I juggle lots of travel, train regularly but also have a variety of other stressors that can take their toll on day-to-day living. If I don’t maintain a balanced lifestyle that provides some calm and recovery (mentally and physically) I’m not going to be at my best.
I follow a simple routine that I can easily stick to, even if I’m travelling and away from home. Doing it every day helps me to achieve more, think clearly, and do work that actually matters.
I always start my day with a warm mug of fresh ginger tea, with lemon and apple cider vinegar. I make this by boiling a pan of filtered water with some fresh ginger root for a few minutes.
I then transfer this to a mug and add the juice of half a lemon and a teaspoon organic apple cider vinegar. Next, I’ll take two capsules of Power Up: Day Time Nootropic. Power Up is a combination of botanical extracts and ayurvedic herbs that keeps me energetic throughout the day.
This is my morning ritual that allows my internal engine to fire up.
The first activity I do after my morning ginger tea is to head out and sit for a moment in front of the ocean. I am blessed to live by the coast, and I can’t imagine a better way to start the day.
Once I’m settled out there on my chair, facing the ocean, I begin to quietly observe my breath. This often leads to a few minutes of meditation with my eyes closed.
I enjoy simply sitting, getting in tune with myself and the natural world. If the weather is really terrible, I’ll do this inside on my couch or a chair inside.
When I’m sitting outside facing the ocean, or even indoors on my couch, my meditation practice blends into some breathing exercises. I bring my attention to the way I am feeling, so I can centre in to my morning practice.
At this point, I’ll do a few simple rounds of breath holds, where I breathe in for a count of 4, hold my breath for a count of 4, and exhale slowly for a count of 6. If you’d like to try this, you can adapt the length of each section to suit what feels comfortable for you. The main thing is to exhale for a little longer than you inhale.
Next, I’ll do a little morning free flow to get my body moving. This could take a variety of forms depending on where I am and how much time I have. It could be anything between 5 and 20 minutes. I always focus on opening up my hips, my shoulders, my chest and doing some spinal articulations to wake up my body. This gets me feeling good and ready to take on the day.
No matter where I am, or what type of work I am doing – especially if I’ve been working on my computer – I take a little time in the afternoon to get outside.
If I’m in London, I might simply take a walk in the park, and get some sunlight on my face. If I can, I’ll roll out a mat and do a few yoga exercises, to open up those hips again, and make sure my back and shoulders are mobile. It’s so easy to close up the body when you’re sitting at a desk all day.
If I’m at home by the coast, I’ll take a little time out to go for a swim in the sea, or if the waves are good, jump on my board for a surf. Whatever I manage to get in, movement is key to break up the day.
Mid-afternoon is a great moment to take a little time out to focus on myself again. If I’ve been running around between meetings or working away on my laptop, I’ll try and take just a little moment to get back to myself.
If I’ve had the chance to lay out a yoga mat, I can take this occasion to reconnect with my breathing. I’ll close my eyes for a few moments, tune into how I feel and just take some time out.
At this point, if I’m feeling a little stressed or scattered, I’ll do a few rounds of breath works where I’ll breathe in for a count of 4, and exhale for double the time, a count of 8. Feel free to choose a length that works for you, the important thing is to double the exhalation count.
Mid-afternoon is smoothie time. I make a jam-packed smoothie with as many nutrients as I can possibly get my hands on. I’ll include some fruit, vegetables, maybe a piece of ginger root, and depending on how much training I’ve done on that day, I’ll include some organic protein powder too. I’m a huge fan of vegan protein powders – Peanut Butter and Fresh Blueberry. They are completely natural and taste great.
I don’t always have time for a good training session during the day, so I often fit one into my evening routine.
This could take different forms depending on where I am and what I feel like. I’ll either go for a swim in the sea, go for a run, or go lift some weights in the gym.
I’ll try to do this earlier on in the evening so that I have enough time for some calming practices before bed.
Evening time is laptop downtime. I put my electronics away, switch off my phone, and if I’m lucky, head out to watch the sun set over the sea. A fantastic way to close off the day.
I like to have an early dinner, and later, give myself a short calming practice before bed. I tend to include a little yoga nidra at this time, which involves laying down and mentally scanning my body from head to toe. This is a really nice way to settle the body and mind.
The goal here is to wind down the nervous system, and achieve a relaxed state of mind, perfect for slumbering into a deep restful sleep. I take my sleep very seriously!
Before bed, I’ll usually prepare a calming herbal drink, often a warm lavender tea.
If I’ve trained hard that day, I’ll go for a loaded bedtime smoothie instead, with some oats as a source of tryptophan to help me recover and drift off to sleep.
I always take Unplug at this point too. It helps me ensure I get really high-quality sleep, which I’ve turned into one of my biggest priorities on a daily basis.
I really feel that no effort is ever wasted. If you haven’t got much time or are really busy, before you sit down, just spend 20 minutes moving your body in any way you can, whether it’s yoga, running or swimming. I guarantee you whatever you’re hoping to achieve that day, it will be a lot easier to manage if you’ve made a bit of an extra effort. You’ll be more focused and more positive and you then have more power to give to other people.
You are the biggest priority. When you have topped up yourself and given yourself a little bit of self-care, you are much better equipped to handle whatever the day throws at you.