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  • Melanie Fernandez

The 5am Wake-up Club

Updated: Jun 1

"Why would people wake up at 5am?", asks everyone that's remotely "sane" in this world. I used to ask myself this question a few years back, before I juggled "all the things," and quite honestly, had no answer, no clue! why anyone would inflict such pain on themselves. I'll never forget starting college and having to wake up for an 8am class - basically, the worst form of college student torture. I could barely open my eyes at that time and thus, never really went to the class (I'm pretty sure I ended up dropping the class - the process was too painful).


me in college looking young, blissful and rested since

I didn't wake up early or pay my bills. what's that like?


That was me at 18. Fast forward 16 years (OMG), an entire lifetime essentially, and I'm proud to say, 3 years ago, I joined the 5am club. It took college, law school, a career change, and two kids to get there, but we all have different entry points (if this "club" is your thing) and I'm just happy I made it.


I need to disclaim that I AM A MORNING PERSON. I do my best work in the AM and even enjoy the sound of birds chirping. Some people are not morning people (this podcast does a good job of breaking down productivity waves for people if you want to learn more about that). But after I had my daughter, my second-born, and I had to juggle a business, 2 kids under 2, and a household, I was in a deep hole. Emotionally and spiritually. I decided to learn to meditate during that time but, as you can imagine, meditating while your kids are wailing at 9am was NOT conducive to a productive meditation. I knew at that point that the only way to find the peace I needed was to wake up BEFORE everyone else but ugh, SO. HARD. I put it off because, let's be honest, things that are worth it are hard to start.



A few weeks later, I was at my sister-in-law's engagement dinner and her sister-in-law is sitting directly in front of me. She doesn't have kids but was recently married and I start talking to her about married life, and what she's up to (she had also just left a career in law). Then she proceeds to tell me about her schedule now that she's home more often and gracefully volunteers that she wakes up at 5am to...you better sit down for this one...WORK OUT. My jaw dropped in disbelief. Number one, thank you to the universe for this random tidbit reminder that I need to make this 5am thing happen and number two, she doesn't have kids, wasn't working at the time, and still managed to get up at 5am to SWEAT. I couldn't even get up to sit on a chair and close my damn eyes. What was my excuse?!


I need to thank Ali Gold for that moment (thank you, Ali!) because after that day, I started waking up, first at 6am (changes are gradual, people), and then eventually at 5-5:30am. And now, I'm happy to say it's the most treasured me-time I get all week. I meditate, enjoy my tea with my frothed oat milk, and get in about an hour and a half of work (typically the more analytical stuff that my overworked brain won't process after 12). It's currently a weekday thing but it's helped me start off my day peacefully and that peace 100% permeates throughout my day. It's helped me be more calm and level headed and for someone that juggles so much, it's been lifesaving.


So enough about me. I went ahead and interviewed other awesome ladies who wake up at 5am and here's what they have to say:

Anne Gonzalez: I like to wake up at 5am because it allows me to have a particular sense of serenity and peace that I can't have at any other time. The day is just beginning and I really think there's something magical about that time. I usually do some combination of: meditating, journaling, reading, reciting gratitude mantras, working out, and simply enjoying coffee in stillness.


Francy Freixas: "Waking up early affects my mindset in a positive way." "At first, I thought it was so great to wake up late. But as the weeks have passed, I realize I really miss waking up early and starting the day early with peace & quiet and the ritual of self-care."


Jessica Riorda: "I've always been a morning person so it's easy for me but once I had kids I made it a priority. It's guaranteed "me" time every morning...I do have a no electronics rule during this hour. I usually listen to music, have coffee, journal. It's literally an hour of me doing what I think will help me have a better day-professionally and personally. I notice it gives me a positive kick start to the day!"

What do you think?! Did I convince you to join the Club?


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