My Morning Routine

⇾ Waris Ahluwalia, Actor and Entrepreneur

My Morning Routine

⇾ Waris Ahluwalia,
Actor and Entrepreneur

The House of Waris Botanicals founder on slowing down to get more done

The House of Waris Botanicals founder Waris Ahluwalia

You might recognize Waris Ahluwalia from Wes Anderson films or the Netflix show Russian Doll. Or perhaps you've seen the countless street style shots of him—his dapper personal style has landed him on several high profile best-dressed lists. Ahluwalia lives a life surrounded by beautiful things. He designed jewelry, which he says taught him not to compromise. “If you're off by half a millimeter, that stone will pop out,” he says. “It's taught me to push and to persist until I get it right.” Working with conservation organizations like Elephant Family created a tangible thread that he felt “connects all living beings and the injustices suffered across the planet.” It also made him look at his work differently. House of Waris Botanicals is more than Ahluwalia's tea brand. It's an exploration into a more thoughtful way of living through the use of plant science, community and celebration. “We're focused on redesigning our relationship to wellbeing and stress for a better you,” he says. “The whole world has been told to slow down and that's been one of our central themes—our speed, desire for shortcuts, need for productivity has led down a dangerous path.” Herewith, Ahluwalia's slow, studied morning routine.

The Series

Those moments between turning off the alarm and getting into our work routine can be the most defining 60 minutes of our day. Benjamin Franklin set a day's worth of plans by 5 am and Steve Jobs asked a simple question: "If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?" Our rituals are a reflection of us. So we've ventured out to discover how some of our most influential and fruitful peers get started.

Waris Ahluwalia illustration

My Routine

I’m usually up by 8 am.

I wish it was at the first light of day, but I'm not there ... yet.

I could be better about sleep.

I don't always get eight hours, but I strive for it as much as I can.

I don’t rush things.

The first thing I do after waking up is to write down any details from my dreams. Then I take ten minutes for meditation and breathing exercises. Right now, we have an opportunity to create better habits. Better structures. Better lives. Don't settle for going back to normal. Normal is not good enough. Let's breakdown old ways that clearly weren't working.

Deep breathing is one of the most important parts of my morning.

Can't say that enough. It helps me mentally prepare for the day. We were never taught how to breathe properly so we're all shallow breathers. This does not get enough oxygen to the trillions of cells in our body. Breathe. Deep.

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I have a glass of water while I make breakfast.

I put water in the kettle for a hot cup of Sweet Clarity. It's our adaptogenic focus and energy blend—there's rhodiola, tulsi, ginger, eleuthera, sweet basil, cardamom and orange peel.

A light breakfast works for me.

Lately it's been chia pudding with blackberries, bananas, apples, almonds and good Ceylon cinnamon.

The best time, for me, to workout is in the morning.

By the afternoon or evening I have way too much on my mind. The workout in the morning helps with the clarity needed to get through my day. The endorphins also put me in a great mood, ready to take on the madness of the day. Pre-pandemic I used to go to the gym. Now I run for three miles, do pushups, body weight squats and yoga.

I’d be lost without a list and my calendar.

Early on in the pandemic's lockdown, I kept missing calls because I didn't have my calendar in front on me. (Sorry to all who were affected.) I'm becoming much better at WFH now.

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After my workout, I hop in the shower.

I keep it simple, but have found the products that work for me. Like a trusted serum and creativity-boosting fragrance.

Beard maintenance is simple but necessary.

Shampoo, conditioner and a few drops of argan oil from Morocco is the secret.

Waris Ahluwalia's favorite grooming products

Clockwise, from top left

Momo hydrating shampoo,
$29 by Davines

Active botanical serum,
$185 by Vinter's Daughter

Argan oil hair treatment,
$21.99 by Agadir

Acetate beard comb,
$31 by Buly 1803

Sweet Clarity tea,
$28 by House of Waris

Organic chia seeds,
$6.87 by BetterBody Foods

Baisers de Jasmin solid cologne,
$95 by In Fiore

Momo conditioner,
$33 by Davines

Waris Ahluwalia's favorite grooming products

Momo conditioner,
$33 by Davines

Momo hydrating
shampoo, $29
by Davines

Active botanical
serum, $185 by
Vinter's Daughter

Argan
oil hair
treatment,
$21.99 by
Agadir

Acetate
beard comb,
$31 by Buly 1803

Sweet Clarity tea,
$28 by House of Waris

Organic
chia seeds,
$6.87 by
BetterBody Foods

Baisers de Jasmin
solid cologne,
$95 by In Fiore

“I use a brush I picked up in Punjab, India, but this one’s good too.”

Clockwise, from top left

Momo hydrating shampoo,
$29 by Davines

Active botanical serum,
$185 by Vinter's Daughter

Argan oil hair treatment,
$21.99 by Agadir

Acetate beard comb,
$31 by Buly 1803

Sweet Clarity tea,
$28 by House of Waris

Organic chia seeds,
$6.87 by BetterBody Foods

Baisers de Jasmin solid cologne,
$95 by In Fiore

Momo conditioner,
$33 by Davines

I miss how I used to dress.

It's funny to be thinking about how I got dressed before the state we're all in now. There was no planning. My dressing was based on my mood—completely of the moment. But, I should warn, dressing for mood makes you the worst packer because you have to be prepared for any mood.

Things are different now.

When you're not leaving the house, getting dressed takes on a very different meaning. The suits definitely don't get touched. It's more about comfort. However, I'm not a fan of sweat pants. We may be stuck at home but that doesn't mean I've given up on life. Pajamas have taken on a whole new life.

Don't leave home without it.

Don't leave home without it.

These day, before I leave the house, I grab our indigo dyed three-layer face mask, made in collaboration with Philip Huang with the words “Love Conquers All” screen printed on it. Step forward with love everyday.

NOTE: Items featured in this story are independently selected. Purchasing via our links may earn Valet. a portion of the sale, which helps fund our editorial mission.

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