As you may have read on my Lockdown Survival Guide, routine is actually one of the few necessities I have allowed myself over the past few weeks, especially in the mornings. While I do try and tackle something different every day, there is something almost sacred in my morning routine. It sets me up for the day ahead, puts a smile on my face and, in a strange way, makes me feel like I have achieved a few things and ticked a few things off that list before any of the real work has begun…
6.30am Wake Up
Yes, I know this is ridiculously early given the flexible lifestyle we are all adopting at the moment (goodbye, commute), but I am an early bird and feel like those extra few hours in the AM really increase my productivity for the day. I have continued to set my alarm each morning and aim to be straight out of bed once that goes off. My body has adapted to this alarm now and I’ll often find myself wide awake before that horrendous shrill sound assaults my ears. Proof, if ever, that practice does indeed make perfect.
6.40am Puppy Time
I am very lucky to have a dog. Very lucky. She tends to be a bit more lethargic in the mornings compared to me, but nothing quite beats the affection of man’s best friend when they first see you in the morning. I’ll take her into the garden for ten minutes or so and hit that magic button on the Nespresso Machine. By the time we are done, I have the aroma of coffee permeating every corner of the house; it is simply the best smell to wake up to.
Coffee in hand, it’s time to prepare and reflect. My Six Minute Diary is a lifeline here. It has changed the way I approach each day, allowing me to set out my goals, reaffirm positivity, and generally get my mind working for the day ahead. One very useful section helps me set out what I am grateful for each morning; immediately switching my mindset to be a positive one. At the end of each day it also encourages you to reflect on what you are most proud of that day. Nothing beats accountability.
Sometimes I will hit the tarmac (or a workout) fasted, but I do like to take on some carbohydrates here if possible. Currently I am trying to load the majority of my carb intake to the mornings, and so a decent bowl of porridge topped with some honey or fruit is my go-to in the AM. As a slow-release carbohydrate it provides me with the right amount of fuel for the next few hours and is the perfect partner to all that caffeine.
“The early bird catches the worm”. Call me keen, but I always feel like getting across, and replying to, emails before the working day has officially started is a good way to approach the inbox. You probably won’t be getting instant replies and it gets a task done before that crucial 9am slot. I’ll refer to the list I have drawn out in my diary and, once this is done, I’ll then write up another list on what I want to achieve for the day ahead.
8am Ten Minutes of Calm
Having dipped in and out of a few meditation apps over the past few years (special mention to Headspace too), I have found that the Calm app is a great, bitesize, way of getting that ten minutes of inner peace sorted. The daily sessions are varied and useful, and it’s a great way just to steady my mind each morning and clear any thoughts from the night before. This is particularly useful at a time when dreams are slightly more vivid than usual!
8.10am Run or Workout (or Yoga)
I have become something of a running addict over the past few weeks; maybe it’s the pursuit of sunshine or (again) the structure and tangibility of taking on PB times and stomping my way across the kilometres, but there is something really liberating about running outdoors. If my legs are tired or I have just clocked up a new PB, I’ll do a bodyweight workout in the back garden. If it’s a recovery day, I’ll take this hour or so to stretch out the body with some guided yoga.