Lockdown Morning Routine

My morning routine in lockdown has fluctuated and changed in the past five weeks since starting lockdown. With a changing work schedule, strange dreams, and moving out of my flat, mornings have gotten tough. But I also find that having structure helps me feel in more control of my situation and lessens my anxiety. Now that I’ve settled in more to the home in Buckinghamshire, I’ve developed this morning routine that gets me out of bed early and leaves me feeling refreshed and ready to face the day.

7:15am: Wake Up. I am trying to wakeup earlier and earlier during lockdown so I can do more in the morning for myself before getting to work. One thing that has been helpful is setting ‘Downtime’ on my iPhone from 10pm – 8am, which means when I wakeup at 7:15, I can’t just roll over and start scrolling through social media apps and waste an hour in bed. When my alarm goes off, I usually roll over and pull open the curtains to let the morning light in.

7:15am – 7:30am: Get ready for the day. The first thing I do is my skincare routine. I don’t wash my face in the morning, instead starting with a toner, then a Vitamin C serum and a hydration serum, ending with eye cream and moisturiser. I’m currently using Drunk Elephant products which I bought through Space NK – they had a good deal on a travel pack. After my skincare routine, I make my bed and get dressed for the day. Now that I’m working from home full-time, this varies between joggers, leggings, and bike shorts with a bralette or sports bra and a soft tank or sweater. Comfort is key for me, especially in the morning.

7:30am – 8:15am: Yoga Practice. I have practiced yoga on and off for about seven years, never really being super dedicated to my practice. I have decided to incorporate a morning practice while in lockdown to counter my anxiety and to feel calm and refreshed in the morning. I either do this in the back garden or in the living room depending on the weather (England is known for rain after all). I watch Yoga With Adrienne on YouTube, starting with her 30-day Home series (it’s perfect for beginners!). The videos range from 15 minutes to an hour, so you can choose depending on length, or they all have a specific theme for each day which you can cherry pick from as well.

8:15 – 9:00am: Breakfast and the News. After yoga, I walk over to the kitchen, pop the kettle on and start to make breakfast. Usually this consists of a piece of fruit (banana, avocado or mango) and toast or a bagel with a cup of English Breakfast Tea (splash of oat milk). While I’m waiting for my toast and the kettle, I do a bit of cleaning that was missed the night before – empty the dishwasher, put dirty dishes in the dishwasher, or wipe down the counters. This helps me feel productive and I like a clean working space. I usually take my tea and breakfast on the couch and watch the news to start the day.

9:00am: Get to Work. After putting away my breakfast dishes, I make a second cup of tea and settle down at the kitchen table to start my work day.

Depending on the day and how I’m feeling, this schedule may change a bit, but I am trying to make a commitment to myself to stick to this because I feel better when I do. Developing a nurturing and soothing morning routine is so important in these challenging times. Whether it includes everything that I have or you only have 15 minutes to yourself, I really encourage you to take the time to start your day with purpose and intention.

Enjoy this side by side of my WFH outfits depending on what I’m doing. The left is what you’ll most likely find me in for 90% of the day.

Night Routine to Wake Up Feeling Refreshed

Do you ever wake up and immediately start thinking about when you will be able to go to sleep again because you’re just that tired? Or your alarm clock has become your arch nemesis? Even after years of developing a nightly routine, I still feel this way sometimes.

The best way to wake up refreshed in the morning is to focus on what you are doing at night. My biggest piece of advice: set a bedtime.

I know, I know. We’re adults, bedtimes are for children. WRONG. Setting a bedtime will get your body into the habit of going to bed early to wake up early. By having a set bedtime, you are setting your body clock. Keeping consistent is important to waking up feeling refreshed, especially during the work week. On the weekends, I try to keep to my routine, but with late nights out or lazy mornings in, sometimes that doesn’t work.

Next, know how much you need to sleep to wake up refreshed. For me, I need at least eight hours of sleep, but I prefer a solid nine. Others may not need as much, but for adults an average of seven is healthy. This number will vary on who you are, but by now you should know how much sleep you really need, what’s too little and what’s too much.

Before I go to bed, I have about a half-hour routine to focus on me. I always wash my face, apply toner, and moisturize. Sometimes, I will throw in a face mask, nose strip, or relaxing bath into that mix. I brush my teeth and use mouth wash. Then I do a night time short yoga session. I find these routines through YouTube. I like to mix it up, but Yoga with Adrienne is one of my favorite channels. Doing a short 10 minute yoga session helps me feel calm and ready for bed. It also helps me wash away the stress of the day and reset for the next day.

I set an alarm on my phone for the following morning and then I flip my phone over and leave it for the night. I know it’s recommended that I should have like two hours of no phone time before bed but that’s honestly unrealistic for me. Instead I set my alarm, turn it over, and then read for a little bit. So at least, I’ll have ten minutes of an electronic detox before bed. Usually though, I try to read for thirty minutes. It depends on the night and when I’m getting to bed, so it’s not every night but I am trying.

And that’s it! Basically I try to wind down for bedtime about an hour before I want my head to hit the pillow. I understand this might not be feasible for everyone, but even incorporating one of these steps can help you wake up feeling refreshed and ready to start your day!

A lot of waking up feeling refreshed also depends on your morning routine as well, so look out for another blog post on my morning routine for starting your day off on the right foot!