I get to know all of the intimate details of my patients, so thought it would be an insightful task to jot mine down for you. No, I won’t be telling you about the intricacies of my bowel movements, but instead I hope to paint a picture about what my day entails, what I find works for me, and contrast it with who I once was.
We all have different routines that may work for us, but we also may be locked into routines that DON’T work for us as well. I know personally, that I really need routine and structure in my life to keep me on track. If I sway off course, I sway HARD, so routine keeps me focused.
We’re all different, and we’re all continuously learning and refining what works for us best. So this isn’t an exercise of “you should really try and fit this mould”, but instead I encourage you to think about what DOES work for you, and make your own mould based on that.
My alarm clock kicks in at 6am each morning. I’m not talking about those alarm BEEPS that sound like a sledgehammer to the cranium. I wake to the radio at a gentle volume so I can wake up calmly. I’ll say right off the bat…. I have never been a morning person…. I’m still not sure if I am.
I don’t bounce out of bed, smiling, positive, and ready to conquer the world. It’s more like clawing my way out of quicksand in the dark, cursing, and wondering if I’m still stuck in a bad dream.
This is why I don’t give myself time to think about it too much. My alarm clock is on the other side of the room, so I HAVE to get up to turn that off
Get out of the house ASAP!
Next up, get dressed, and get out the door with my dog for a 20-30 min walk. Bodhi’s a bit slow these days since his recent health issues, so we only walk 2 blocks. But it’s a speed conducive to taking in the day. I have to say, the people I see at that hour, although not many, are happy, friendly, and smiling! We’re all on the same vibe at that hour I think.
Home by around 6:30am depending on how many bushes Bodhi cocks his leg on. Lately I have changed up my morning routine to incorporate the gym 4 mornings a week. On gym days, I eat a banana or ¼ of a rock melon for some quick energy, and then ride my bike to the gym.
Gym sessions last an hour, and involve a full body program focused on using weights. My goal here is to build some strength, which I can take onto the yoga mat. Yoga is my jam! I love it! It feels good (yes, and also terrible), it’s so good for my mind, I love the breath work and focus it requires…. and generates.
I’m pretty flexible, but I lack strength needed to hold certain asanas. So recently I have dropped my yoga sessions back a bit, and have picked up gym work, a place I never thought I belonged.
I generally nail the gym, have trouble riding my bike home, and then down some nutrients within half an hour of the session. This will generally contain;
- Pea protein powder – containing 26g of protein (this one)
- 3-4 tbsn of a fiber mix – Soaked chia seeds and flaxseed (these are pre-prepared in a big jar in the fridge).
- 1 scoop of MagTaur – Magnesium loaded with B vitamins (sorry practitioner only)
- 1 scoop Basica – Alkalizing minerals to counter the acidity caused by the gym, and my protein focused diet at the moment (info here)
- ½ tsn of a greens powder
- 80g of Extreme Carbs – Yes, yes, I know… I never said I was perfect (this bad boy)
- 250ml high protein soy milk – 10.5g of protein. (here)
- 300ml of filtered water – (this)
This is my convenient “go to”, which I shake up and drink over 10mins. If I have extra time in the morning I drop the carbs and soy milk, and use a blender, which I add heaps of greens, lots of seeds, and a couple of large bananas. My goal is to replenish glycogen stores by upping carbs, and also a hefty protein dose to provide what the body needs to heal and build muscle.
Next up… shower!
At the end of each shower I crank it straight around to cold, and do a 1 minute super cold shower. This is based on the Wim Hof method, which I want to work more with in the future. It’s tough to start with, but by focusing on the breath, the icy shock soon calms down, and it becomes quite invigorating.
Cold showers can provide the following benefits;
- Helps recovery after exercise – Which is why athletes often take an ice bath after training. A systematic review found benefits.
- Energizes you – It increases the breathing rate, which sends blood and nutrients throughout the entire body.
- Improves cardiovascular function – As above, it increases circulation which strengthens the function of the heart.
- Improves the immune system – Same as above again. More nutrients are moved to organs, which strengthen the overall function of the body.
- Increases glutathione – Pretty stoked to find this out. Glutathione is the body’s most important antioxidant, and is needed to remove heavy metals, balance the immune system, and support healthy genetic expression.
- Increases metabolic rate to help lose weight – Converts white fat to brown fat, which has a higher metabolic rate. If you convert 85g of white fat to brown fat, you have the capacity to burn an extra 400-500 calories per day. Scandinavian researchers found that exposure to chilly temperatures caused a 15-fold increase in the metabolic rate of brown fat.
- Tightens your skin pores for better skin quality – Can’t say for sure if I’ve noticed this one, although a few people have commented that I’m looking well at the moment. This could be from a variety of things though.
- Apparently it’s good for the hair – But there’s no way I’m putting my head under there to find out!
Nailed the shower. Skip all that boring shaving and brushing of the hair stuff. I feel most comfortable at my daggiest. Next up I meditate for 30mins, sometimes with Bodhi next to me to soak up some vibes as well.
My meditation has morphed and changed over time to something that I feel suits me, and brings me good effect. It has 5 stages. I have created a sequence of bells to go off on the Insight Timer app, which let me know when to move to the next stage.
My meditation a mish mash of intentioned/conscious breathing, chanting (I bust out a heap of resonating Ohms), dynamic breathe work to increase oxygen in my body, holding of the breathe (which can last for 3.5mins on a good day), holding the breath with empty lungs, and then releasing issues I want to work with, manifesting my reality for the day, or breathing various intentions inwards, and other intentions outwards. After the empty lung hold, I basically spend the following 11mins working with whatever I feel I need to on that day.
This may all sound a bit over the top for some, but I’ve developed it for myself based on various bits a pieces I’ve picked up from various sources…. you do whatever suits you. Headspace is a good start for the novice, Isha-Kriya is another great option for those that don’t want a guided mediation, and Shambhavi Mahamudra is a different direction again. There are plenty of options out there. These are just a few that have helped me.
There are no rules to this. Make it your own, and don’t second-guess yourself. Meditation is no longer a hippy, woo woo, fish slapping activity. There are countless studies coming out all the time showing such a wide variety of benefits. It’s FREE people, what have you got to lose?
Yoga finishes up at 7:30pm, dinner cooked and in my belly by 8pm or so. At 8:30pm I put Blue blockers on to cut out the blue spectrum of light that interferes with melatonin production. I totally rate these! They work way better than f.lux, Twilight, or the built in night filter on Apple products. Also, I get Siri to remind me to put them on every day, with a recurring reminder that I set. I do this with supplements as well (*hint *hint to those of you who keep missing your supps). Get Siri, or “Ok Google” for those on Android phones, to start working for you.
Evenings are where I struggle the most. The couch is comfy, screen time is easy and mindless…. just what I feel like after a huge day in clinic. My goal is to be in bed by 9pm, WITHOUT a screen! The phone is easy, that gets turned off and plugged in on the other side of the room with the alarm clock. But sometimes I watch something on the lappie. Ideally I would read for 40mins and be asleep before 10pm. Take note insomniacs, I have a VERY long history of poor sleep onset, often taking hours to get to sleep. These days, it takes me 10 minutes. That’s it.
That’s it friends!
Hopefully this can inspire you on some level! Many of you may be saying, “I don’t have time for any of that “, or “I could never have a cold shower”, etc. You don’t have to. But keep in mind; I thought the same thing…. for the majority of my life.
Make goals, and then create small stepping-stones to achieve them. Take 1 step a week, a month, or each birthday, whatever fits. Things don’t change unless you get involved.
Before I wrap this up, you need to know this, so you can appreciate that I’m human too.
I fall off the wagon all the time! Some times every weekend! Under the list of things I really like, are; alcohol, hot chips, chocolate, not having to cook, binge watching tasteless TV series, listening to stoner rock really loud, not washing my bedding often, and I have a Facebook addiction. I’m a work in progress, just like you.
Other things you may not have known about me. I was an unhappy tradesman for 13 years, smoked well over 20 cigarettes a day for 11 years, was very close to being an alcoholic, used a huge amount of recreational drugs, always despised physical exercise, had a KFC addiction (those damn secret herbs and spices!), I had a very long history of quite dark depression, debilitating anxiety, was agoraphobic for a period, and I had quite long standing chronic fatigue.
I feel good to be able to be at peace with my past, and offer it up to those who may find some inspo from it...