Adore's new series will follow the typical morning routine of a New Orleans mover and shaker.
Cheyenne Ellis regards morning as an exciting time. "I get to clear the slate from the prior day, start fresh, and though so much of my days are now scheduled, calendared, with every minute planned out, my morning times are a sacred time of day to ground myself, give myself a positivity pep talk, and take a few extra deep breaths before it all begins." We're already inspired.
She's nine months into launching her company, Make Movements, which aims to combat stress and burnout in the workplace, and is still in heavy start-up mode. You can also find her teaching at Free To Be Power Yoga.
"My schedule varies depending on if I am teaching an early morning class, have pitch meetings with potential clients, or decide to take an early a.m. class." On more relaxed mornings, she incorporates breathwork, stretching, and breakfast into her routine. To see one of these mornings in action, check out her routine below.
6:30 a.m. I start my day by making movements! My new favorite routine is a good 'ole good morning stretch in the bed! Rolling out the ankles, flexing/pointing toes, squeezing knees together, drop them to one side for a twist, sitting up cross-legged in bed, and taking a cat and cow shapes feels fantastic in the morning, and helps to gradually wake up and thaw my spine and body from sleep.
6:40 a.m. After making some movements, I sit in stillness and breath, even if it's just two minutes, five minutes, or maybe I get lucky and stay for 10-15 minutes. Some might call it meditation, some might call it prayer, some might call it thinking, or simply just doing nothing. To me, these brief moments of pause and breath are extremely important for me to set my day up for success. I start by relaxing my facial muscles, particularly my jaw (I'm a jaw clencher at night). Then I allow my shoulders to pull back, get heavy and then take multiple rounds of deep, slow diaphragm breaths. The kind where my belly grows big on the inhale and the exhale invites a deep release and relaxing sensation.
Do I fidget? Usually. Do I sometimes hop back on the hamster wheel of thoughts? Often! But then I come back to my breath. I do a high-level scan of my day, and take notice if there's anything I'm particularly anxious about, (whether it's a new client meeting or a call over cost negotiation). I then affirm to myself all parts of my day will work out, and I'll navigate all challenges, the expected and unexpected, with optimism, gratitude, and a little bit of humor. A daily pep-talk to remind myself I got this, and humility for the opportunity to be where I am in life right now is an essential part of my start-up journey. Exhale! This might sound super easy, but I didn't develop this routine overnight, I have to practice it, and quiet judgmental thoughts, or negative self-talk that often pops up throughout this morning ritual.
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Journalism's best and brightest convene in New Orleans for the 20th Annual @online_news Association Conference September 12-14. Make Movements will help journalists write off conference stress through a morning movement session. ✍🏽✍🏿✍🏻 - From sitting at sessions to long hours of networking on your feet, conferences shift our routines, sleep patterns and diets, and result in a different type of stress that normally sits with you at your desk. We help augment this stress by making movements. - Your salient profession is paramount, now more than ever before. So, inhale 🧘🏽♀️, exhale 🌬 and write on, journalists! 📝 #ONA19
6:55 a.m. Alright. Feeling lighter, and a bit more grounded, I then brush teeth, plop in my contacts, and wash my face with cold water (cold water is great for skin and circulation). I then lather on Oxalis Daily Glow serum, rubbing in circular motions around my eyes, and not forgetting my neck. It's my most favorite skin-care product, and lives up to its name: I receive a true glow, and I can honestly tell the difference if I skip a few days. It has all clean ingredients, locally made, plus compared to other high-end brands, this is a great value.
7:10 a.m. In the kitchen. Usually, I start my morning off drinking a glass of hot water with lemon before ingesting anything else. Sometimes I get fancy and add a little honey or dash of cinnamon. I try to avoid looking at my email and social media for at least another hour.
7:15 a.m. Put on the Up First podcast to catch up on the news, then switch over to WWOZ live stream for local updates.
7:20 a.m. Start to cook breakfast with my partner. We play music, and tag team on the cooking tasks. Often on the menu is an egg scramble, avocado toast variation, or fruit bowl. Unless I'm teaching a 6:30 a.m. session, I always make sure to eat a pretty hearty breakfast, (your metabolism will thank you later!). We are both entrepreneurs thus our schedule is often quite busy, so this a cherished moment for us to get some quality time together. We review our daily schedule and usually discuss our evening and the plan for dinner.
8:00 a.m. Change into clothes. Yep, this means I've been in some variation of pajamas since I woke. As a yoga instructor, I'm often in yoga apparel most of my days, so if I'm not heading straight to a class if feels like a treat to put on a "real" outfit. Before heading into the work part of my day, I always make to sure to lather on a healthy amount of sunscreen, even if it's cloudy out or I know I'll be indoors a majority of the day. My go-to is Eucerin Daily Protection Daily Protection. It contains SPF 30 and is available at a drug store near you.
8:15 a.m. Game time! For the first 15 minutes of my workday, I like to review yesterday's close-out list. I feel less anxious in the evening, and even find I even sleep better if I end my workday prepping a priority list for the next day. I'll review my calendar, make sure I add travel time if I'm bouncing around to meetings across town, and then dive into the inbox. Prioritize what needs to be answered right away, what can wait until lunchtime or later.
8:30 a.m. As a start-up, I'm still doing it all. My morning workflow typically consists of reviewing my new client pipeline, sending follow up emails, and ensuring invoices are all up to date.
9:00 a.m. Ek, ok I'm allowed a quick social media diversion!
9:30 a.m. Make Movements - I look up from the screen, step away from my desk, stretch, and move. It's so easy to jump right into the daily grind, rhythm, and forget to move. For me, a forward fold or stretch every 30 minutes or so is a game changer to prevent stiffness, keep my energy up, and the ideas flowing strong!
10:00 a.m. (ish) I treat myself to caffeine. I either indulge in a hot green tea or coffee. No matter the Louisianan summer heat, hot is my preference! To stay forever young, I add a few spoon fulls of Great Lakes collagen protein.
10:15 a.m. Snack on a piece of fruit or nuts. My friends will affirm, I'm a snacker! Grazing all day. My partner and I even threw a snack-themed Mardi Gras party this year. I dressed as a Vietnamese spring roll.
10:30 a.m. Hmm, I already start to think about lunch!
11:00 a.m. In addition to getting the business part off the ground, I want to ensure I am also delivering strong content to my clients. After I break for lunch, I step away from the business side of Make Movements and focus on the content side. To prepare for this part of my day, I'll map out articles or blogs I'd like to read to learn the latest news on the wellness industry, whether that's new meditation techniques or podcasts on workplace culture.