My Morning Routine & Why You Might Want to Adopt It.

I’m one of them.  I’m one of those sunshiney people who gets up with the sun and goes for a walk, starting my day with exercise, outdoors and a smug feeling of superiority.

Illustration of a smiley face with big blue eyes and a red smile.

It’s true. I’m that girl you see bouncing by, outside your window at 7:30 in the morning while you’re still trying to figure out how you have pillow marks on your calves.  I’m up, get a quick coffee into me, throw on some sweatpants and head out the door looking like someone who should probably still be asleep.

By 8:00 I’ve returned home, having walked 3 kilometres, my lungs filled with fresh air, my hands cupped around a hot cup of coffee, ready for the day knowing I am the sort of person other people are envious of. I am the sort of person other people aspire to be.  I.  Am.  Morning. Person. 

I’ve been on this routine for quite a long time.

2 days. 

That makes me a Suzy Sunshine expert and therefore I have a lot of advice to impart on you – the bed dwellers, the late risers, the night owls and other immorals.

I was once you.  3 days ago.  I remember it like it was yesterday.  I’d go to bed very late and get up moderately late.  8:30 or so. I was at my computer working by 8:45 and generally would stay there until I either had to pee,  eat something, or kill a centipede. I’d maybe walk around my yard or sit on the porch for 15 minutes just to get outside then I’d be back at my computer writing and editing photos.

I’m not in the habit of using my walking desk during the summer and fall – it’s more of a winter thing for me. So a lot of days I’m quite sluggish.  Not my guts. My guts are just fine.  I can throw down when it comes to that.  I just don’t move enough some days to even feel human. This leads to blogger bod and blogger brain. 

The condition is easily recognized;  if you feel like your body is made of cement trucks – you have the affliction.  

A black & white photo of Karen Bertelsen sleeping on top of the covers of her bed with her cat snuggled under her arm.

rare shot of me in restful, elegant slumber. basically a Princess.

Therefore I’ve taken the drastic step of waking up and going for a walk early in the morning.  Very early.  Sunrise early. This is no small change of pace for someone who is regularly on speaking terms with 2:00 a.m.

I’m very very happy with my new routine and only plan to make a few minor tweaks.

  1. Go to bed earlier. Getting only 4 hours of sleep doesn’t make you cooler, tougher or stronger. It makes you a deranged lunatic who has the focus of someone who just smoked 400 pounds of weed.
  2. Smoke weed.  I think if I smoked weed I wouldn’t have to go through all of this waking up early and walking business because so much of my time would be devoted to figuring out how to tie my shoelaces.
  3. Learn how to say Good Morning! I don’t say that. It feels weird to me. Other morning walkers let that phrase roll off their tongue like nothing. I assume it’s because they’ve had years of practice. I on the other hand am new to encountering people before lunchtime and what I usually reply with is a moderately frantic “My hair is normally brushed.”
  4. Get out the door a little bit earlier. At my current time I’m forced to weave my way around school children on the streets and I would like to avoid this as I find them to be alarming in every way.  They’re very small, fast and unpredictable.  Like centipedes in pants.
  5.  Knock on people’s doors so they can enjoy the fun of a morning walk too. I see nothing that could go wrong with doing that.

How has this waking up at an unGodly hour and walking for several kilometres routine changed my life over the course of 2 days? Well, I’m ready to go to bed earlier.  By 2 in the afternoon. I’ve learned there are many many things you can do with your eyes closed because you don’t have the energy or coordination to open them.  Really the only good thing about it is I get to brag that I’m a morning person like so many morning people seem to do. But it’s all a lie, I’m not a morning person, I’m masquerading as one. I’m fundamentally a vampire person. In my heart.

I’ve decided that I’ll only do this morning thing during the week because even if I’m working on the weekend, I usually get a chance to go somewhere outside of the house like the garden or an antique market or auction. So I do have more of a chance to see the world and my beloved sun on the weekends.

Therefore Monday is my next scheduled get up and out day.  That gives me two whole days between now and then to decide whether I can come up with a better plan to get me up and outside bright and early.  I’ve toyed with the idea of secretly sleeping in a neighbour’s car and just peering out their sunroof while they drive to work but more people than you’d think get angry when you break into their car even if it isn’t to steal something. This is the level of political correctness our world is at right now. You can’t even pop out of someone’s backseat and ask them to stop at a breakfast burrito drive through. 

Wish me luck on day 3 of my “get up and out” routine. Whatever it might be.

Have a good weekend!



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My Morning Routine & Why You Might Want to Adopt It.


  1. Bruce Cisco says:

    You so funny! ;-) You had me going for a second until the day three thingy…

    For the most part I am a morning person, usually getting up at 5:15 to go to spin class or get a workout in. I’ve been doing this for 30 years! It’s how i keep my boyish figure. hehe

    However, once per week or so, I will stay up past midnight watching TV or reading which in turn doesn’t allow me to get to the gym. And Sunday is my stay in bed till 8ish day.

    Good luck Monday and have a nice weekend!

  2. Steph says:

    As someone who used to get up at 5 am to be at work by 7 am, but is currently still in bed at 10 am (soon to get up, hunger is a harsh mistress), I feel this post!

  3. Eileen says:

    I think I am a “between” person. Bed around 10-10:30, read till 11-11:30. In summer I wake with a certain level of light (which can be very annoying, esp. those nights when I’ve been tossing and turning). As days get shorter I need the alarm to get me up at 7. This in no way means I am to be messed with, however. Washing, dressing, coffee…then maybe around 9:30 – 10 there can be some people interaction. If really necessary. Actually leave the house? Um, no. Except on Saturday mornings when I rush to the grocery store early because it’s the only time there are parking spaces. And I need to replenish the coffee supply.

  4. Sarah says:

    karen! This is so very funny! Thanks for a really good laugh.Sirst thing in my morning, I might add. Got up late as I worked until 10, then can’t sleep. . . the odd time I have to be up early for work. .it is beautiful outside at an early hour.
    School children like centipedes in pants!
    can’t stop laughing!!

  5. Mary W says:

    You make me smile. I love you.

  6. Karin says:

    I say embrace your inner vampire! This NY Times article sums it up nicely.

    • Karen says:

      Nice! I mean I could barely comprehend it because my brain isn’t actually functioning yet but – ~ karen!

    • Patricia Sheahan says:

      You are my hero for posting The NY Times article. Damn skippy I’m putting it out on Facebook to justify my fellow nightwalkers in their choices. Put that in your pipe and smoke it, dawn worshippers!

    • D Taylor says:

      Thanks for the article Karin,

      It reinforces what I’ve always believed – there’s nothing wrong with me, the early morning people just got up sooner and their brains were engaged before mine so They Set The Rules!!

      I am a vampire and love being retired, no more 7 am conference calls! I can get up when I wake up (unless I have an appointment, which I always try to make after 10 am) and stay up after midnight with no recriminations. As a quilter, I adore retreats where some us of stay up until “whenever”.

      Cheers to all of us – late or early people!

  7. Katie Schneider says:

    Have children. I get up early (5:30, apparently just after you go to bed) 2x a week to walk our dogs and I am gleefull because those are the days it’s my husband’s turn to wake and ready the rabid beasties that are our adorable children.

  8. Cristie says:

    Wellllll I confess to being a Morning Person….. but also confess. I take Naps!

  9. Judy says:

    I started doing this again three weeks ago. I used to do this, or some other form of exercise, all the time before my husband retired when I’d be up and at ‘em as soon as he left for work at 7 a.m. Weekends were lazy morning days, then he retired and every day became a weekend lazy day. I think this means he’s bad for my health.

  10. Jack Ledger says:

    My experience with drastic change, which you are embarking on, is that it is short-lived. You may do it for days, weeks, months even, but ultimately your intentions will fall short of your reality. You are a night person. Accept it, envelope it, live it. I am a morning person…..I love the mornings. I am not a night person………grrrrr! For me, there is nothing better than slipping into bed at 8:30, rolling over on my side, falling into a deep sleep and looking forward to the solitude of an early morning rise.

  11. Kari In Dallas says:

    Hahahaha ha! This is me. Except I DO go to sleep at a decent hour, and I refuse to “people” before noon. (That’s why I retired at 45)

    May the odds be ever in your favor for Day 3.

    • Julie says:

      Using the term “people”. I use that term all the time to describe my son & husband. Both are somewhat introverted – I say, “they don’t people”. They do “people” only as long as they know them, but small talk – forget it! Lol

      As for being a morning person- yup that’s me.

  12. Susan says:

    Yeah, no. Just no. I do not say good morning and I do not drink coffee. I’m fine, just don’t poke at me or talk to me or make a lot of noise for at least an hour. I did many years of the get up and out by 6:30 and commute 30-50 miles to work. I can still summon that sort of autopilot in a dire emergency. But I work from home now. and get up when the cats decide I should. It could be 4:30 or 8:30 or both.

  13. Ann Roberts says:

    I was up at 4 this morning and not by choice. As we age our sleep changes but it is not supposed to be changing every single day………

    But by the time I went next door and let my neighbor’s dog out, got her food and water and put her in her fence, came back..let out my 2 pens of chickens, fed the bunnies and watered my big flower pots on the back patio it was a whopping 5 am. Now I sit here wishing my new walking shoes had arrived in the mail so I could actually go out and take a walk…..

    I am now finally enjoying my morning coffee as I didn’t want the microwave to ding at 4 and wake my husband who sleeps late every single morning.

  14. Kathryn says:

    I walk the dogs between 6 and 6:30, then feed them, make my coffee and oatmeal, read the paper, watch Seth Meyers from last night while scanning email and day-planning and I’m out the door at 8 (unless I’m working at home, and then I’m at my desk at 8).

    I forced myself to “like” mornings when the kids were small because I couldn’t convince them getting up was a good thing if I couldn’t fake it. Now I’m stuck with it.

    (I also pretended thunder and lightning was not very, very frightening and now I quite like watching a good storm).

    Maybe when I retire, I’ll convince myself (and the dogs) to sleep later.

  15. Linda Young says:

    An hysterically funny account of my life exactly! I’m forced to get up early since the world thinks that’s the way it should be, but really don’t feel human until early afternoon. I love mornings (I really do!), but my body just isn’t ready to receive all the birds chirping and squirrels dancing right away. It’s a slow evolution aided by copious amounts of coffee. I can play the game, but secretly I want my blankie and pillow. Thanks for the hearty laugh and good luck…;-)

  16. Gwennie says:

    I am one of those chirpy morning people. Up at 4, walked the dog, put a load of laundry in, emptied the dishwasher, made coleslaw and cut up three watermelons for a high school picnic today, showered and now headed to the grocery store which opens at 6. I love getting up early, I feel so productive. I take a 15 minute power nap about 1 PM, and go to bed about 9, reading until 10. I recommend it.

  17. Lin says:

    Reading this at 3:04 AM………………’Nuff said.

  18. MrsChrisSA says:

    Oh, ok then. I am up at 4.30am EVERY morning. I am at work before your walk (07.00am) and I used to go to bed at about 10pm.

    Then I had a total thyroidectomy three months ago. I drag myself out of bed at 4.30…………sometimes 5ish so I can still get to work at 07h00 but at night at 8pm I am finished and need my bed.

    From a ‘non sleeper’ I have gone to a ‘big sleeper’ – it is very frustrating but I have learned to embrace my new routine!

    • Jo says:

      may I offer a suggestion as one who’s dealt with thyroid challenges an entire adulthood? Learn all you can about our thyroid/adrenal/hormones connection. I’m no longer a zombie all the time! Conventional medical practice was not nearly enough by itself, but my life turned around after I combined it with natural health and nutrition practices.

    • Jo says:

      (in reply to your reply :-)) Since conventional Western Medical practices got me into my thyroid mess to begin with (which led to myriad body system issues), I learned all I could about Natural Health – also known as preventive, personal health – and years of classes, Naturopathic Doctor treatments here in the states, in-depth reading and experimenting with diet, herbs, minerals and vitamins have taught me we’re all individuals with varying needs that fluctuate often. Can be overwhelming, exhausting, frustrating!!! Learning to listen to my body’s cues has served me best. Patience is key…. so is treating our entire body, not just one area or symptom. There are SO MANY knowledgeable health care practitioners online, and constant ‘new research hence info’, so I ALWAYS use several resources for comparison. Dr Weil, Dr Axe, Dr Mercola, Dr Aviva Romm, Dr Deidre Layne, GreenMedInfo, RealFarmacy, Natural-Holistic-Health, just for starters. It can feel like a rabbit hole sometimes, but the more you discover, the more you’ll want to learn.

  19. Madeleine says:

    The very best way to be a morning person is to fly to Korea, or other Asian nation’s east coast. You’ll fall into bed the first night at 8 p.m. and be up at 4 a.m. You’ll see the sun rise and feel very smug about it. This will last for about 3 days, but three good, smug days!

  20. Meg says:

    Hahaha I am also a night owl/vampire person. But! I actually love the feeling of being awake early and up and around, and seeing the sun come up, when mostly no one is up. For maybe a year, I met a friend for a 45-minute hike up Runyon Canyon every morning. We somehow managed to be up early enough to reach the summit as the sun came up. (We started New Year’s day – a lot easier than the summer.)

    The biggest problems are that I neither want to go to bed, nor want to get up…. I just need to find some lunatic who will guilt me into getting up at 6am with them and go for a brisk walk.

    • Robert says:

      Oh! I’m sorta similar, if I have a reason to get up early I definitely will do it and certainly enjoy it even on a few hours of sleep because I’m definitely a night owl that could stay awake easily until 5 am or god forbids 8 am; that unfortunately means taking a long nap at some point during the day.
      In my early teens during summer vacation for example I woul go to sleep arround 1 am, wake up at 6 to make crêpes for breakfast and be back in bed around 9 for another 2 or 3 hours in bed.
      Or in college I would wake up at 5 to get ready for 7:30 class and have time to go walking to the market and then directly to school.

    • Peri Fenton says:

      Oh Meg, you described me to a tee! Don’t want to wake up/don’t want to go to bed. Definitely a “vampire person’. My husband has recently acquired a PICC line and his infusions must be 12 hours apart. He must leave the house at 6 am in order to get work on time so that means hooking his IV up at 5:30 am which is difficult to do one-handed so I’ve been recruited for the job. Yea!…….um, no. We may not be “friends” (or married) by the time this is over ;) ………….oh what we do for those we love.

  21. Gael James says:

    Karen, your list has managed to get me set for the Christmas season by December 1st for two years in a row. If you were able to do that then, darn it, I bet you can create a list to get me moving a little more.

  22. Tina says:

    I have terrible back problems, severe arthritis in my shoulders and neck. I am under almost constant medical care for that so a walking desk might help…or it might not and I’d be out $250 for nothing. But regardless, I will NOT get up at sunrise! Walking can wait until a more civilized hour!

  23. brenda says:

    Thank goodness I have family living in Vancouver now so I can pretend I’m up early … I do all the things required of someone enjoying a morning routine and an evening routine but I just don’t use the same clock others living in here use … and I’m ok with that. Good Luck on Day 3 … also I wondered how your walking desk was going. I have a standing desk I don’t use 363 days of the year. I’ve been thinking of getting a walking desk. I just got the treadmill part but I still have to bring the box with it in it up from the garage ;)

    • Karen says:

      It’s reallyyyy helpful in the winter when I’m say more sedentary. The only thing I don’t like is facing a wall, :/ ~ karen!

      • brenda says:

        Excellent point – I have a narrow little window that’s kind of useless at the moment – maybe it’s a good idea to set up there – thank you!

      • Cussot says:

        As a kid I used to spy on a woman who lived in a nearby mansion. She spent what seemed like hours standing at a full length window, her face obscured by a small rectangle. I was a dumb kid – it took me ages before I realized it was a mirror.

        It would have made a nice spot for a treadmill desk. Good view – of nosey children in adjacent apartment buildings, among other things.

  24. Marie Anne says:

    Ooh, am I first? Fun, but also means it’s late and contrary to my constant battle to get to work a little earlier, so I can get outside at lunch, and leave on time, mission. So I can see some sun and get some air. So simple, why is it so hard! Good luck with day 3 😊!

  25. Cathy Reeves says:

    I’m up a half a dozen times during the night so I’m not so much a morning person as I am a “I can’t f-ing sleep might as well get up” person. I’m not inclined to walk till 8-ish to avoid encounters with Javelinas which scare the crap outta me! .
    So, will you be a fair weather MP or a up and walking in any kind of weather?

    • Karen says:

      I’m an all or nothing kind of person so I’ll be walking in all weather except rain, snow, slightly breezy, too sunny, not sunny enough, too cold, and any chance of fog. Also I don’t like pollen or chestnut season because they’re easy to slip on. ~ karen!

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