My Quarantine Morning Routine
Since Lockdown was enforced here in the UK, many of us have had extra time at home. I wanted to share the simple routine I've been following to make my days more productive and efficient.
A good morning routine can ensure you start the day right and set you on the right track for the remainder of the day.
Do you start your day by waking up and checking your phone? If you want to have a more productive and enjoyable day, it may be worth a change in your routine. Looking at your phone first thing in the morning can set you up for a terrible day. If you suffer from anxiety or stress, this may be exacerbating these feelings. If you take one thing away from this, try not checking your phone for a good hour upon waking (this may be challenging).
I try to start my day with gratitude, nourishment and movement. I then follow a general plan to ensure I don’t just float through the hours of every day. It’s very easy to waste a lot of time when stuck at home. I hope that you find this some of this useful.
The Morning Routine
0600-0700 – Wake. Ideally without an alarm. My blackout blind blocks out any light from streetlights but allows just enough morning sun to waken me naturally. I’ll have an alarm set for around 0700 just in case, but I generally don’t need this to wake up, with the exception of darker winter months. In the height of summer I use a sleeping mask to block out the sunlight and ensure I get enough quality rest. For more tips on sleep hygiene check this out - 10 Tips To Help You Sleep
0630 – 0700 – Bathroom time. I’ll oil pull with coconut oil for around 5-10 mins, sometimes longer if I have a few quick things to do around the house. Then I floss and brush. Yep, every day. Flossing is only a chore when you a) use the wrong floss b) don’t do it regularly and your gums bleed c) you haven’t gotten into the habit of it. I’ll also quickly splash my face, hair and neck with cold water. It feels good and wakes me right up.
0700 – Hydrate. I ensure to drink around a litre of water pretty much as soon as I rise. This water is purified in a Megahome Distiller then remineralised with a touch of Celtic sea salt or liquid ionic minerals. I’ll often make some tea, matcha green, puer (if I’m on a caffeine week – I do a max of 7 weeks on caffeine with 1 week off to negate any negative health effects and avoid building a tolerance or creating an addiction), or a ginger/turmeric blend (especially if my body is in need of any anti-inflammatory assistance.)
0705-0730 – Movement. I think it’s very important to start your day with movement. Even just a quick walk is great. Normally I follow a series of stretches, mobilisations and movement patterns, here is an example:
0800 – 0830 – Meditation. I’ll usually just sit for 5-10 mins quietly in the garden or by the open windows if it’s raining outside. I start with nasal breathing exercises to engage the parasympathetic nervous system then just relax and follow the breath. Often, I stumble upon great ideas or solutions to lingering problems during this time. I always follow this with some journaling, noting any feelings, concerns, thoughts or outstanding work that requires action. I recommend following some guided meditations such as headspace or Calm if you’re new to meditation then work on just meditating quietly with your breath as you become more accustomed.
0830 – 1000 – Run. This block of time is allocated to any running I have planned. It’s enough time to go for a 30 min recovery run, with some good prehab/rehab exercises and a bit of stretching. It’s also enough time for a hard 1 hr+ interval session or tempo run. If I’m not running that day I’ll either perform a strength workout, practive yoga or start on some work. I always finish with an ice cold shower and an ice bath a few times a week. I try to get out a little earlier if I have a second workout planned in the late afternoon/evening to ensure my body has time to recover and allow any adaptations to occur. Research shows that a good 6-8 hours between endurance and strength workouts is ideal.
1000-1100 – Breakfast. Typically I’ll have a giant smoothie consisting of plant based milk such as full-fat coconut milk or oat milk, some raw soaked oats and chia seeds, a handful of greens such as kale, a banana, 3-6 dates, a scoop of plant based protein, 1 tbsp maca powder, 1 tbsp. cinnamon, 1 tbsp cacao, a bunch of frozen berries (particularly of the blueb variety) and then whatever else I feel like adding. Often, I’ll add celery, avocado, chunks of fresh ginger and turmeric (along with high quality black pepper for enhanced absorption), coconut yogurt, you get the idea. I normally top this with nuts, coconut flakes, cacao nibs, berries, etc. and try to ‘chew’ my smoothie to improve digestion.
I recently posted a video on how I usually make this smoothie here;
This is a lot of calories so if you try it, ensure you adjust the ingredients accordingly! And yep, I do have a late brekkie. If my run was a particularly long (over 90 mins) or strenuous one (which most are not lately), then I will have had a piece of fruit such as a banana just 30 mins prior. Otherwise I fast 12-16 hours daily. My last meal is usually between 7-9pm which means I pretty much always fast for 12 hours minimum. Sometimes, by the time I’ve finished my run, showered and made breakfast it’s 11am, which is potentially a 16-18 hour fast. Fasting has an outstanding array of benefits which I won’t go into here but will write about at a later date.
1100 – The day commences. This often includes writing, coaching, emails, etc. I set different ‘themes’ for each day of the week and then set my tasks around them. This ensures I don’t get carried away all day on an endless list of tasks.
So that's it. Fairly simple but it provides structure and includes some important things that would often be forgotten about. My days don’t always start like this but I’m finding it particularly useful lately to follow a routine.
If this is interesting or helpful to you, leave a comment and let me know, then I’ll consider writing up an afternoon and evening routine.