Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's job as a congresswoman requires her to be "on call 24/7," she said in a recent video for Vanity Fair. But first thing in the morning, she's not "one of those 4 a.m., go for a jog, happy as a clam [people]," she said.
Instead, the youngest member of Congress' morning routine is surprisingly relatable.
"I am an aspiring morning person," Ocasio-Cortez said. The 31-year-old from New York said she wakes up at 7 a.m. or 8 a.m., because she often stays up late working.
First thing in the morning, Ocasio-Cortez checks her phone, including text messages, Slack notifications, email and occasionally social media, she told Vanity Fair.
"I can be a little bad when it comes to social media use," said Ocasio-Cortez, who has 9.4 million Twitter followers and 7.4 million on Instagram. "Sometimes I'll check it right after I wake up. I've been trying not to do that so much though."
On days when she doesn't need move her car due to New York City's alternate-side parking rules, Ocasio-Cortez makes coffee in a stovetop coffee maker, called a "greca." Or she will prepare a matcha tea drink with frothed milk, she said.
For breakfast, she said she eats toast with nut butter or a smoothie.
"The most important part of my morning routine has been drinking water," she said. "I like to put some lemon in my water, and I try to drink it pretty slowly and mindfully."
Drinking water is part of her meditation practice: "I'll look out my window. I'll try to look at the clouds passing by, just really slow down for even a minute, five minutes in the morning," she said.
Around nine or 9:30 a.m., after completing her skincare routine (a vitamin C serum, moisturizer and sunscreen), reviewing her schedule and reading the news on her phone, Ocasio-Cortez walks to work.
Her schedule varies depending on whether she is in New York City or Washington D.C. "For me, there's no regular set schedule," she said.
An oversight committee or a financial services hearing is typically from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., with breaks that get filled with meetings.
Like many people working remotely, her days are sometimes back-to-back Zoom calls.
Figuring out when to stop working is a challenge, Ocasio-Cortez said. "You have to kind of set hard rules for yourself, even though there's no off." She aims to be done by 6 p.m., "knowing that there'll be plenty of times that I'll be working till 7:00, 8:00, 10:00 at night."
In fact, Ocasio-Cortez said she does her best work and thinking at night. During the Covid-19 pandemic, she has become "a night owl," she said. To unwind, she watches reality TV, such as Netflix's "Selling Sunset."
"I feel like I'm getting FOMO by going to sleep early," Ocasio-Cortez explained. "So, my ideal bedtime is probably like 11:30 or midnight."
According to AOC, "the key to that kind of a demanding schedule, I think, is flexibility," she said.