Since leaving University in May, the last few months have been a whirlwind of trips away, event organisation and settling into working for myself, from home. I suppose it’s a slightly unconventional ‘first job’ but I honestly wouldn’t have it any other way – because it never feels like work.
Everyday is varied and I love being my own boss – but admittedly, I have found getting into a routine quite difficult. Although I am very self motivated and disciplined, often I find myself straying off task if I haven’t set up my day in the right way.
Which is why a morning routine is so important. And a good night’s sleep too.
So, when TEMPUR approached me about attending their ‘Design Your Perfect Morning’ event, I thought it would be a great way to share some of the things that kick start my day off in the right way. And equally, how I make sure I get enough sleep to ensure that perfect morning, is indeed as productive as it can be!
To inspire our perfect morning’s, we headed down to Old Street for a few hours of yoga, teddy bears, Instagram-worthy breakfast trays, the most luxurious beds kitted out with TEMPUR mattresses and Positivetea. Both the good stuff itself and a rather fancy fruity tea!
I turned up rather unprepared for a yoga session, having decided to choose the day as the perfect opportunity to showcase my new burgundy leather trousers. Really great move that. So unfortunately I had to sit the yoga session out – giving me time alone with those beautiful beds.
I chose my favourite – their new hybrid mattress, got myself a breakfast tray and a teddy – and snuggled up with a vanilla tea. All in the name of testing out just how comfortable these renowned mattresses are. All in a days work eh? It’s a hard life.
Getting the perfect night’s sleep
Only recently have I realised just how important it is to get a good night’s sleep – after getting precisely the opposite and wondering why on earth I was feeling so hideous and not my usual self. While I appreciate it’s not always possible to get a full 7 hours a night, feeling well rested can really make a massive difference in how productive you are during the day. And similarly, just because you’re in bed – it might not mean you’re ‘resting’. Here’s a couple of the top tips I picked up:
- I know it’s mentioned all the time but keeping your phone right by your bed can really contribute to how well (or not so well) you properly rest. Not only do phones go off during the night, in turn disturbing sleep but they also emit light and which can delay melatonin release – which is what’s needed by the brain to ‘relax’. Experts advise that you shouldn’t use any light emitting devices two hours before you go to sleep, which personally I think is rather unfeasible. However, I tend to switch off my emails at 8pm so even if one comes through, I won’t be tempted to reply – and so I can switch off from ‘work mode’ (difficult to do when your life is your work!). I also try not to fall asleep scrolling through Instagram (guilty on several occasions) so I make a conscious effort to put down my phone twenty minutes before bed and move it away from my immediate proximity.
- Everyone is different but I personally can fall asleep whether it’s light or dark, as long as I’m snuggled up and the right temperature. One thing I find makes a massive difference is closing the bedroom door – something I’m sure many of you do already, but I’ve recently noticed how much it affects sleep. It might be a psychological thing but to me, it signals that I’m ready to sleep.
- Drinking some soothing and hot is something I love to do before bed but it also probably isn’t the best thing if you want a completely restful night’s unbroken sleep – because there’s something about tea (even herbal) that gives your bladder a bit more urgency! If you do want a mug of steaming camomile, have it about an hour/two hours before bed to be on the safe side!
- Feeling at home in your surroundings and being comfortable in your bed plays a massive factor in how restful my sleep is. I know this sounds so ridiculous but when I’m away from home and the sheets are washed in quite heavily scented washing powder, it almost instantly reacts with my skin and makes it itchy. This isn’t the best thing for a lovely long night’s sleep – and it’s the same at home. Make sure you check your washing powder isn’t irritating your skin and that you have a comfortable, supportive mattress. David and I recently got a new bed and we were astounded at how much of a difference it’s made to our sleep!
- Using a pillow spray or aromatherapy oil can also really help you drift off to sleep if you find it difficult to unwind and switch off at bedtime. There’s lots of different ones out there but I love lavender, chamomile or white rose.
- Whale noises have never really done it for me – sorry, but I do find the sounds of the sea and rain very relaxing – and they certainly help me drift off in the spa whenever I’m having a massage (only to wake myself up by doing a giant snort towards the end) so they’re something to try if I do ever have trouble!
And what about once you wake up?
Upon waking from your most restful night’s sleep, you’re probably going to want to follow it up with a perfect morning routine – getting ready to start the day in the most productive way possible.
I’ve experienced both a full-time job and working from home, so can appreciate that the two are very different – however first and foremost, I do think it’s really important to have a good breakfast to carry you through the day. I am hungry almost instantly as soon as I wake up and I love the fact that my porridge not only kick starts my metabolism but signifies both to my mind and body that I’m ready to start my day. Other than that, here’s my top tips (tried and tested, may I add)…
- Find a healthy breakfast that you love and look forward to. I always find that the fact it’s healthy encourages you to make better choices throughout the day and the fact you love it, means you’re less likely to skip it. I have porridge and almond milk, with a few drops of maple syrup. Sometimes if I’m feeling adventurous I’ll have a dollop of peanut butter or plop a few blueberries on top. I know, what a dare-devil eh?
- Take some tip out to sit down with your breakfast, stop scrolling through Instagram and be aware of your surroundings. I know it sounds all spiritual of me but ‘grounding’ myself in the morning, without the distractions of social media – can often be so beneficial in starting your day without feeling overwhelmed by everything going on in the world.
- Make your bed. Sounds weird but the act of making my bed signals that I’m awake and ready to jump into the day. It makes me feel neat, organised and productive. Even when I’m not! Bonus!
- Find your perfect tea. I’m not a big ‘normal’ tea drinker but I do love the herbal varieties and since discovering peppermint tea, I feel my morning’s have improved massively – because it’s so comforting to drink, even on the most rainy of days. Plus then, anytime throughout the day that you feel peckish – you can turn to your favourite tea to curb the cravings until lunchtime!
- Read a bit of your book. Although it’s an odd time of day to get stuck into a novel, I find that reading a book while you’re finishing your tea or on the bus is a fantastic way to kick the brain into action and start those cogs whirring. Especially if you’re on a rather thought provoking chapter!
How do you start your perfect morning? Do you have a morning routine that you stick to?
This post is a collaboration with TEMPUR®, but all thoughts are my own. Check out their website for more information on their mattresses.