26 July 2017

THE DIFFERENCE A CHANGE CAN MAKE



On Sunday I had a bit of a mini-meltdown about all the things on my to-do list and Joe helped me to come up with a plan to make things feel a bit less overwhelming. One of the things that I felt would make a huge difference to me is starting the day off earlier and creating new habits that feed my soul before the work day starts, so I set an alarm for 6.30am and put my phone on charge over the other side of the bedroom (to avoid any temptation of simply hitting snooze and going back to sleep again!).

Although I am only a few days into this new morning routine, I thought I would share what a difference it has made so soon.

W A K I N G  U P
I am the sort of person who either a) hits the snooze button a million times or b) turns off my alarm whilst asleep and therefore, unless around four separate alarms are set, I am in danger of just sleeping and sleeping because I think my alarm hasn't gone off yet! Placing my phone over the other side of the room means that I have to get up to turn it off and actually start the physical process of 'getting up' automatically, without having to drag myself out of bed at the last minute.

It was important to Joe and I that we still had time for a cup of tea in bed and a slower start, without it impacting the main bulk of the day, so we kept that luxury by just waking up earlier. Also, whilst Joe is making tea and feeding the cat, I am washing my face so I can sit in bed and 'put my face on' whilst having my tea; multi-tasking is life!

The biggest battle for me, when I am feeling ultra tired is getting out of bed but this new system seems to be working as we are both doing it and not losing out on our time together first thing in the morning. It always feels worse getting up early when one of you is still asleep!

E X E R C I S E  (B E F O R E  T H E  G Y M!)
Don't fret, I haven't lost my marbles... well, only the ones that rolled away many years ago! Along with our new earlier start, Joe and I have vowed to take a walk on the beach or around our little village every single morning (weather permitting of course). We have done it every morning this week (so far) and it really feels like a treat. It is so peaceful and it allows me to take in everything that I would normally miss if we went out when it is busy. Just getting up and getting outside to take some nice deep breaths of the sea air and watching nature wake up is super rejuvenating. On days where the rain hits I will be doing some yoga or some stretching/foam rolling or a half an hour cycle on my spin bike. I just feel like getting moving, especially outside, before work starts, is the perfect way to lighten the soul each day.

B R E A K F A S T
Once we are home from our mooch about we sit and eat our breakfast together because there is time now! These simple routines mean so much and they make you feel so relaxed to know that you have time to eat slower and map out your day in your head. My current three favourite breakfast choices are overnight protein oats, protein pancakes or a protein smoothie :-)

G Y M
Sometimes I don't train until the afternoons, but recently I have been going in the morning, about 9am, so that I know the rest of the day has no interruptions. The one downside to training this early in the day, for me anyway, is that I hit a dozy slump at about 2pm (which is why I would normally train at 2!). All I want to do is nap in the afternoon as I feel useless between the hours of 2-4pm but, what I am doing now is structuring my priorities for the day into the times where I know I will be more productive. So, come 2pm, if my brain has switched off, I will do my little box-sticking job for a couple of hours whilst streaming something on Netflix and return to the Leaf Lane Studio list afterwards! Exercise is super crucial to my day and I feel so much better for it, so I do prioritise it because, without it, I am a total nightmare! In my humble opinion, exercise keeps all the cogs turning and enables us to reach our goals quicker by improving our physical and mental stamina.

B U S Y  =  M O R E  P R O D U C T I V E
I know it sounds a little insane but, the earlier I get up and get on with the day, the more things I get done. Okay, I know this is because I have more time but I'm not even talking about that really. It comes down to feeling productive from the start of the day because when I get up and get straight on with it, ticking things off my list and getting sh*t done, I automatically become better at all the other things I would usually 'leave until later', such as washing, cleaning, tidying up and all the other jobs that seem inconvenient. Mind set is huge when it comes to having a really full, fun and productive day. I know that if I wake up with my alarm, hit snooze and go back to sleep again, I will be lethargic all day and slower at every single thing I try and achieve. It is like you need to programme your brain for the day ahead by showing it, right from the moment you wake up, what you want to be in that moment. Some days, you might want to be slower, rested and relaxed and that is perfectly fine but when you have lots of things to do that sort of mindset will sometimes prove more stressful because you just can't get yourself together and so all the weeks 'to-dos' roll over and over until you are lost. That is why I chose to really kick my own backside and make a change because I realised just how much my choices were impacting on what I am capable of achieving. Making a simple change has made things less stressful and I am reaching the end of each day feeling like I have accomplished a hell of a lot.

Whilst I am here, talking about routines, I thought I would share with you the little routine I do every night once I get into bed (keep it clean people... it's a journalling thing!).

I have two notebooks by my bedside, my Bullet Journal and a general notebook that I use for many different things including writing down anything that may be stuck in my head from the day, spiritual practice notes, such as any angel cards I have pulled out that I want to write about (yep, I do angel card readings... gotta talk to the angels!) and I also use the notebook to work through any problems or worries I may have. Getting everything out my head really helps me to stay calm and reduce my anxiety (even if, at the time of writing whatever it is, it can feel like a struggle). In terms of my Bullet Journal I have several things I do each night. The first job is to fill out my 'mood chart', which is not as complicated as it sounds! I simple colour in a square to correspond with a colour that I have labelled to be a mood. This helps me keep an eye on whether my mental health is stable, how my hormones are (because I can see patterns in mood) and just generally the ratio of happy to not so happy days! I then go onto my 'habit tracker' and colour in the relevant squares for all the things I have listed, such as whether I have drunk 2-3 litres of water, whether I have exercised and other things that I feel are a focus for me at the moment. Finally I go to the weekly pages and check off anything I have missed from the days 'to-do' list and then I write anything I may have forgotten into the next day.

This whole bedtime practice can take as little or as much time as I choose and I totally go with my mood. Some nights I can be writing away for an hour and other times it is five minutes; I just go with what feels right, but I end up settling far quicker having got everything out of my system and I know that I have notes to follow up on for the next day, so there are no worries in my mind about forgetting something important.

Do you have any regular routines in your day that you couldn't live without? 
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4 comments

  1. Oh Lucy yes to all of this! I always find myself nodding along to your posts and want to write you a whole letter after reading. I apologise in advance about the letter part, my comments seem to be getting longer and longer. I adore the fact that you and Joe can still have your cup of tea in bed. Fraser makes me a cup of tea in bed in the morning whenever we are together and it just slots everything into place I find.

    Going for a little walk in the morning sounds like bliss and something I'm going to try and incorporate into my days. It sounds like something I could do with, as there is nothing quite like fresh air.

    I usually start my mornings with yoga and a meditation using an app and sometimes a workout if I have time and my joints are feeling up to it. Like you, my biggest battle is the bloody snooze button. I'm going to start setting my alarm and placing it over the other side of the room I think, because that snooze button is an absolute demon.

    Taking time to have breakfast together is high on my priority list too, it's just such a nice thing to do. Well done on getting the workouts done in the morning, I have to say I always find I'm much moe likely to workout if I get it done and out of the way during the first part of the day!

    I find that I'm also in a way better place mentally if I manage to fit a short meditation, yoga session and workout into my day. I can't even begin to describe how it affects me if I don't. My mind feels fuzzy and unorganised when I don't manage to fit them in, I'll also be incredible on edge, anxious and get into a tizz easily.

    I'm definitely one for that afternoon slump so when that hits me, I fully embrace the Spanish tradition of a 30 minute siesta. I love that you do Angel cards!! I haven't done any in a while as I became really obsessed with them and felt like I was maybe reading too much or twisting the meaning to what I wanted it to be a little. I think now that I've had a break I'd like to get back into them.

    Journalling is amazing and always always always makes me feel like I've emptied my head onto the paper. Fraser once accidentally came across what I call my law of attraction notebook. Basically it's a notebook where I scribble down all of the things I want to happen in my life over and over and over again.

    I arrived home one day and he said "I have something to ask you...are you secretly a millionaire? Do you own a donkey?" I was speechless, I knew in an instant he'd found it and was obviously really really confused. So I had to explain why I'd written down an obscene amount of times that I love my pet donkey so much...oh ground swallow me whole!

    I hope you have the loveliest rest of the week and that you continue on with your new morning routine. I apologise for the letter!!
    Peta x
    www.pe-ta.com

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    1. Hi lovely! Never apologise for a long comment, I love your comments. I would love to make a regular habit of meditation and do try to but if anything gets pushed aside it is always that, which is annoying because it is the one thing I really want in my daily routine. I just struggle to do it. I must make an effort to. I know what you mean about getting exercise into your day. I am ok with a rest day but I like to get 4 gym sessions in and maybe one cardio (steady pace) session and they whatever walks might get added into the week are a bonus! Now my FitBit has cracked and broken I am not sure on my steps, which I liked to keep an eye on :-( I love a nap so the Spanish tradition should be made an English tradition! I always feel better for a power nap (my problem is that I could stay there for about 4 hours! I love my sleep!). I know what you mean about angel cards but since I watched some of Kyle Grey's videos I have changed the way I read and have had a lot more focused responses. I think, like with anything spiritual (that you can't 100% 'prove') you just have to take what you can from it and that's why I write after a reading to sort of analyse things. They add a positive, calming influence to my day so I do like doing them. Recent readings have been quite funny because I keep having the same card jump out of the pack 'this is your lifes purpose' and the message says that I have made a change towards my dream job and I must keep going. I laugh every time it comes up because it gets beyond a coincidence! I'm going with the whole law of attraction thing too, trying to manifest bits and bobs! I can totally relate to what you felt when Fraser found your notebook as I am pretty sure Joe would be like 'What on Earth....!' if he read some of mine!! I get ya though! Thank you for always being so incredibly supportive of everything. You really are a lovely soul Peta. Have a wonderful day and it's Friday tomorrow! Hurrah! Lots of Love xx

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  2. This is amazing! This sounds like exactly what my perfect morning sounds like, apart from the getting up early bit, but needs must! I know when I do get up earlier and go to the gym, I feel so up for the rest of the day and I'm way more productive because of it.
    I think it's so important to find the best time for you to train. Like you said, it might be in the middle of the day to break it up a little, but for me it's first thing because it does lovely things to my energy levels for the rest of the day.
    Also, I absolutely second the importance of time to drink tea in the morning! I cannot do without!
    It's so lovely to read posts like this, I'm always interested in what other people do to increase productivity or ensure a bit of positivity during the day, so thank you! x

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    1. Thanks honey! Glad you liked it! We all have our different little routines and I find them fascinating! :-)

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