Gosh, we’re really getting down to the rats and mice of my life here…but I’ve been getting too many emails from you asking how I order my wellness habits to ignore the topic much longer. I’m no expert (on anything much), but I have taken consulting of experts on this topic to pedantic levels and have a thing or two I can share with you. As always I share as an invite, not as a didactic instruction!
I’m a big fan of having very regular morning movements. (Ablution entendres not really intended.) I’ve written about the benefits of having a morning routine before. It’s the one thing about 80 per cent of the health experts I’ve interviewed, from HH The Dalai Lama to Oprah’s life coach, have in common.
1. When I wake up
* I wake at 6.30am or so… naturally. I scrape my tongue (an Ayurvedic practice) and clean my teeth.
* I drink 1 litre hot water with lemon juice while I make my breakfast and lunch.
* I take my thyroxin and then I potter (listening to news radio) while I drink…and, let’s be frank, hang about until nature calls.
* I drink 100ml of kombucha. This gives me a little spark to get through until breakfast.
* I tend to ablutions and head straight out the door to do exercise.
2. Exercise and meditation
* Me, I do something every day, even on thyroidy days and days when I’ve had no sleep. I just scale it back if I’m feeling crap. The “doing it every day” bit is what counts. Deciding whether I should exercise or not is not an option; less options in the morning is very key. Studies show we have limited decision-making energy and that it’s best to “auto pilot” our mornings as much as possible so we can eliminate as many angsty choices.
* I don’t do fuss. I carry only a key – down my bra or in a small pocket in my shorts. Equipment just bogs you down and acts as a disincentive (“Where’s my water bottle?! Oh, darn, look, now I don’t have time to go for a jog”).
* I keep my exercise kit – shoes, bra, shorts, togs, goggles – together in one pile in my laundry. I have only two exercise outfits. Simple; no pfaffing.
* I eliminate stages. That is, I don’t jog in a park I must first drive to. It creates a barrier, or disincentive, to just getting out the door and doing it.
* I don’t really do classes. Again, they create barriers to just getting out of the house. That said, I have three yoga classes I like in an area I must travel to. However, I incorporate my grocery and chore shopping into the schlep, which negates the disincentive!
I mix it up, pending weather and time constraints:
* Power yoga (heated, Vinyasa style): 1-2 times/week; 60 minutes.
* Swimming (walk to local seawater pool, 18 laps, walk home): 1-2 times/week; 30 minutes total.
* Weights (I have a home routine; I revert to this on days when it’s raining or I’m short on time.): 1-2 times a week; 20 minutes.
* Bush jogs (I head bush on weekends and explore beautiful bush walks in the region. It’s my sanity check after a frenetic week. It often turns into a jog, such is my energised joy with being bush): once a week/fortnight; 1-3 hours.
* Surfing: once a week/fortnight; 40 minutes.
* Jog/stair running (there’s a set of stairs near my house – I do a few laps of these or I do a jog around some parks near my place, integrating some hill climbs): 1-2 times/week; 25 minutes.
* Plus incidental exercise (I walk to appointments, ride to friend’s houses…I rarely drive when I’m in Sydney).
* I then meditate (with a mantra) for 20 minutes. I’ve blogged about it here. My teacher Tim can be found here. I often meditate down at the beach or in a park after exercise so I can get sun on my face.
* Like many with AI, I’m Vitamin D deficient and it’s super important to get as much sun as possible. I’ve written about why I don’t wear sunscreen, as a consequence.
* After meditation, I sit for two minutes and feel for a bit. I try to access the tone of the day that I’d like to lead. It’s just a faint feeling and then I try to hold it for as long as I can, as I have a shower and get out of the house…the longer I hold it, the more grace I carry.
3. Morning beauty regime
* I drink more hot water…sometimes with a tablespoon of Bragg’s apple cider vinegar.
* I shower using Dr Bromner soap.
* Occasionally I do a face scrub: A mix of equal parts sugar or sea salt and olive oil.
* I use a lot of oil…it’s great for grounding vata energy (of which I have a lot): a little Jojoba Company oil on my face. I put a dab of lemongrass oil on my neck – it’s kind of my signature scent now (I’m told) and is meant to help stabilize the thyroid.
* I use Ere Perez toxin-free almond oil-based mascara, Ere Perez rice bran bronzer and a little coconut oil in the ends of my hair.
I also pencil my eyebrows (to fill in the missing bits from my Hashimotos mayhem).
* I wear Moo chemical-free deodorant or Eco Tan deodorant.
Please note: Since becoming a fan of Ere Perez products I have become an affiliate and receive a small commission when people purchase online.
4. Breakfast and coffee and supplements
* I bring my breakfast to work most days. Usually green veggies with some protein and fats. (It’s not unusual for me to be eating a zucchini at my desk.)
* A couple of days a week I’ll have a long black coffee, with a dash of hot milk. But I read how I’m feeling. Other days I drink 2-3 cups of green tea. It very much depends on how my thyroid is…and where my cytokines are at (apparently if you’re dominant in one coffee is good, if you’re dominant in the other coffee is bad for you, and green tea OK).
* I take 500mg Vitamin C most days.
5. The rest of the day
* I always make my lunch and tote it to work. Usually it’s leftovers that I turn into a mish mash meal.
* You can follow my mish mash meals on Instagram. (And here’s a shot of one of my recent offerings.)
* After lunch I generally have some homemade or 85% cacao chocolate or a tablespoon or two of coconut oil or peanut butter.
* I drink herbal tea – lemongrass and ginger or chamomile – for most of the afternoon. I drink about three litres of water a day, always warm/hot. Again, best for taming one’s vata.
6. Evening routine
* I’ll try to meditate again for twenty minutes in the early evening – around 6pm – before I head out for dinner or an evening meeting. I’ll do this in a meeting room at work, on the toilet at an event…wherever.
* I drink a tablespoon of Bragg’s apple cider vinegar in hot water before dinner or another 100 ml of kombucha.
* I apply more oil. I often apply my Moksha “vata” blend of body oil to my hands in the evening. It calms me. I’ll do this before I head out again for the evening.
* I make sure I’m home around 9:30pm.
* I apply more oil. I put a small amount of Jojoba Company oil on my (dry) face before getting in the shower. I’ll leave it on for a bit before turning on the water. While the steam is building I wash my body, turning to my face last (allowing the steam to do its thing). Using a robust facecloth I wipe the oil off.
* I use coconut, olive oil or almond oil on my body (when I remember).
Now, this is where the fun begins. I’m a baaaaad sleeper and so my routine is a little, um, pedantic.
* I drink several cups of chamomile tea from about 30 minutes after dinner until an hour before bed.
* I take Natural Calm magnesium citrate powder in warm water about 30 minutes before bed. This stuff sorts out my restless legs, gets me sleepy and also helps with constipation.
* I turn off all screens a good 30 minutes before bedtime. I turn my phone off (to eliminate EMFs) and it doesn’t stay in my bedroom when I sleep. And for those who say “What?! I use my phone as my alarm” I say get yourself a battery-operated alarm clock!
* I have a hot shower, stretch for 10 minutes, read for 10 minutes, apply earplugs and an eyemask and a mouthguard (oh, yes…it gets THAT alluring), apply lavender oil to my wrists and MORE oil (I rub almond oil into the soles of my feet to help earth me) …and sleep. If I’m lucky.
What about you? What could you suggest to improve upon my routine…open to suggestions…