How do you wake up, an alarm, naturally or woken by someone else?
I set an alarm for 7.30am morning as sleeping in is one of my biggest fears. That said it’s a pretty futile initiative as I’ll inevitably get woken up by one of my kids at 6am (who are 5 and 8), yelling up the stairs for breakfast or to come and feed the cats who have been howling for food since 5am.
Do you spring out of bed, snooze or take some time to wake up whilst in bed whilst doing an activity?
It goes against every article I’ve ever written on health and wellbeing, but I’m afraid to say that I check my phone pretty much as soon as I wake up and have a quick scan of emails and Instagram. My husband and I take it in turns to get up and make coffee, so on a good day I have a black coffee brought to me in bed. On a bad day, I’ll get up and make it and then bring it back to bed and read the papers on my phone as I drink it. Sometimes the kids will take a break from whacking each other to come for a cuddle, but if I’m honest they’re probably using it as an excuse to nick my phone and watch YouTube.
First drink of the day?
Black coffee. I wish I was one of those people who drank hot water and lemon or a giant glass of water before anything else, but I am perpetually tired and I just can’t operate properly without a hit of caffeine first thing. If on a very rare occasion I wake and don’t feel like my eyes are glued together then I might have ginger tea instead.
Do you take any supplements?
I don’t take much with huge regularity although I do take Workshop’s Probiotic + Prebiotic every day because I’m trying to be mindful about my gut health. If I feel like I’m getting sick or rundown, then I spring into action and start mainlining whatever I can get my hands on. That means a hefty dose of vitamin C (I swear by Altrient Liposmal Vitamin C) along with zinc and oregano oil. I suffer from intermittent sleep issues and when I feel like I’m in a bad spot, magnesium supplements from JS Health are good.
What does your breakfast routine involve?
Breakfast happens in two stages, the first being when the kids eat, which is also slightly rushed and manic, despite having a decent amount of time to get out the house and walk to school. I don’t have anything then except my coffee but will eat when I get back home around 9.15am. Depending on what I feel like, it’ll usually be pumpernickel toast with almond butter and sliced bananas, yoghurt with berries or a smoothie. I never used to be a smoothie person but I was converted when I finally found a decent protein powder. I love Workshop’s Organic Vanilla Pea Protein because it genuinely tastes delicious, so I have two scoops of that blended with ice, mint leaves, a banana and some oat milk.
What does your morning dental hygiene look like?
I recently got sent the Spotlight Oral Care Sonic Toothbrush and honestly, it’s a game changer. It sounds gross but it sort of feels like my teeth weren’t properly been clean until I used this! It’s owned by two brilliant Irish dentist sisters and they do a great whitening toothpaste that’s also fully recyclable and floss, so I use that too.
What does your skincare routine look like, does this change for the seasons?
My skincare routine definitely changes according to the weather so when it’s warmer I’ll use more refreshing textures and, in the winter, when I need more nourishment and hydration, I’ll add heavier formulas and oils. I cleanse my face in the shower and then when I’m out, I apply an eye cream, a hyaluronic acid serum, a day cream loaded with antioxidants like vitamin C and then follow that with an SPF, which I wear year-round.
What does your grooming routine look like, does this depend on what you have planned for your day?
Most days it’s pretty negligible as it’s always a bit of a rush getting the kids out the door, but I try to swipe some moisturiser over my limbs after I get out the shower. I tend to wash my hair in the evening and sleep with it damp as it dries with its natural wave that way, but sometimes I run a tong over it to just emphasise the waves a little better. At the weekends, I always enjoy a long hot bath; it’s one of my favourite forms of self-care. In the week it’s always showers as I can’t ever be bothered to navigate through all the plastic bath toys, but on a Saturday and Sunday I always take the time to have a proper soak with lots of oils, salts and candles. I’ll usually do a face mask, use my Light Salon LED mask and do a proper body exfoliation then too, which is such a treat.
Whats your morning exercise routine?
I have an amazing Reformer Pilates studio near where I live, so I try and get there as often as I can. That’s 5 days a week on a good week and 2-3 on an average week. I try and go straight after I’ve dropped my kids off if I can, because then it’s done and I can get on with my day. I also have two dogs that need a lot of exercise so I do a lot of walking too.
Do you plan in a daily wellness exercise for maintaining good mental health, is this everyday or when needed?
I don’t have any specific exercises but I’m trying to be more mindful about looking after my mental health and incorporating more self-care into my daily routine. It’s not always easy to do that with a full-time busy job and kids and pets and family and friends in the mix, but even if it’s just a lunchtime walk to clear my head, it helps. Sometimes when I start to feel particularly frazzled, I like to run a bath in the afternoon and jump in. There’s something illicit about a daytime bath which I think makes it all the more relaxing!
What do you read in the morning?
I usually check the weather the night before and in the morning, mainly as I walk the kids to school and need to know whether to try and find our one elusive umbrella… Other than that, I read the headlines in bed with my coffee.
What would be your advice to someone wanting to adopt good habits within their morning routine?
When I worked full time in an office laying out my clothes the night before was a habit I never wavered from. I honestly can’t underestimate how much easier and more seamless it makes the morning, especially if you have to get up and out the house on a tight deadline. And when it comes to cooking, I always make sure that I cook extra of whatever is on the menu that night, so that I have enough food for lunch the next day – even if I’m just at home at my desk. It means I’ve always got something healthy and tasty that can be quickly reheated. If I don’t do this, I’m so much more likely to graze at rubbish or give up and not eat anything at all, as I always seem to be lacking inspiration at lunchtime.
What is the most important element within your morning routine that you couldn’t live without?
My husband! We’re a great team who share everything equally anyway, but in the mornings it’s so much easier knowing that we can divide and conquer and get the kids fed, dressed and sent on their way with all the right books, bags and snacks. No matter how much we prepare the night before, the morning is always chaotic but at least it’s manageable when we do it together!
Lastly, what are the essentials you carry with you every day?
Since I’m freelance I work from home but I always have my mask, sanitiser (I love Saltee’s Hand Sanitiser) and Lucas Paw Paw Ointment on me wherever I go. I have about 5 tubes which I keep in my bag, in the car, on my desk and by my bed so that I’m never without it.