Meditation is the ultimate equalizer and baseline for your day. Ten years ago I did a Vedic Meditation course with Gary Gorrow. And it literally changed my life. Over the years I’ve dipped in and out of my practice, but I know, without a doubt that I’m a better, happier, calmer person when I do it. I’ve since done refresher courses with Anna Ferris and Jacqui Lewis, which have helped me remind myself of the importance and get back on track. So first thing in the morning, I sit up in bed. I put a Euro pillow behind my back and a normal one beneath my knees (this really helped me as I used to get pins and needles in my feet if my legs were straight!) I close my eyes and start repeating my mantra softly in my head. Thoughts do inevitably come, but if you return to your mantra (and you can just use “Om Shanti” or “Let Go” if you don’t’ have one) without judgement, it helps your mind slip into a deeper state of consciousness. 20 minutes is ideal but even if I only manage five or ten before the kids come and jump on me then I’m doing well.
Next I grab my journal and jot down some intentions for the day. The Five Minute Journal by Intelligent Change really helped me get I the habit. First it has you list three things you’re grateful for, three things that would make today awesome and an affirmation, “I am…” Then at the end of the day, you check in again with three amazing things that happened today and one thing that you would do differently. It’s great because starting the day with gratitude shifts your whole perception and mindset, while setting goals and knowing you’ll check in again at the end of the day holds you accountable in those key decision moments throughout the day.
Philips recently sent me their LatteGo Automatic Espresso Machine and it’s been a total game changer. I used to have a mildly unsatisfying coffee at home and then have to buy an almond latte from the café after I dropped the kids at school, but now I’m looking forward to my home coffee from the moment I wake up. It’s super simple to use, no fancy attachments to get the hang of, everything is done at the touch of the button. It grinds the beans fresh and has an integrated milk frother – you just pour milk in the top, it froths it for you (splash-free) and streams it gently in with your coffee. I like to make almond lattes (I buy milk lab milk) or oat (always choose the barista blend oat milks!), but you can also make delicious espressos, Americanos, cappuccinos, macchiatos and more. It also has an “AquaClean” function so you don’t have to descale often (around every 5000 cups apparently!) Safe to say, I’m in love with my new coffee machine and it’s saving me quite a bit of money.
There’s a book called The 5am Club about how high achievers smash their goals by rising early – I’ve downloaded it and it’s next on my list to listen to. I’ll get back to you. I am definitely a morning person: my brain fires and my ideas flow much better in the early hours than late at night. If I wake up early enough then some days I try and take advantage of that and smash out a couple of hours before kids wake up madness ensues. Once the kids are up though it’s all systems go: lunches get packed, loads of washing get put on, hair gets brushed. If I have a deadline though, sometimes I escape to the local café so I can work uninterrupted until the school run.
If I’m not on a deadline or rushing to a call or meeting, I’ll try and fit a bit of exercise in in the morning. Right after I drop the kids at school, I try to squeeze a quick beach/bush walk in, a PT session with Ricardo Riskalla or a class at Feels Pilates. It’s a beautiful space in North Narrabeen and the teachers are amazing. Pilates is life changing – it has totally solved all my back woes and strengthened my core which influences all other types of exercise and your posture at work and rest. When I’m walking I listen to audiobooks, so I feel like I’m killing two productivity birds at once. (Currently listening to Daring Greatly by Brene Brown and Think Like A Monk by Jay Shetty). The time in nature makes the hugest difference to my mood and whole day, I end up feeling energized and can take on more work-wise.
And then, it’s shower time. I use this to try some of the new launches Beauticate is testing out. Current favourites? For the body, I cycle between Diptyque Eau Des Sens Hand and Body Gel and Malin + Goetz Bergamot Hand + Body Wash. Both satisfyingly sudsy yet totally unique scent-wise. Definitely a cut above your supermarket body wash and something to indulge in when you want to shower to be extra special. Kora Turmeric Cleanser gives a zingy, refreshing blast that seriously wakes you up, and when I’m feeling brave, I like to dial it up with a blast of cold water at the end. Five seconds max!
Day to day I’ve stopped wearing makeup as since I did a three month stint of using Ultraceuticals skincare my skin is looking pretty good. I just throw on some sunscreen and then a pump of Mecca Weekend Skin Glow Serum –it gives me the perfect amount of gleam without being shimmery. I dot on some IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Concealer and a few coats of mascara – I like Ilia Limitless Lash Mascara as it’s not too harsh on my sore eyes (I’ve been using medicated lash serum which can be irritating). And that’s it. Literally five minutes or less and out the bathroom door ready to sit down and get to work.