Editorial Director Sacha Strebe of Create + Cultivate recently tried our CEO’s morning routine. Check out her week in review below.

There’s a reason why the most successful people in the world have a morning routine. It’s the only time in our “always-on” culture where we can enjoy a few moments of sacred silence before the outside world demands our attention. If you’ve never really thought about turning your AM into a ritual, then now, more than ever, is the time.

A consistent morning routine can help establish a sense of stability and control. And in a time where it can feel like a lot of things are out of our hands, that idea is incredibly comforting. Of course, creating a morning routine sounds good in theory, so before you get started, just be aware that it can take some trial and error to nail down the one that suits your life, or want to stick to. And it doesn’t matter what that ritual is—there are no rules here—it’s entirely individual.

But, if we are going to take notes from anyone, it will be from the people who run multimillion-dollar businesses, oversee international teams, and have built brands from scratch, because let’s face it, they must be doing something right to have the energy, determination, and organization to pack as much as they do into one day without burning out.

But, if you haven’t given thought to how you spend those first few hours, take heed from former Target exec and now CEO of Rae—evidence-based vegan supplements made for women making moves—Angie Tebbe. Despite a jam-packed schedule, Tebbe takes time every morning for self-care, mindfulness, and coffee!

As someone who has really struggled with sticking to any semblance of a schedule since self-quarantine began, I wanted to give Tebbe’s morning routine a spin and see if it helped set my day up for success too. For context, I typically get up at 8 AM (it was 6:30 AM pre-quarantine), I have a cup of earl grey tea while I’m checking emails, I take a shower and then jump into my sweats or exercise gear (in the hope it will inspire me to workout later). I have been known to work from my dining room table from 9 AM until 7:30 PM without a proper break and snacks in between. It’s safe to say my water intake is at an all-time low too. Can anyone reading this relate?

So, I was ready to start creating a morning habit that could not only help my health, but also quell my stress and anxiety, so I can take charge of my to-do list and power toward my goals in a better mood. Read on to learn how Tebbe uses the first hours of sunlight to give her day the best chance of success, then discover how I went about incorporating it into my own routine.

(Spoiler alert: It greatly impacted my mood, metabolism, and stress levels.)

“I no longer check my emails in the morning; it has helped me be less reactive and more present and patient as I start my day.”

—Angie Tebbe, CEO, Rae Wellness

CEO of Rae Wellness, Angie Tebbe’s Morning Routine

Wake Up Before Everyone Else

I always used to find mornings stressed and rushed, until I realized how important it was to create rituals that work for you. Since becoming a CEO, I have made intentional choices about mindset and routine to make sure I show up for my family, team, and partners. I wake up at 5:45 AM to ensure I have a few moments to myself before my household begins to rise, beginning with my 5-year-old at 6 AM! I find that I am my best when I can first ground myself in gratitude, especially right now given everything going on in the world.

Practice Gratitude

I meditate every night, so I save the deeper rituals for then but in the mornings I practice gratitude for two to three minutes. A mentor once taught me—visualize the most important moment you remember with your partner, and the first time you met your children. What did that feel like, sound like, etc.? It helps me plant my feet and ensures I’m in the right headspace to approach the day.

Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

I drink about 20 ounces of water every morning (the first few sips are always with our Hydration Drops) before I allow myself to drink my Americano with our Vegan Collagen Boost Powder, cream, and monk fruit.

Fast Until 9 AM

I have experimented with intermittent fasting a bit and typically fast from 6 PM until 9 AM—15 hours is how I feel my best. The first thing I have in the morning is coffee at 9 AM and then I’ll drink an almond milk and pea protein smoothie—I blend it with ice. It keeps me going for three hours until lunch at 1 PM.

Do a Workout

I like to workout in the morning, but being at home has changed my routine a bit. I typically work out on weekdays (running or spinning), and on weekends I’ll spend the mornings with my husband and boys instead. Due to the quarantine, I’ve been working out around midday and taking a walk with the family after dinner. Getting it in is the most important part so I try not to worry if the time slot changes given everything we are all trying to juggle right now.

Don’t Check Your Inbox

I recently changed my own habits on this, and no longer check my emails in the morning; it has helped me be less reactive and more present and patient as I start my day.

Tackle Important Tasks Early

I minimize distractions and give myself a couple of completely uninterrupted hours to work in the morning before any meetings. I find that I’m more productive and “fresh” to tackle challenging questions or needs of the business right away. As the day progresses, I make sure to keep my energy up with lots of water and protein. At lunch, I take our Multivitamin, which gives me energy through the afternoon.

Name + Title:

Sacha Strebe, Editorial Director, Create + Cultivate

The Routine:

I tried Angie Tebbe, CEO, Rae Wellness’ AM ritual for one week!

The Products:

Rae Wellness Hydration Drops
Rae Wellness Vegan Collagen Boost Powder
Rae Wellness Multivitamin
Rae Wellness DeStress
Rae Wellness Energy Drops
Rae Wellness Sleep

The Goal(s):

I have always been so intrigued by the morning rituals of successful people. CEOs are some of the busiest people on the planet and from all of the articles I’ve read, they swear by an AM ritual to kickstart their day and maximize their time. Upon reading Tebbe’s morning routine it immediately reminded me of my own.

I am very ritualistic, especially since becoming a mom, so a lot of her steps resonated with me but since quarantine began, my schedule is entirely out of whack so I wanted to test out Tebbe’s to reintroduce structure and ritual in a bid to bring about some normalcy in this “new normal.”

My end goal in testing Tebbe’s morning routine was to enhance my energy and mood, relieve stress, and encourage better sleep.

My Week in Review:

Tip 1: Wake Up Before Everyone Else

Since I don’t have to commute to the office in self-quarantine I have been sleeping in much later so I’ll admit that waking up at 5:45 AM was a struggle. But I’m never going back (although I may schedule it slightly later to 6:30 AM instead!). I absolutely love having my own time in the morning before the family wakes up. It’s the only part of the day where I can truly let my mind relax, there isn’t anyone demanding anything from me—it’s just me, the sunlight through the window, and a cup of tea.

Tip 2: Practice Gratitude

This is something I have always done with our family but I haven’t ever formalized it into my AM routine. I now use that quiet time before the house wakes up each morning to run through what I’m grateful for and sometimes I will write them down, too. It has really helped me approach each day with intention and mindfulness, something I think I took a little for granted before.

Tip 3: Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

I loved starting my morning with 20 ounces of water and the Rae Wellness Hydration Drops with pure and powerful hyaluronic acid and electrolytes. (I also added in their Energy Drops which was so much softer on my stomach than traditional Vitamin B tablets). I struggle drinking water normally so this ensures I’m getting maximum hydration with every drop. I also found that prioritizing water first thing before any other liquids are key to making sure I’m hydrated throughout the day. Tebbe also inspired me to get back into making green smoothies each morning. I add the Rae Wellness Vegan Collagen Boost Powder into the mix with baby kale, spinach, blueberries, protein powder, and rice milk. I’m a vegetarian, so I’ve been searching for a vegan option that isn’t bovine for ages and this one is also flavorless so it’s a win-win.

Tip 4: Fast Until 9 AM

While most of Tebbe’s morning routine looked reasonably simple to achieve, I wasn’t sure how the intermittent fasting would work for me. Our family usually eats around 8 PM (or later since self-quarantine), so fasting from 6 PM was tricky for me. But on the nights that I did, it definitely helped my sleep overall because it allowed for proper digestion before going to bed. I also went to bed earlier, which in turn saw my energy levels increase the next day. I definitely want to continue eating our dinner earlier so I can fast for 15 hours like Tebbe each day. It made enough of a difference to warrant continuing it and turning it into a habit—the research behind intermittent fasting is compelling. On the nights I couldn’t sleep, I took the Rae Wellness Sleep capsules with melatonin.

Tip 5: Do a Workout

I’m glad that Tebbe switched her morning workout to midday or later since quarantine because while I have been working out more, I have never been able to motivate myself to exercise first thing. I definitely prefer the afternoon or early evening. Like Tebbe, I have also been less focused on “working out” and instead, making sure I incorporate some type of movement into my day. It has dramatically enhanced my mood, my metabolism, my sleep, and my energy.

Tip 6: Don’t Check Your Inbox

I used to practice this but I got out of the habit since self-quarantine. Before I started Tebbe’s routine, I would wake up, grab my phone, and dive into emails while I was still sitting on the side of my bed. My poor brain hasn’t even had a chance to wake up yet and I’m already bombarding it with tasks and requests. So, now I’ve reverted back to the “no emails” rule in the morning, and instead, I focus on mindfulness practice, setting myself up for success, both physically, emotionally, and spiritually. It’s the one part of the day that belongs to me! It’s a game-changer.

Tip 7: Tackle Important Tasks Early

Most mornings I am pretty focused early, but since I have been waking up earlier and incorporating Tebbe’s gratitude practice, my brain is sharper and laser-focused. At 9 AM, I sit down at my dining table come makeshift office during quarantine with my decaf latte and really focus on urgent tasks for a good hour and a half before our seniors meeting at 10:30 AM. It has been so impactful. I definitely have fewer distractions in the morning from my family and team (they’re usually all logging on) so I have been able to get so much done during that time period. I will definitely be incorporating this into my morning routine moving forward.

Final Verdict:

I am so grateful for Tebbe’s AM tips. I feel like I have more structure, more focus, and more gratitude this past week which is especially needed while we navigate this “new normal.” It’s also a realistic routine to emulate, unlike some other CEO morning routines I’ve read about so I’ll definitely continue to incorporate them into my own morning ritual. I loved all of the Rae Wellness products too, especially the Hydration and Energy Drops—so genius! The DeStress capsule and Multivitamin (I loved the mint flavor) was also a great addition to my daily supplement line-up—they’re also incredibly affordable, too.

While I loved mimicking a CEO’s morning routine for a week, ultimately your morning should be exactly that, your morning. So don’t feel like you have to copy anyone else’s routines and expect the same results. The goal here is to find a ritual that works for you and it will change as you and your circumstances change. Self-quarantine is an emotionally and mentally challenging time for all of us, so be kind on yourself, do what works for you, and your personal health and wellness will improve, too.

See the original article at createcultivate.com.