A 5.30am wake-up call is first on our columnist's daily wellbeing tick list. She explains how she uses that precious early morning time to set herself up for the day
My 5 tips for looking and feeling my best all day are...
1. For a calm mind: bookend your day with mindfulness practices
I wake at around 5.30am, I set my intentions for the day, I try to be kind to myself and check in, to understand how I am feeling in my body and my mind. I try to take about 30 minutes every morning to meditate. It helps keep me stay balanced and feel strong and confident. My practice includes breathing and focuses on a particular quality or value that I would like to improve or rebalance. Often, I choose to do a guided meditation, you can find a great selection on apps such as Headspace. I find it easier to commit each morning if I have planned the meditation I will do the night before.
Part of the reason I wake at 5.30am is to have quiet time to myself. Another tool I use to check in with myself is writing in a journal. This is something I set aside time for, it might be 15 minutes, just to write down my thoughts. It’s cathartic. I don't sweat the small stuff!
At the end of the day, I make sure I do a gratitude list (even if it’s only in my head) and get a good night’s sleep, my magic number is seven hours (full of dreams).
2. For healthy skin: alkalise, hydrate, protect
I treat and nourish from the inside and keep my regime super simple. Water, water, water! To stay hydrated from the inside, I drink at least three litres of water every day, sometimes more if I have done a hard workout. I know that if I nourish my cells from the inside it will show on the outside.
The alkalinity of your body informs your pH level, the balance of which is essential to overall wellbeing. I've been told the ideal alkaline range is pH 6.5 to 7.5. However, modern lifestyle can upset the body’s pH balance, with many of us being too acidic causing health issues big and small. I take two teaspoons of The Super Elixir Alkalising Greens (from £62) every day in 500ml of filtered water without fail. The difference it has made is extraordinary. My skin isn’t dry anymore, it looks plumper, something which has been called ‘the alkaline glow.’ The skin is a great barometer and can show how you're feeling inside.
I moisturise on the outside using coconut oil at the moment, protect myself from the sun with Invisible Zinc (£39.56) and I exfoliate my body with our new Japanese body scrub (coming soon!) in the shower every day.
A smile is the best answer for a pretty face. At WelleCo we have created a collection of natural beauty products for all the family, which is launching in September. We wanted to make it easy to choose a greener lifestyle because what we put on our skin is just as important as what we eat.
3. For exercise that makes you feel good: mix it up
I wrote last month about how I realised the importance of listening to my body when it comes to exercise. I used to think I had to reach a certain intensity at each workout but I have come to realise my body isn’t a machine - what feels good on one day, might not feel as great the next. I have always liked variety, so instead of it being any combination of high-intensity training, I choose between a range of fast and slow activities that I love. Right now, it includes Pilates, Bikram yoga, spin classes, boxing, swimming, walking, running, hiking and surfing.
4. For a healthy home: minimise chemicals
Where possible we eat organic produce and when it’s not possible to source organic I wash non-organic fruit and veg in our Fruit and Veggie Wash (£10) which is 100 times more effective at removing pesticides than washing in water alone. I choose BPA-free plastic to store food, and our household cleaning products are toxin-free. I don’t have a favourite brand, so long as they’re made from all-natural ingredients.
5. For the things you can’t control: breathe and laugh
Breathing deeply and mindfully has the power to calm the nervous system. Life can be busy and hectic, there are times when stopping and taking a few deep breaths can really redirect the energy to balance. When a situation becomes stressful, I apply humour – it helps smooth the path. My other tactic is to apply neutrality, to recount the situation to myself and others without using judgment or adjectives. I also go back to basics. I know I feel calm and centred after practising yoga, so I will add a few classes into my week.
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