An Intimate Look at How 6 Millennial Women Get Out of Bed

Whether you're a stripper or an HR coordinator, getting out of bed isn't always graceful or glamorous, but it is necessary. Here's how six women in various fields start their days.

by Leila Ettachfini
Jan 18 2019, 8:05pm

As we brace for 2019 and stack up our resolutions, Broadly is focusing on finding motivation for the hard tasks that await us—like getting out of bed. So, throughout January, we're rolling out Getting Out of Bed, a series of stories about all things related to rest and resilience. Read more here.

There are few things we do as many times as wake up in the morning. We do it so often that by the time we're three years old, with roughly a thousand mornings under our belts, we should all be experts. Waking up is the most natural, human ritual, and yet, over the years, I've read countless words on either how to do it better or how I'm doing it wrong.

There are enough things to feel inadequate about in this life; the way you wake up should not be one of them—even if you, like me, check almost every box of the things you're not supposed to do in the morning: hit snooze, check social media, check your email, drink coffee. That said, these morning check lists and rules have sparked a curiosity about how everyone else gets out of bed. As part of our Getting Out of Bed series, we've asked six millennial women to tell us about a morning in their life, from the moment they open their eyes to their first step out into the world.

Edelawit Hussien, 23, Filmmaker, Berlin


5:00 AM: I naturally wake up at five on the dot. I’ve been allowing myself to sleep without an alarm these days as a recent series of flights have completely disrupted my sleep schedule. I jump out of bed and look out the window onto my building's courtyard. Still dark.

5:10 AM: I stand in front of my bathroom mirror staring at one pimple, thinking that maybe if I stare at it long enough it will just go away. I give up and carry on with my morning skincare regimen: Bioderma followed by Ole Henriksen scrub (only on Thursday mornings), then Embryolisse face cream.

I don’t like to wear makeup when I am working from home, but I use the Glossier boy brow to keep my eyebrows in check at all times. Then spot treatment with tea tree oil.

5:30 AM: I scroll through new emails, messages, and, of course, Instagram. This helps me figure out which messages are the most urgent to address before coffee. I get distracted by The Shade Room’s posts. I send a series of voice recordings to my film’s art director.

6:00 AM: I call my mom while making coffee. There is a nine hour time difference between us, so this is the only time we can catch up on life and family updates. Apparently my cousin is in Tanzania for school!

6:30 AM: I spend a good 15 minutes deciding if I want to listen to Toumani Diabaté or Gétatchèw Mèkurya. I go with Toumani this morning. I spend another 15 minutes trying to decide which album.

7:00 AM: Hair up. Skin moisturized. Favorite hoodie, Gildan Heavy blend, on. Thank me later. I am now at my home desk ready to start replying to emails, preparing for calls, and making design decisions for my upcoming Indiegogo campaign for my next film.

Gabriela Herstik, 24, Freelance Writer and Author, Los Angeles

Photo by Alexandra Herstik

8:00 AM: My alarm rings and I put it on sleep.

8:30 AM: My alarm rings again and I ignore it.

9:00 AM: My alarm rings and I turn it off and wake up. I say “Good morning, goddess,” get out of bed, wash my face with Cetaphil, put some oil or moisturizer on, and brush my teeth.

9:10 AM: I light some incense, then light my Venus devotional candle (Venus is my matron goddess) before feeding my fish, Solstice. I tell him I love him, then give him two pellets of food before continuing my morning practice. I start with a ritual called "the Lesser Banishing Ritual of the Pentagram," which aligns you in every direction, calls upon the archangels, and banishes anything that’s not working in divine alignment. This takes about seven minutes. Then I meditate for ten minutes using an app called Insight Timer to track my time. How I meditate depends on what I’m feeling and working through, but most days I’ll do something like a chakra balancing meditation to help me get centered and aligned.

9:30 AM: After doing my ritual and meditating, I make myself some tea (I’ve been drinking nettle) before working with my tarot cards. I’ve been using the Slutist tarot deck designed by Morgan Claire Sirene exclusively in my morning practice so I’ll shuffle the cards and pull three or four for the day. Then, I journal. I reflect over the day before, write about what cards I pulled and what they mean to me, write out some intentions, and then I’ll do a gratitude practice. Sometimes I also journal this, and sometimes I’ll make a voice note on my phone.

10:00 AM: Once I’m done with my morning practice I start my day! Since I work remotely, I don’t always put my makeup on in the morning. Usually I’ll be wearing something cozy around the house to write and if I have to leave I’ll do my makeup, snuff out my Venus candle, and go.

Christianna, 26, Stripper and Writer

Photo by @starr.peach.champagne

9:40 AM: I open my eyes and check my phone. My whole body is sore. It’s raining outside. I’ve been exhausted these past few days so I resolve to sleep another hour because it’s ungodly for sex workers to wake up before noon without reason.

10:27 AM: My phone is buzzing. It’s my sister asking me how to get into waitressing for a strip club. I tell her to do some research and call around. Find a small club and ask if they’re hiring. Set up a date, and wear cute lingerie. She asks me if waitresses wear lingerie. I reply that most wear bikinis, bodysuits, or some kind of corset over short-shorts. She asks if I know any dancers in NYC who might be able to help her. I reply that I know one, but I only have her Insta. I check my acting group chat. I check my Insta. One of my favorite people reposted my latest entry, and I have forty new followers. I thank her. I feel so small and grateful.

10:55 AM: I set water to boil and grind my beans. I have a Chemex because I’m a coffee snob and I’m too lazy to clean the grounds from my french press. I feel anxious because I have to write a new story [for my Patreon subscription base], but I made the mistake of telling two of my recent clients to subscribe to my Patreon. Now I’m worried about what they might think if they see themselves in one of my stories and aren’t pleased by the picture I’ve painted. Men are so fragile.

11:40 AM: I start writing, the bulk of my work today. I’m working from home, listening to the pitter patter of rain outside. How strange to have three days of rain in Los Angeles. Today I will write about race in the club. [...] We’ve all had racialized situations, whether it’s someone reveling in their “yellow fever” or talking about how they’ve “never dated a white girl before.” [...] Such is the club and the illusions we inhabit.

Sophia Assila, 25, HR Coordinator, Denver


6:00 AM: I wake up, usually either because my dream was getting too bizarre, or because I have the sudden fear that I have slept through my job, my manager has now fired me, he's now calling my landlord... you get it. Today, it's the last one.

6:01 AM: I realize none that of that is real and I still have an hour to sleep. Heck yes.

7:00 AM: I wake up to my alarm and immediately get out of bed, ripping the bandaid off of my slumber. I check my phone, impartial to most texts; interested in my boyfriend's. He usually crosses my mind first thing.

7:02 AM: I get to the bathroom, look in the mirror, quickly look away out of sheer self respect (bedhead and leftover makeup try to convince me otherwise) and then pee. This part is all a blur, really, because I am still so tired.

7:05 AM: I take a shower. Shampoo on, face washed. Shampoo rinsed, conditioner on. Body wash, conditioner rinsed. (Riveting stuff, really.)

7:15 AM: I lather up to prepare myself for the dry Colorado day ahead of me, then make my bed. I feel a sense of accomplishment for making my room tidy; a daily cadence. Adulting, baby!

7:20 AM: I head to the kitchen, where I boil water in a teapot to prepare breakfast. I'm kind of a pack animal when it comes to my weekday breakfast routine: oatmeal with a scoop of peanut butter and cinnamon with a cup of tea on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday—you get the idea.

7:25 AM: I do my makeup and hair and get dressed in a way that makes me look "approachable." As someone who works in HR, this is more or less part of the job.

7:40 AM: I put the hot water in my oatmeal and tea, stir, and eat. As I think about the day ahead of me, I'm assuming it will be a good one. I grab my keys and try to remember whether or not there will be free food at work today. Sadly, I don't think so. I run to the King Soopers downstairs to grab some grub, then I'm off to start my day!

Ariane Martins, 24, Creative Strategy, New York


7:20 AM: My phone alarm rings loudly beside my pillow. I lucid dream that I’m already up and starting my daily routine (does this happen to anyone else?!) and hit almost an hour’s worth of the snooze button.

8:00 AM: I stretch my limbs and sluggishly roll out of bed, kicking myself for staying up until 3:00 AM watching a movie. I must've inherited this nocturnal trait from the other women in my family. We are definitely creatures of the night—not morning people.

8:10 AM: I put in my contact lenses. Lately, I've been thinking about how fucked I would be on a deserted island without a supply.

8:15 AM: I drink a glass of water with two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar.

8:20 AM: I get into a scalding hot shower, my most sacred ritual. I’ve tried skipping this ritual, but it really throws me off. I blame it on the combination of my Taurus sun (self-indulgence) and Virgo moon (restoring purity). Mmmmm.

8:40 AM: Zoned out in the shower, need to rush now. My biggest time-saver is that my hair air-dries pretty nicely and quickly. I tone and moisturize, then grab a clean pair of underwear from the drier.

I have a festive night planned, so I search my closet for something that’s work and play appropriate. After four outfit changes, I decide I'll come back to change in between.

9:00 AM: Time to pick my poison. I'm big on different fragrances for different moods. I feel like taking today on with "Sequoia Wood." It's fresh, earthy, and sensual. I get my work bag together (laptop, wallet, keys, some makeup) and am out the door.

9:05 AM: I untangle my earphones waiting for the elevator. I hate walking/moving without music, especially when my walk is a bit of an industrial eyesore.

9:20 AM: The J train is sardine-packed and slow, and I'm a bit anxious. I skip my daily DuoLingo lesson (2019 goalz) and opt for some Nicola Cruz. Always does the trick. My cinematic mind wanders to South American junglescapes as I reach my own jungle of sorts: Lower Manhattan.

Samantha Allen, 23, Event Operations Manager, Denver


7:30 AM: My first alarm goes off. I immediately panic to find my phone that is somehow always lost in my sheets. I hit whatever button I can find with my eyes closed to just make the thing stop beeping.

7:45 AM: Snooze.

8:00 AM: My alarm goes off again. I find myself trying to pinpoint the absolute latest time I can arrive at work without getting in trouble. I decide that if I can manage to get there before 10:00 AM, no one will notice that I'm running slightly later than usual. I set an alarm for 8:30 AM.

8:30 AM: Reluctantly, I finally open my eyes and start waking up. I scroll through all my social media platforms to waste time before I absolutely have to get out of bed.

8:35 AM: I turn on the shower. While the water heats up, I pee and brush my teeth.

8:40 AM: Quick shower.

8:55 AM: After shower routine: toner, moisturizer, sunscreen. Then, brush hair, apply hair oil, lather my body with lotion, and put on a robe.

9:05 AM: I realize I am out of coffee and have a mini melt down.

9:07 AM: I start making a breakfast I know will be subpar without my morning cup of coffee. Today, it's toast with almond butter, bananas, and honey. While spreading almond butter on my toast, I kick myself for indulging in a $10 jar of the stuff. Who do I think I am?

9:15 AM: I turn on Friends and eat my breakfast while simultaneously putting on my makeup; no time means I have to multi-task. My makeup routine consists of foundation, concealer, powder, eyebrows, and mascara.

9:30 AM: I rush to pick out an outfit. I land on a pair of black Levi corduroys, a black cropped sweater, and boots. My office is “business casual,” which I've realized means whatever I want it to.

9:40 AM: I pack up my things for the day: laptop, computer charger, wallet, keys. I am going to a dinner party after work, so I try to scrounge for a bottle of wine to bring. I think about how I sometimes miss college hangs, back when showing up to a function empty-handed was acceptable.

9:45 AM: I take out the trash and head out for the day.