empty bed

Why alone time and white sheets are part of my evenings

I recently shared some tips about my morning routines. Here are some of the rituals I try to keep up in the evenings. I can’t categorize my evenings as clearly as I did my mornings…. They all different, yet have some things in common.

One of the goals I set for myself for 2015 is to have at least one evening per week alone, without any social engagements or plans. This has turned out to be one of the best resolutions I made. I use that evening as quiet, alone time, either catching up on an important project I have not had time to focus on, cleaning out my email inbox which is always too full, reading, or watching the latest episode of NCIS (my guilty pleasure, and the only TV I really watch). Those evenings, I try to be asleep by 10 pm (versus my normal 11pm bed time).

I take a few minutes every weeknight to review my day, my list for the day, and review my calendar and priorities for the following day.

I go through my beauty routine, which involves our Purifying gel cleanser, Pigment lightening serum, Kantic+ intensely nourishing cream, Rejuvenating eye balm, and Dry skin balm. If I remember, cuticle oil (either CND Solar Oil or SpaRitual Cuti-Cocktail) on my nails every evening means I can get away without manicures (I have never been a fan) and extend my pedicures to 4-5 weeks. And most importantly, per my father the dermatologist, I try to sleep on my back (helps with facial and décolleté wrinkles…).

I don’t read before bed, I am usually too tired. I keep a notebook and pen next to my bed in case I wake up thinking about something – writing it down means I can always go back to sleep. And I sleep in white sheets only.

Ada Polla

I get up at 5 am and this is what happens…

A couple of weeks ago, my sister Rachel paid me the best compliment in the form of a question. She asked me how I did it all. How did I manage the work load, the stress load, of running a beauty brand, how did I manage to still look good and act coherent with short nights and sometimes up to 5 flights per week. Did I have any tips or secrets to share with her?

Her questions made me pause, and reflect. Did I have any strategies to share? And I do. This is the first of a few posts to share my morning and evening routines, and a couple secrets, which keep me sane.

My morning routines depend on the type of morning I am having, which fall into four “types.”

  • Mornings when I wake up at home in DC with no travel plans.
  • Mornings when I wake up on the road somewhere.
  • Mornings when I have early flights (7 am or earlier, which happens more often than it should).
  • Weekend mornings.

All mornings share a few things in common:

  • A regular wakeup at 5 am (except if I have a 6 am flight or it is a weekend). And yes, my iphone is my alarm.
  • A tall glass of water with Super Orange Emergen-C. People are fascinated that I fly up to 150,000 miles per year and am not sick more often. I credit this morning ritual.
  • Inspiration from three sources: Danielle LaPorte Truthbombs. Harvard Business Review Management Tips of the Day. And a Milepost quote on running.

Mornings when I wake up at home or on the road without an early morning flight, I exercise. SoulCycle or a run in DC. Hopefully a swim while on the road (even budget-friendly hotels often have swimming pools). Part of what helps me keep it all together is a regular exercise routine, with a minimum of 3 workouts per week.

Mornings when I have a flight at 7 am or earlier are my fastest, most minimalist, mornings. I have learned to get ready in 20 minutes tops: no exercise, no breakfast except for a power bar on the way to the airport, no coffee until I get to the airport (gives me something to look forward to). Those mornings require extra red lipstick.

Weekend mornings are precious treasures. I catch up on sleep during the weekends, and try to have at least one 10-hour night per weekend. The most luxurious morning weekend involves waking up next to my husband around 8 am after a long night. Those mornings include a long run and brunch, catching up on my reading, and on my day-dreaming.