM-12AM every night!)

I truly cherish my morning routine and have come to revel in the slower, more meaningful starts to the day.

What’s your favorite part of your morning routine?

. . .

Eberjey Pajamas // iPhone Case // Line & Dot Sweater (M; last seen here) // Amour Vert Skylar Jogger (size M) // Mango Duster Cardigan (old but similar herehere)

p.s. tips for sleeping better and my best work habits.

[Carter Fish Photography]

comments +

  1. Sabrina says:

    1. what is that croissant thing on your table?????

    2. Thank you for sharing. I feel like I’m constantly refining my morning routine and I love hearing what others do.

    I try to shorten my snooze to 20 min or less. Snuggle with my dog. Get up and put on the water for coffee. feed dog. do Yoga to music while the water is boiling. Drink coffee. Look at my phone. Email with my East Coast friends. Read my morning internets(like your blog). Read the paper(I dont usualy finish the paper, but I read a few pages). get dressed and put my face on. Walk the dog.
    Out the door!

  2. Melanie says:

    My eternal struggle is that my husband and I don’t get up at the same time, so I have to be very quiet in the morning! I would love to turn all the lights on to help me wake up (NOT a morning person), but for this season, I quietly make a coffee and spend my commute trying to wake up, lol. Waking up at 5am is for the birds – literally! So interesting to see how others start their days, thanks for sharing!

  3. Maggie says:

    Just wondering, why don’t you eat breakfast? I’ve seen the diet trend “intermittent fasting” and wondering if that’s what you’re doing! I usually skip breakfast or having something quick like a banana because I have to be out the door by 6:30 every morning, and on the weekends I often sleep late and then just eat an early lunch. But I think it’s so funny how the message used to be “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” and now it’s becoming more popular to skip it!

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