My personal interest with morning routines came about a while ago. Having commuted for years, up early, no time, rush rush rush. I slowly realised that how I started my day, really impacted the rest of it. I began experimenting with various methods, reading countless blogs, articles, books on the 'optimal' morning routines. A lot of them worked, a lot of them didn't stick. But it just increased my fascination with the subject. Lockdown has changed most peoples mornings. and I was interested to learn how.
This series of interviews will lead onto many more morning routine specific articles and explorations. I hope you join me and enjoy this little journey.
My first interview is with the wonderful Laura Fullerton, founder and Creative Director of Fittybox, and Founder of Sketch Labs. Laura shares my interest for all things morning routine related. Her IG is a must for anyone interested in optimising their health and fitness routines @laurafullterton
How does your morning start?
I wake up naturally around 6:30, and get straight outside into the garden to drink himalayan salt water (essential for hydration!) and to get natural light in my eyes – sounds weird, but it’s super important for your circadian rhythm! If I’m working out that day, I go to the gym for an early session, and then back home for a cold shower and breakfast.
First 3 things you do?
Drink himalayan salt water, get natural sunlight in my eyes, and have a cold shower.
Are you a morning person or night owl?
Habits you've introduced that have made the biggest impact in your life/morning or day?
Prioritising sleep over everything. The things that have helped nearly double my deep sleep (yes, I’m a geek and track it with an Oura ring) are: not eating or working three hours before bed, using blue light blocking glasses in the evening, having a consistent bedtime, breathwork before bed, wearing an eye mask to make the room pitch black. Rock and roll, baby.
What's normally on the menu for breakfast?
Bulletproof coffee or Bulletproof bone broth. If I’ve worked out, then I’ll eat too. My breakfasts are quite weird and what most people would class as lunch – they usually involve eggs, mackerel or steak, beetroot, sprouted broccoli, and all sorts of rogue but healthy foods.
Things that you'd like to try but haven't yet?
I haven’t found a meditation practise that I love yet, so I want to explore different types until I’m hooked!
What couldn't you live without in the morning?
A dose of nature – even if it is just my garden!
What makes you feel most energised and focused for the rest of the day?
Planning my day – my to do list is everything! I always write down three key things I need to achieve that day and it keeps me focused on what’s important.
What has changed/adjusted for you and your morning routine during lockdown?
Honestly, not much! I somehow adapted a cat (well, I think he adopted me), so feeding him is probably the biggest change.
Anything you'd like to do more of/explore?
Right now I’m fascinated by living more in tune with my infradian rhythm (most people know about the 24 hour circadian rhythm, but this is the 28-day biological rhythm that all females have!).
It governs our reproductive system, brain, microbiome, metabolism, immune system and stress response system – so pretty much everything! Throughout the four phases of our menstrual cycles, we have a 25% shift in brain chemistry alone, and so cognitively and creatively we have these huge shifts we can tap into. It means during certain phases you’re better at brainstorming and ‘big picture thinking’, and others you’re better at tying up loose ends and ticking off that list. Essentially, you can adapt the way you work, eat, and exercise around these phases to do more with less effort, and feel great.
Things you've tried but haven't worked for you and why?
I tried the 5am club for a few months. I enjoyed it, but I was forcing it to fit and the super early nights were a little unsociable. I feel like my current routine is much more natural and enjoyable for me.
Your favourite breakfast and recipe?
For when I fancy something sweet, I make pancakes from two eggs and one banana. Cook them in coconut oil, then top with a big dollop with coconut yoghurt, seeds, blueberries, and of course a sprinkling of an Eight Thirty sachet!
Do you practice mindfulness/meditation and if so how has it helped you especially during lockdown?
I do a lot of guided breath work sessions which I love – there’s so many different styles to suit how you want to feel, whether it’s to release stress and unwind or boost energy and focus. I’ve loved the extra time lockdown has given me to make things like this a priority and just pause for a moment – I’ve made a lot of positive changes which I will continue!
Biggest morning fail?
Leaving the house with different trainers on.
Greatest morning win?
Getting dressed – even when you’re staying home all day.
SO much to discuss from this great interview, stay tuned for the next. And soon we'll dig a bit deeper into some of the methods Laura discussed.