What’s the first thing you do when you get out of bed in the morning? A well-rounded morning routine sets the tone for the day and gets you prepped—both mentally and physically—before diving into a packed schedule filled with emails, chores, happy hours, workouts, and more. Our series Morning Person profiles those who have mastered the art of the morning routine. Tune in every Monday morning here and on our Instagram to learn exactly how the pros get it all done before the sun comes up, from their go-to breakfasts to their a.m. workouts.
Here at THE/THIRTY, we talk a lot about anxiety. Maybe it's because of the constant pings and alerts hitting our inbox reminding us of impending doom like climate change or an increase in gun violence. Or could it be the rise in social media and, with it, an increase in pressure to appear perfect to the outside world? Perhaps it's simply because a lot of editors here (ahem) deal with it ourselves and can totally relate to desperately seeking ways to alleviate the debilitating symptoms like panic attacks and loss of appetite.
Whatever the reasons, the statistics are clear: Anxiety is the most common mental disorder in the United States, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, and affects 18% of the population every single year. While that can be frightening, know that if you're experiencing symptoms of anxiety, you're not alone, as you probably have a friend (or two) who are going through exactly the same things as you are. Poppy Jamie, for example.
You may not believe that a former television host can relate to your dealings with anxiety, but she can. So much, in fact, that she abruptly quit her job to start a platform (appropriately coined Happy Not Perfect) completely dedicated to mental health and helping others find an outlet to deal with their ongoing stress.
How does someone who not only deals with her own anxiety but also runs a startup that she solely founded start her day? Keep scrolling for Poppy's favorite morning rituals that help keep her symptoms at bay.
I wake up with my Happy Not Perfect lavender-filled eye mask on. I designed this mask purely for selfish reasons: The smell of lavender and the 100% blackout material has improved my sleep immensely. I just needed to mix them together and ta-da: the ultimate eye pillow! I head to the kitchen, boil the kettle, and drink hot water with lemon. I also take my probiotics, Seed.
While I’m sipping my drink, I complete the Happiness Workout on the Happy Not Perfect app. This is my non-negotiable ritual every morning because within five minutes, I'm able to check in, relax, let go of any worries I woke up with or am still experiencing from yesterday, and get into the right mindset of feeling positive and grateful. It’s amazing how quickly we can shift our outlook after just a few minutes!
Photo:Happy Not Perfect
Trainers on (love my Jimmy Choos currently) and I’m walking! My morning walk is essential. Whatever the weather, I’m outside pounding pavement, and usually, this turns into active meditation.
I try to avoid emails and messages and really absorb the sights and sounds or listen to a walking meditation on Happiness Not Perfect (or Lizzo's "Good as Hell"). By focusing on my breath, my mind gently wakes up, and, after about 20 minutes, I feel clear, calm, and ready to take on my day.
Now, I'm off to yoga or Pilates in Lululemon bottoms. (I really invest in comfy leggings, as I wear them day in, day out.) I try to get to an exercise class to stretch and tone my body before I'm in office mode. The rest of my day has the tendency to turn into a circus, and the likelihood of me finishing work before 9 p.m. is slim, so making sure I get a workout in during the a.m. is useful. I try to stick to less intense classes to help relax me rather than overload with more adrenaline. My emails tend to do that a bit later!
I head to work and stop by Dr Smood for my morning cashew-milk latte. I only drink one coffee a day, so this moment is precious! It is the highlight of my whole morning.
I’m usually wearing a smart, casual look depending on if I have meetings. Regardless, I love wearing heels and usually call my mum or a friend as I make my way to the Happy Not Perfect office. I love having a little catch-up with someone in the morning, especially as many of my friends live in London and I’m in New York, so I catch everyone on their lunch breaks.
I am in the office! I get really excited about arriving in the morning and hearing all the updates. My day can be filled with tech meetings, partnerships, script writing, or product researching. It’s so varied, and admittedly, I can feel very stressed when out of my depth (founding a startup without prior experience means I'm swimming the deep end often), but having a good routine to start my day has been game-changing. I’m much better at managing the obstacles and curveballs that get sent my way once my mind and body have been looked after.