Fresh Start: Overhaul your morning routines this spring
As ever, spring makes us feel as though something new is starting. The sun rises earlier and sets later. There is that tiniest little bit of warmth in the air and there are flowers popping up everywhere. What better to time to re-invigorate your routines after the long dark of winter.
One of the most important times of your day is your morning. The routines you set in place when you wake up set the tone for your entire day and if you take a few moments to get those right, the whole day will fall into place more easily.
Start with something simple and very effective: Make your bed and tidy up your bedroom. Sounds unimportant, but the very act of pulling up the sheets and clearing the floor can give you a psychological boost. You have achieved something. You have cleared space. You are ready to go. As U.S. Navy Admiral William H. McRaven said is his commencement speech at the University of Texas: "If you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task, and another, and another. And by the end of the day that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed." Oh – and you’ll be climbing into a smooth, crisp bed at the end of that day.
Take a moment to think and plan. Start with meditation. This can take whatever form you like – deep, practiced meditation, or a simple downloadable voice-guided meditation to help you centre yourself and calm any early anxieties you have about your day. Follow this with a few moments writing down a plan for your day. If you are a list person create a to-do list – an achievable, simple one. Nothing ruins a day like a 200 point to-do list that includes things like “get out of debt” or “learn Spanish”. In fact – give yourself a break and add “go for a walk” or “take a 15 minute coffee break” to your list so that you have something to look forward to.
Move your body. If you have time to go for a run, walk, yoga class or gym session – do it. But most of us don’t. If all of these are out of the question find some way to get yourself moving. A quick salute to the sun yoga sequence in your living room is a great start, or a 3 minute set of push-ups, lunges and crunches. Whatever it is, get some blood flowing around your body and you’ll feel much more like taking on the day.
Look after your skin. Yes – you know we were going to say that. Of course – it's our mission! So many people forget to look after their skin in the morning rush, but you can do a pared down skincare routine in less than a minute. Cleanse gently – we love our Petitgrain Cleanser in the morning. You shouldn’t have a lot of dirt or makeup to remove, so it just does a gentle clean and preps your skin for nourishment. Add a few drops of your favourite skin oil (ours is N.E.O) to a rosewater toner and massage it into your face. If you feel puffy after sleep you might want to get yourself some gentle lymphatic drainage massage. Add a moisturiser and you’re done. If your skin is a little less dry in spring, you might need to swap out your heavier winter moisturiser for a lighter one, like our White Tea Antioxidant Day Cream. Give your skin a few minutes to soak up the goodness before you do your makeup and have something to eat.
Breakfast doesn’t have to be something you grab at the 7-Eleven on the way to work. If you keep it simple and plan in advance you can have something quick ready to go. Think about what you want breakfast to do. You need it to give you energy, strength and focus. Work backwards from there and you realise you need protein, carbohydrates, fibre and as many vitamins and minerals as you can pack in. This might be oatmeal with a sprinkle of seeds, nuts and fruit. Or it might be a power-packed smoothie with cacao and protein powder. Or – if you are really pushed for time, keep some pot-set Greek yoghurts in your refrigerator so that you can grab something full of all the good things and eat it in the car. Another great option is to bake yourself a half dozen huge healthy muffins each weekend and have them ready to go in the mornings.
Guess what - you can do all of that in a half-hour if you have to and not only will you look rested and ready for the day, you’ll feel fresh and invigorated mentally as well. That’s the beauty of spring – it encourages a fresh outlook every year.