Wellbeing

The Power of a Morning Routine

By Venetia Falconer
19.12.18

Venetia Falconer, presenter and creator of Talking Tastebuds, shares her daily morning routine that helps to kick-start her day in the right way. 

 

As a self-employed multi-hyphen, no day in my life is the same, which is exciting and challenging in equal measure. As someone who struggles with anxiety, I have found that nothing helps maintain my mental health more than committing to a solid morning routine. It’s based around things I’ve learnt on meditation courses, in yoga classes and by the brilliant guests who appear on my podcast, Talking Tastebuds.

I’m aware that talking about routine during the festive period seems counter-intuitive, but actually, it’s during this time that our brains will benefit from a little structure the most. And it may just prevent you from saying that slightly-too-catty comment during a family altercation over a mince pie and hot toddy this Christmas…

Please note that this is something I’ve been developing for the majority of my twenties, and the most important takeaway from this article, is to set aside a minimum of 20 minutes each morning, that is solely YOUR time, in which you do something that makes you feel good. Taking 10 - 20 deep breaths and then reading a book by candlelight is a lovely way to start.

6:30am is my preferred time to wake up. I never have my phone in my bedroom, so I wake up to a sunrise from a Lumie alarm clock, perfect for winter time when Seasonal Affective Disorder is in full swing. I also prefer to keep the lights off and just have a few candles burning, something that Melissa Hemsley advised when she interviewed me for the end of series 3 of my podcast.

6:35am I boil the kettle and pour a mug of warm water. I used to drink hot water and lemon, but my teacher at the London Meditation Centre advised that forgoing the lemon is easier on the digestion first thing, and I’ve not looked back since. Jasmine Hemsley - queen of ayurveda - is also a big warm water advocate, and whatever Jas suggests - I do!

6.40am I jump into a freezing cold shower for a minimum of 30 seconds. I first came across Cold Water Therapy via the ice don that is Wim Hof, before discussing it further on my podcast with Max Lowery and trying it for myself in the freezing cold Irish sea in County Wicklow, with The Happy Pear, who swim at sunrise each morning, every single day of the year. It’s basically the equivalent to having 4 shots of espresso and I’m now addicted…

6.45am I change into some yoga gear and meditate on my meditation cushion for 20 minutes. Some days are easier than others, and it’s tempting to get frustrated and  give up if you’re new to it. Keep going! Try Calm, Headspace and Companion For Stress & Anxiety Apps. But make sure that you keep your phone on airplane mode while you sit. Let’s try to keep those brain tabs t0 an absolute minimum! 

7.05am I’ve been practicing yoga for about 6 years. My first class was at TriYoga with Julie Montagu who had me hooked by the first sun salutation. I make time for a few in-studio classes per week, but I also love doing my own flow at home to connect my mind and body and limber up ahead of the day.

7.30am I do a little dance. Because dancing is good for the soul. If I have time, I like to go for a quick walk or a run to get my blood pumping.

8am I’ll have another warm glass of water and take a few supplements: b12, vitamin D and a digestive enzyme are my go-to, but always consult a professional. Then it’s time to get-ready for the day with my non-negotiable cup of English Breakfast Tea with oat mylk. And then, and only then - will I turn my phone on. 

 

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Looking to have a more conscious Christmas? Read Jasmine Hemsley's top tips. 

The Power of a Morning Routine