This week we talk to Louise Troen, Vice President of Marketing for Headspace about sleep hygiene, life hacks to boost your day and get acquainted with 'Spriming'.
How do you wake up, an alarm, naturally or woken by someone else?
Woken up by my alarm, but I’ve started sleeping without blinds so that I wake up to natural light. I think we need to start revisiting the way we sleep, our hygiene around falling sleep - but also waking up. I’m a BIG fan of sleeping (and don’t see any need for this culture that glamorises lack of sleep ) so do anything I can to get some effective shut eye.
Do you spring out of bed, snooze or take some time to wake up whilst in bed ?
I try not to snooze because it’s scientifically proven to make you less productive in the day because you’re tricking your body into thinking it’s going back into a rest mode when actually in limbo so neither functioning, or in respite. I’m probably somewhere in the middle of some days springing, and some days taking some time. Let’s call it spriming. I like to sprime out of bed.
Whilst ‘Spriming’, is there any activity you do daily such as checking phone, read a paper, make a list for the day)?
I’m actually not a list person. It sort of lives in my head pretty clearly. I do check my phone, but mostly to read the news which I find helpful on apple news because you get an array of titles, with varying opinions and journalistic stances.
First drink of the day?
Coffee. Always. My best friend in LA has this life motto ‘get your coffee, get your day’ and I fully agree with this. I tried the whole lemon water thing but I’m too lazy to make and drink both. I probably should. My godmother drinks lemon water every morning (and has done for 15 years), and she looks about 25.
Do you take any supplements?
I’ve just started taking collagen with water in the morning (for buoyancy of skin) and I also take Vitamin D. I try to also take Magnesium, which is a great supplement for anxiety, and sleep - but I’m not brilliantly consistent with it.
What does your breakfast routine involve?
I usually have a smoothie, with a spoonful of protein powder. I’m not huge on breakfast during the week so usually have an earlier, bigger lunch.
What does your morning dental hygiene look like?
Actually nothing special. Just a normal brush, and floss. I’ve just started seeing a new Dentist (Dr Rhona) as I grind my teeth and am thinking about composite bonding to help where I’ve chipped some of the tooth away (probably TMI but I’m here for that)
What does your skincare (face and body) routine look like, does this change for the seasons?
I’m a fan of Dr Barabara Sturm (she’s a friend and her products are amazing) and Sunday Riley. I typically cleanse, tone, moisturise and do a mask a couple of times a week. I also try to get a facial once every two months. Recently, I’ve been going to Skinworks in Soho.
What does your grooming routine look like, does this depend on what you have planned for your day?
It’s the same every day for me. A base of Chantecaille ‘just skin’ foundation (it’s super light and just gives you equal coverage that looks super natural) with Nars under eye concealer and Chantecaille mascara. I always pop some Elizabeth Arden on my eyelids too to brighten the face. That’s about it. I’m not brilliant at makeup but what I like, I stay committed to.
Describe your morning exercise routine, does this differ at the weekend?
I typically walk / run on an incline for 5K and then do 20 mins of weights three times a week. I’m a big pilates fan too (it feels like my soul is being hugged) but naturally we haven't been able to do this recently. Weekends I take a longer run (usually 10K). Running is a form of meditation for me. For me, meditation is really anything that keeps you present in your breathing and the moment. It doesn’t always have to be done in stillness. It just needs to get you to a place of stillness, and running does this for me.
Do you plan in a daily wellness exercise for maintaining good mental health, is this everyday or when needed?
Exercise has been critical for me in my mental health journey. The science behind it is indisputable. Physical activity stimulates the release of dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. These brain chemicals play an important part in regulating your mood. We know that regular exercise can positively impact serotonin levels in your brain, which is why I commit to it daily - even if it’s a walk.
Do you listen to music, podcasts, radio or watch TV whilst getting ready?
Yep - big fan of all. I usually listen to the radio when I wake (it makes me feel like the rest of the world is awake), and then a podcast sometime during the day. I love the Guardian’s daily podcast ‘Today, in Focus’that discusses top headline news. It’s a great way to stay on top of the news agenda in bitesize format. I also love Fearne Cotton’s podcast ‘Happy Place’ - it’s a great resource to help relieve the stigma of mental health, which I’m wildly passionate about championing.
What do you read in the morning; news, favourite blogs, check the weather forecast?
I’m a big fan of The Cut - another great Global news resource in bitesize fashion. I get their daily newsletters which I love to read when I get time in the day.
What would be your advice to someone wanting to adopt healthier habits within their morning routine?
I’d think of your mind, and body like a machine. It needs charging, stimulating, fuelling and monitoring. Make sure you’re getting good rest, make sure your stimulating it when you wake with what works to get you in a good mood (exercise, podcasts, calling a friend), fueling it with what you need to be alert (food, coffee, fresh air) and monitoring how you feel as you switch those things up. Sticking to a routine is a brilliant way of exercising discipline and the value of discipline in everyday happiness for me is critical.
What is the most important element within your morning routine that you couldn’t live without?
Fresh air. Whether it’s walking to get a coffee, opening your windows, or going for a run - going outside and getting some movement is always a good idea. Perspective, nature, fresh air in your lungs - it’s the best way to start any day and we all have access to it.
Has your morning routine changed recently, what did you change and why?
I recently started a new job at Headspace where I work slightly later hours because some of the team are in LA. I’ve shifted round my routine to start a bit later in the mornings to give me time to get my coffee, do my exercise and get outside. It’s important you set boundaries that work for you, and stick to them.
Can you share any ‘life hack’ tricks for morning routines?
- Give yourself an hour before sitting at your desk to work. Going from sleep to laptop is not the best way to function at maximum productivity levels.
- Speak to someone outside of your work before you have your first meeting. A friend, your family, a mentor. I always feel a great sense of perspective when I do this and it reminds me what’s important before the day starts.
- Fresh air. Fresh air. Fresh air.
What are the essentials you carry with you every day?
- Elizabeth Arden 8 hour cream
- Portable charger (this also comes in handy to help others)
- A mask, obvs